Salespeople tend to be focused, driven, and almost single- minded when it comes to closing a sale. While this attitude can bring about great results, it can also prevent a salesperson from considering alternative ways to approach the sales relationship. Does the client prefer frequent phone calls to check in, or would your sales process run more smoothly with scheduled email follow ups? Take the time to re-evaluate your sales team’s focus. Try these seven tips to drive new revenue and improve your sales game.
1. Rethink Your Strategy for Marketing, Sales, and Service Integration
Do your marketing, sales, and service teams work together? If not, you should rethink your marketing process. These teams will be more likely to succeed if they work together and share customer information. Once everyone has a clear picture of what is going on with potential and existing clients, you can evaluate your marketing and sales messages to ensure they tell the correct brand story. By integrating your marketing, sales, and service departments, you build a cohesive team that works together to sell more services and products.
Social media is another important resource that should be integrated across your departments. Although most companies now utilize professional services to gather feedback from customers, they rarely pass this information on to the sales team. This wastes sales opportunities and ignores potentially disgruntled customers, leading to problems with future sales opportunities.
Drive new revenue by sharing the customer feedback provided on social media sites across your marketing, sales, and service departments. Whether the feedback is negative or positive, have a customer service representative contact customers that post feedback on social media outlets. If customers repeatedly leave negative feedback on your social media platforms, you can spot product or service weaknesses that need to be addressed. Your service team can then step in to craft a solution and improve the customer experience, leading to a more successful sales funnel.
Negative posts on competitors’ sites should be passed along to the sales team. These unhappy customers give your salespeople a chance to highlight how your company is better than the competitor.
If you have the budget, hire a chief customer officer who will be responsible for maintaining focus on customers across the marketing, sales, and service departments. Improve the relationship between your teams to provide a customer-focused experience and increase overall revenue.
2. Improve Customer Experience Touch Points
Nowadays, digitally savvy customers have higher expectations. Your business should revolve around customer needs instead of your company’s internal processes. Create more potential touch points to improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction. While not every customer wants to be in contact every day, or even week, providing the opportunity demonstrates that you value the customer relationship.
Customers have less brand loyalty than in the past. With hundreds of options available, most customers shop for the best price and greatest convenience in a service or product. Tailoring your touch points is another way that you can build rapport with clients.
Provide touch points that are customized to the client’s requested communication method (email, phone, or in person) to improve the customer experience and foster a stronger bond. This strong relationship will help you weather more difficult sales periods and lead to more revenue from repeat customers and potential referrals in the future.
3. Offer Complementary Products and Services
Changing your sales focus to a customer-service-oriented approach helps you discover what the client really needs. Listen to your customers to find out what services and products they are looking for—ones that may be related but outside your core service offerings.
If the market is there and you have the ability, you should be offering these complementary services. Otherwise, you are practically handing potential business to your competitors. By talking to your customers and asking questions about their business needs, you can provide personalized solutions that deepen and extend your customer relationship while also growing the bottom line.
When practicing your sales techniques, don’t be afraid to go for the upsell. These customers are interested in working with you or they would not be talking to you. Give them all the information they need to make an informed decision about which services will help them the most. If you think a previously unmentioned service could provide value to their business, craft your pitch to answer their concerns and highlight the positive attributes of the service. Once a client sees the benefits of your product or service, they will have trouble turning it down without at least considering your proposal.
4. Help Your Customers Sell to Their Customers
Customers once referred businesses when they were satisfied, but this does not happen as frequently today. This hallmark metric of customer satisfaction is a sign that the business world has changed. Customers rely more on Google searches than word-of-mouth when looking for services and products. Quick research provides information on every industry and highlights the most trusted companies.
The shift to Internet reviews means you need to actively work for customer referrals. Provide your customers with shareable information that can be passed on to friends and coworkers. Short PDF fact sheets or creative reference brochures are a great way to make sure your customers can easily share your company message and increase sales leads.
5. Strengthen Immature Sales Methodologies and Processes
Without consistent and well-adopted processes and methodologies, impacts to sales performance are significant. Standardizing your company processes helps you sharpen your goal focus and improve your overall sales conversion rate. By reinforcing your sales team’s training, you maintain a consistent brand voice and solidify your sales process.
While proper company protocols are important, it is equally important to know how to use your existing sales technology and software. Get the most out of your software by training the entire sales team to use it. Base any future training on accurate and complete data compiled from your sales team’s reviews of the software. Knowing how to use all the tools available keeps your sales team on top of their game and increases their ability to track and close more sales.
6. Analyze and Improve Talent Acquisition and Development
During the hiring process, dedicate more time to competency testing to make sure that your new salespeople have what it takes to succeed. A new hire is a big investment for your company; make sure that you hire the right people for the job or you will have to start the process over again in the near future. When you have a team of qualified salespeople that are good at what they do, you improve your chances of higher revenue for the company.
In addition to hiring the right people, you need to provide everything that your employees need to succeed. This means doing more than just enrolling your sales team in a weeklong training class. Your company needs to constantly reinforce training and incorporate the newly learned practices into the daily sales process. By focusing on perfecting training, your team learns how to reproduce a successful selling cycle.
7. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Although risky for your bottom line, consider offering your customers a sales guarantee. For example, stipulate in a contract that if you do not reach the goals agreed to between both parties, you would offer a percentage refund or discount on future services.
By putting some of your own skin in to the sales game, your clients see that you believe in your product or service so much that you are backing it with a guarantee. This increases their trust in your relationship and can lead to future business with the customer. By promising customer satisfaction, you build a stronger business bond.
Once you shift your perspective on the sales process, you discover that there are many other approaches to sales that may actually be more effective than traditional methods. With online reviews and offers, the sales cycle is constantly evolving. Getting out of your comfort zone teaches you new sales techniques that have the potential to increase your sales exponentially. Try some of these tips to shift your sales focus and drive new revenue for your company.