When it comes to sales, an ebb and flow in revenue is quite common. But an extended sales lull can be a very scary thing: fewer phones ringing, fewer deals closing, less money coming in. What’s your next move? Downsize the company? Close your doors? Or do you fight to keep the company alive?
If your company has any vivacity left, there’s only one option: encourage and motivate your team by coming up with new strategies and initiating the collective objective of breathing life back into the business.
A healthy theme that successful organizations live by is “Sales and Client Focus” and they typically involve two goals for their sales teams:
Successful sales teams also employ quantifiable key performance indicators (KPI’s) on a monthly basis including:
1. New customers – the number of people who buy/subscribe to your product
2. New leads/prospects – the number of people who explore your business’ website or sign up for a free trial
3. Sale conversion rates – the number of people who become paying customers
4. Cost per lead – what it cost to attract prospective leads’ attention
5. Customer profitability – how much the company earns by serving a customer
6. Customer turnover – the rate at which customers stop using your company’s product or end their subscriptions
7. Net Promoter Score – surveys or feedback that indicate how likely a customer is to refer your product to others
8. Sales demos – indicates how many prospects accepted first demo
9. Conversion time – how long it takes to migrate through the sales funnel
10. Rate of product/service usage – the period of time a customer uses a product or perpetuates their subscription
Metrics don’t lie. Tracking the stats listed above is a prime way of gauging how sales are doing and which areas need improvement. Involve your sales team, make sure they have constant access to the company’s sales metrics. Ask them to assess their performance and set some goals for improvement. Work as a team to identify problem areas and encourage your sales team to overcome those obstacles with the following sales performance tips:
1. Stand behind the products/services/solutions you are selling. If you don’t believe in a product strongly enough to sell it, it’s going to show in your sales pitch. You need to exude the utmost confidence in your item and convince your clients why you think the product works and why it’s worth buying, investing in or subscribing to.
2. Instill a genuine interest in your customers and their well-being. Divulge how your product can make a difference for them. Build a rapport, even if it takes a few attempts, don’t just go for the sale from the start. Take time to build trust and respect.
3. Sustain a positive attitude. Those who exude confidence and jollity will find their moods are contagious and will attract customers who are just as enthusiastic to try your product or subscribe to your site. No matter how defeated you feel from a series of unsuccessful phone calls, just treat each new contact as a fresh start, another way to generate a lead or close a sale, getting you one step closer to your company’s financial recovery.
4. Don’t rest on your laurels. If you met your quota or goal for the day, don’t stop there. Always network and try to find new prospects. Make yourself known by creating your own brand on social media. The more publicity and contacts you can accumulate, the more credibility you will have.
5. Take responsibility, regardless if it’s for a successful or an undesirable outcome. You control your own progress; it’s up to you how hard you work and how ambitious you are in meeting your goals. No one else can do the work for you. If you get frustrated, don’t make excuses, just breathe, be resourceful and move on to the next prospect.
6. Listen to your prospects’ reasoning for resisting what you’re selling. If now isn’t a good time for them to buy, find out what the reasons are instead of just coercing your product onto them anyway. This is your chance to address their concerns and be understanding. They’ll appreciate you for it, and even if you don’t make the sale at that time, keep the contact in your arsenal, as you’ve built a rapport upon the first point of contact by gaining their trust by aligning their values with yours. The next time you contact them may be a better time for them to buy.
7. Have full comprehension of your company values and what’s required of you. Adhering to your company’s expectations is a good benchmark for gauging whether or not you’re approaching your goals. If you or anyone on your sales team is feeling discouraged, sit down as a group and reacquaint yourselves with the company’s objectives. It could rekindle the excitement that’s been dampened by slumped sales. There’s always hope for turning things around.
8. In this advanced digital age in which we’re living, the cold call is dying a slow and painful death. That being said, it’s time to get resourceful. Consider your next point of contact taking place face-to-face and if you can’t make it happen in person, consider all of the video calling tools out there such as Skype or Slack. You can also set up a video call on apps such as GoToMeeting or Zoom. Sure, the initial point of contact may need to take place via email or over the phone, but don’t carry out the full conversation there. Video calling brings your interaction to another level, as you can feed off each other’s mannerisms and facial expressions. It’ll add a more personal touch to your attempt at transitioning your prospect into a lifelong customer.
9. Be transparent. When divulging information about your product, be upfront about the cost and if your customer wants to negotiate, be open to accommodating them as much as your company will allow. Have a list prepared of discounts and specials you can throw in to sweeten the deal.
10. Upsell or cross-sell any chance you get. Upselling has a negative connotation that doesn’t need to exist, you may find you’re doing your customer a favor by suggesting a product that would complement their initial item they may not have considered due to their lack of knowledge of the product. Becoming an expert in your field and believing in what you’re selling will increase your chances of gaining more credibility and closing one sale for the price of two.
Leveraging the above sales performance tips is sure to solidify your business’ sales volume and customer-focused structure that will yield more profitable results. It will also help develop more confident and driven salespeople who will stimulate an energized workplace environment and bring the company back to a healthy level, priming it for more growth and a bright future.