Whether you are an entrepreneur who has recently launched a startup or you have spent quite sometime in building up a small business with average sales; you must know the sales process well.
An entrepreneur cannot be successful if he himself is not a good salesperson!
Well, it doesn’t mean to take over the sales team and do everything yourself, rather, knowing the effective sales techniques will help you better collaborate with the team and so everyone is working in the same direction to boost sales and revenue.
Remember, it’s your very own business and only you can take the best decision for it. If a sales team is falling behind in achieving targets, don’t just fire them. Rather than spending time and money to hire a new team, guiding the existing one can produce better result.
Well, that can happen only when you know how Sales work.
In this article we will discuss the essential factors that help in boosting sales and revenues. Here it goes:
The most important part of doing anything is it’s plan. So, when it comes to boost your sales, the first and foremost part is planning whereby following items should be given weightage.
1- Create an annual sales plan.
2- Divide the annual plan into quarters.
3- To be more specific, drill it down to monthly plan.
An effective sales plan is one with SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) goals. To do so, you must have:
4- Updated data about all the existing customers.
5- Complete specifications about potential customers.
6- Time and funds allocated for ongoing market research.
7- Time allocated for meetings (Client & in-house meetings both are crucial and need parallel time for effectiveness of the plan).
8- Time allocated for reporting; without reports, you can’t just measure anything.
Strategizing the Plan:
Having a sales plan with set targets within specific time frame is the basic requirement to bring your sales department on track. To actually, make them work effectively, you need to strategize the sales plan.
Here is how to do it.
9- Have an action plan; a simple excel file with “task detail”, “assigned to”, “due date” and “status” columns. Depending upon the depth of reporting, you can add desired columns, but these four are the crucial ones.
10- Must have a referral reward for the existing customers.
11- Do include social media along with the traditional media to find prospects.
12- Get various presentations ready to be presented to group of potential customers in events.
13- Do keep a track of all the relevant exhibitions during the year and pre-book.
14- Have all other networking events in the list where you can spread the word.
15- Work closely with customer service and the marketing people to get the benefit of word of mouth.
Executing the plan:
Sales plan will be successful only if it is executed well and execution is the toughest parts of all. Here we will discuss the points that make execution simple yet effective.
16- Maintain a weekly diary.
17- Plan daily calls.
18- Be clear prior to making a call with a quick pre-call planning.
19- The sales team should meet at least twice a week to discuss targets and results.
20- Keep everything on record, i.e. make an action plan in excel with a “status” column which should be updated accordingly.
With everyday sales, your database keeps on growing, however, it is important to keep it clean and optimized, so any record should be readily available as needed. To keep it up to date, follow the points below:
21- Keep the first call as a fact finding initiative and do follow up on it.
22- A follow up must be done within next two days, whereby you present the proposal (or using the tracking features of proposal tools like these can allow you to time your follow up perfectly).
23- Move with second follow up for decision.
24- Do a follow up visit if needed for the decision.
25- Make a post visit call for the decision.
26- Analyze the leads on weekly or bi-monthly basis and keep them in the relevant filtered lists.
You are at 90% success rate by following the above points, however, to maximize the success factor, you must do a little more.
27- Figure out the medium that generates most of the sales, and double your efforts in that particular direction.
28- Filter the mediums that have not been successful so far and analyze. If you cannot find any point of improvement there, abandon those and put your efforts in the medium where 20% of the effort can produce 80% of the results.
29- Keep on doing analysis in multiple dimensions and tweak your plans accordingly.
Depending upon business specific goals, a lot more can be done but put all that in you sales team’s plate. Being a business owner, knowing the above points will do most of your work. Yes, if you are a business owner who is more into sales, you can enhance your skills and knowledge further.