Sales is the fuel in your business’s engine – are you using the right type?
Anyone who drives a performance vehicle knows how essential high quality fuel is for the engine. Your business is the same. To optimise performance you need the highest quality sales staff, strategy and systems. Here are three ways to fuel up your sales engine well.
Build authentic relationships
Relationships are as important as ever – building trust and confidence lead to both short- and long-term benefits. Strong, quality connections come through listening and learning, while striving to add genuine value in every interaction as opposed to using pressure tactics to make a fast sale.
Don’t confuse good sales technique with dollars in the till. Speaking to Forbes last year, sales expert Deb Brown Maher says the first contact sales approach is a false economy that can cost your business. She favours long-term relationship building.
‘There is no system for following up [if you take a short-term approach], she told Forbes. ‘Salespeople simply walk away from any lead that says no, moving on to the next. This approach often results in viable leads not buying because they feel they’ve been treated disrespectfully.’
Maher says the longer-term approach is about respecting your buyer and ensuring you understand their needs leads to trust, which leads to more organic sales (and less money spent on sourcing new markets).
Gift your people with the right skills
Sales is about strategy. It involves the sales person knowing their target audience, knowing a buyer’s motivation and being able to uncover their needs skilfully; paired with knowledge on how their product or service can help meet those needs – which might differ for each client. That is why it is important to make certain that your sales team are well trained and experienced in both sales and your industry.
Training empowers employees, with one University of Michigan study showing that empowered employees are more committed to their organisation, more motivated, and perform better at work. Your sales staff are also your frontline brand ambassadors, so why wouldn’t you make sure they had the knowledge and skills to support your customers effectively?
Keep tabs on sales leaks
Let’s return to the motoring analogy for a moment – if you noticed a leak in your fuel tank, you would stop and fix it immediately. It is the same with sales. Celebrate success, but also look at who didn’t make it, and ask yourself why?
Do 50 per cent of your online visitors leave before checkout? Do a quarter of shoppers in your bricks and mortar store exit without trying anything on? If you understand where the leaks are and why they are happening, you can find a solution to reduce them.
The David Forman Sales Leaks calculator is a way to identify the places in your sales ecosystem where leaks occur so you can fix the problem. It’s a unique tool for Kiwi businesses that improves your conversation rate and tightens up your brand image.
Well-trained, quality-focussed and sales eco-system aware businesses are statistically more likely to succeed, and grow faster. Stop panicking about the bottom line and focus on empowering the sales arm of your business.