Sales is a tough job. It requires quick thinking, presence of mind, and listening! However, these are the skills that will help a salesperson convert leads. How, you ask? By applying those skills to certain sure-fire practices.
- Follow up!
– With prospects
This is a boring, time-consuming chore that interferes with all the other tasks you’ve scheduled for the day. But it must be done, sometimes several times. This is because when you first call a prospect, chances are they aren’t sales-ready. It is your job to build a relationship with them. You obviously don’t want to pursue the wrong leads. Nor do you want to hound a potential customer and drive them away. The trick is in connecting with them and offering them useful information that moves them along the sales funnel. Calls, e-mails, informative information through social media – these are strong ways of connecting with prospects without pestering them. And think of the millions in revenue that can be benefitted from if only you dedicated an hour or two following up on prospects.
– With customers
A sale is never about closing the chapter. Remember, you are the personal link between the new customer and the enterprise. By checking up on them, they know you haven’t just handed them off to fend for themselves. Moreover, at this initial stage, they would be more likely to discuss issues with you than with the new team members. By staying in touch it builds trust. When they trust you, they are more willing to take your advice, which can be valuable in continuing the marketing and sales process of cross-selling and upselling. So never make the mistake of thinking it ends with a sale. There are several factors that affect the business after the sale is made.
- Scoring leads and then qualifying them
Granted, it’s quite hard to differentiate a potential lead from a not-so-potential one. This begins as a collaborative team effort – mapping and tracking behaviours to conversions, and then recognising them! Some are readily apparent (e.g. no one reads a case study for fun or asks for a demonstration without reason); however, others have to be inferred through heat maps or dwell time, number of visits etc. Once you learn what to look at and train your mind to perceive the patterns, not only does it becomes quite quick for you to cinch, qualify and track leads, but it also saves you a gazillion hours in pursuing the wrong rabbits.
- Work your warm prospects
Warm prospects have had some awareness or schooling about the product you’re selling. So should you make a warm call it means They have shown some interest in the product, service or brand by following you on social media or signing up to your newsletter, or that it has been preceded by some sort of contact with the potential customer or prospect, such as a direct mail campaign, an introduction at a business event or a referral. (This is a pat on the back to your inbound marketing efforts and the content you have put out!) But don’t be fooled because warm prospects don’t convert on their own. There is a time-investment requisite – you don’t focus on nailing the sale right away but on making every contact well-researched and personalised based on a commonality to develop the relationship. This way you make your services more relevant to their needs. Warm prospects need trigger events to be more meaningful and effective. This can be in the form of being directly introduced (the best method really, thus offering you insight into how your network connections intertwine), noting their remarkable achievements, or being alert on things you have in common with them.
- Enlist a CRM system
The goal of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is to improve business relationships with customers, and thereby assist in customer retention and to drive sales growth. CRM systems are designed to compile information on customers across different channels, or at points of contact between the customer and the company, which could include the company’s website, telephone, live chat, direct mail, marketing material and social media. CRM systems can also give customer-facing staff detailed information on customers’ personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns. So you want to convince your boss about its merits and then pick a CRM tool that will help you achieve all of the above! A CRM system will help with the practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyse customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, giving you complete visibility into the results of your prospecting endeavours. And nowadays there are some pretty amazing CRM tools that are free, freemium or open source! Moreover, with a CRM system, you have better control and better timing on your follow-up messages!
There you have it – 4 big, fundamental and necessary sales activities that can help you increase revenue and last into the long run! Now take these four strategies to a well-onboarded and field-trained team, and apart from your own personal success, your organization won’t have to re-invent the wheel!