(Updated: 15 August 2022)
If you work in sales, you will know that it can take thousands of emails, calls, meetings and in-person conversations to make a few dozen sales. The most fundamental aspect of working in B2B or B2C sales is the ability of a salesperson to help potential customers realise their need for your product or service.
Improving sales performance will depend on the ability to standardise and improve business-wide sales techniques, forecasting, measuring and management. Naturally, there are sales reps that are talented at making sales and every business wants a team full of sellers with this inherent gift.
However, any sales team of any level will benefit from making targeted improvements to these aspects of their sales process. Sales companies could transform their businesses by using more efficient techniques and standardised practices that work in this fast-paced sales environment.
Here are 10 ways to make your sales process more effective:
- Know your sales team
An effective sales process requires your team to complete a series of milestones that allow each sale to be completed successfully. Each stage of a successful sale entails a myriad of tasks that a salesperson will follow to turn a prospective sale into a successful one. When it comes to your sales team, it’s important to understand their language, style, strategies, and techniques for closing deals. As each sales team member is unique, a company can utilize this information to create a cohesive sales approach. This approach can combine your sales teams’ existing talent, whilst creating a repeatable and systemized strategy for new sales reps to follow.
- Focus on what works
Knowing your target market is vital when coming to your sales strategy. By defining your ideal customer profile, your sales team will be able to better utilize their time, resources, and energy on high potential prospects, as opposed to weak or “zombie” leads. It’s also important to continually evaluate your sales processes as your company develops and grows, as what worked for your team when you were starting up, may not apply now. Your team should also take care with sales leads that come in, like treating each call with a prospective client as a fact-to-face meeting, sending more precise emails, and batching follow ups on potential buyers.
- Qualify prospects and leads more carefully
Spending time chasing weak prospects means wasting time that could have been better spent on high potential prospects. By utilizing your ideal customer profile, your sales team can qualify all potential leads that come into your business and allocate the proper resources to converting quality leads to a paying client. If your sales team can better understand the industry type, size, goals, and concerns of any prospective customer, they can nurture solid leads who are a good fit for your company.
- Utilize all your sales talents
With an abundance of information at your fingertips, it’s important that your sales team and business make data-backed decisions when coming to your sales strategy. Through this data, you can identify areas of opportunities and growth, as well as areas of weakness that needs to be improved. With these actionable insights, your sales team can utilize their skillset and sales strategy to improve and monitor the areas of weakness, as well as dive into the areas of opportunities and growth.
- Understand your customer base
An important distinction exists between a sales process focused on how a business wants to sell and how their customers want to buy. A company must reflect their own goals in the sales process, but that process must be adaptable and considerate of their customer base. Understanding your customer base requires you to explore their industry, expectations, buying patterns, needs and preferred communication. By knowing each customer that you sell to, your sales strategies can adjust to different situations, with similar success.
- Prioritise building real relationships
Having sustainable and long-lasting relationships with your customers can ensure continual repeat business. Therefore, a sales team should aim at developing real relationships with prospective and existing customers. Ways to achieve this is through open and solid communication such as active listening, notetaking, trust-building, interpretation, empathy, and persuasiveness. By showing prospective and existing customers that you care about their needs and are able to meet those needs, can inspire them to be repeat clients.
- Find the reasons for stalled sales leads
With a cohesive and organized sales process, managers and executives can view their strategies inside and out. By doing so, they can evaluate stalled or unsuccessful sales, identify possible customer retention issues, or business relationship failures. Armed with this information, you can analyze each stage of the sales process to determine where the sale stalled, and what steps need to be taken to streamline and improve the sales process for better turnover.
- Onboard and train new salespersons more efficiently
Having a well-defined sales process can make the job of recruiting, onboarding, and training a new sales member simpler and more efficient. How you might ask? Having a clear sales process can highlight the effective behaviours, skills, and techniques that are most important for closing a deal. Not to mention, learning is easier when expectations are defined and steps to success are easy to follow.
- Improve all aspects of your customer experiences
Having an aggressive or pushy sales rep can easily turn a good client relationship into one that is irreparable, therefore it’s important to analyse customer experiences before, during, and after each sale to determine areas of weakness. Using your defined sales process and customer-focused research and understanding, you can turn clumsy or aggressive sales tactics into a smooth and enjoyable customer experience. Follow steps that create value, grow trust, and create opportunity for all of your prospective customers.
- Never miss a follow-up
A timely follow-up email or phone call can be the difference between a successful deal and a stalled or unsuccessful sale. A well-organised sales process may require time to formally close a sale, therefore it’s imperative that the sales reps keep communication open in order to keep the buyer’s interest in your product or service. Through well timed follow-ups and service reminders, you can help guide the customer during their decision process and turn them into a paying customer. Failure to do so, may result in time, resources and energy lost.
A defined sales process, good CRM practices and an effective marketing and communication strategy could be be all you need to achieve your business’s wildest ambitions. Cognite Marketing offers data-driven insights and technical support to help your brand and business thrive in the current digital age.