Posts Tagged ‘Sales’

How to Sell More in Less Time

Small businesses waste a lot of time selling to the wrong people. As a result, their company either does not grow or their sales drop. Here are 3 ways to improve their sales yield:

1. Focus on the right prospects. People only buy when they are in pain and have money to solve that pain. Every prospect should be asked:

  • What pain does your company need to solve?
  • What is the cost of that pain to your company? (or What will it cost your company if the pain is not solved?)
  • Who in your company can make the decision to solve that pain? (or Who has the money in their budget to solve the pain?) 

Many sales people make the mistake of not getting these questions answered up front and waste time with non-buyers masquerading as prospects. 

2. Be there when prospects are ready to buy. Companies actually don’t sell their products or services, but rather customers buy from them. As a result, companies need to be there when prospects are ready to buy. They need to be found and put into the “maybe pile” when a customer is making a decision. In order to achieve this, every small business owners needs to establish long term relationships with clients by offering them valuable knowledge at least monthly that showcases the company’s brand. For example, a dentist may send information on how patients should floss their teeth or a comparison of toothbrushes. Remember, this is not marketing communication that sells product, but a friendly offer of knowledgeable help.

3. Practice the rapid release strategy. Any company can reduce their selling time by 90% and improve their sales yield by only focusing on customers that are ready to buy. Many prospects say yes to a company and then never respond to complete the sale. These people should be contacted a few more times and then put back into the marketing funnel. Sales people waste a lot of time “hoping” these “closed” prospects will contact them and get started. They get stuck here and stop looking for new prospects to meet their sales targets. If they have not heard from the prospects after several calls or contacts, they need to be let go and move on.

How does your company improve its sales yield?

Do You Walk Your Talk in Business?

More than ever before, people are inundated with all kinds of fancy marketing campaigns, tactics, offers and strategies via online media, print media, television, telemarketing and even billboards in just about any place that you can imagine (I have even seen ads in restroom stalls!). Businesses put lot of time, money and effort into these over the top advertisements and offers, each seemingly trying to capture the increasingly elusive attention of potential customers.

Don’t get me wrong; getting the word out about your business is extremely important, because as I always say, if you don’t have customers, you don’t have a business. And having some kind of flashy gimmick may help your business break through the noisy, overcrowded marketplace. But while your slick new offer or campaign may get someone to walk through your door or purchase from you one time,  if your products or services aren’t up to par and you can’t meet (or exceed) the expectations of that offer for that new customer, they won’t ever purchase from you again. And they definitely won’t tell all of their friends and family to purchase from you either. 

bullhorn-guyEven worse, if you really can’t back up the offers or assertions that you put forth in your marketing campaigns, that unsatisfied customer will tell everyone that will listen about their bad experience. And with internet comments, reviews and tweets so prevalent now, that one bad experience can multiply into a storm of negativity with worldwide ramifications, far beyond the scope of someone just telling a few of their local friends or family members, like what was the case in the past. This can be a huge disaster for any company and is extremely difficult to overcome, not to mention just bad business overall.

And this isn’t just true for marketing. It goes for live events, conventions and conferences, too.  You may think that bringing in a big name host, entertainer or speaker will be enough draw people to your event and make a big splash. But if that individual doesn’t do a good job or doesn’t deliver useful content to the audience, your event will suffer the same negative consequences of not living up to attendees’ expectations. And once those negative comments and reviews get out, it’s nearly impossible to get people to attend your future events or do business with your company, whatever your ultimate goal for the event was.

So, no matter what your offering is, make sure that you put your energy and focus on creating the absolute best product, service or experience that you can. Approach it from the perspective of what your target customers truly want and need. That way, when you craft your marketing campaigns and offers, you can really back up your claims with confidence.  This will keep your customers happy and coming back for more. And these happy, repeat customers are the real key to a successful business.

Did you have a bad experience with a marketing campaign or offer that didn’t deliver what it promised?  Please share it below.

Nextiva Tuesday Tip: How to Motivate Your Salespeople

When it comes to managing employees, your salespeople are a special breed. Dealing with rejection day in and day out is tough, so it’s important that you are your sales team’s biggest cheerleader. Need help motivating your salespeople? Try these tips:

  1. Money matters. The salary, commission and bonus plan you offer is a key motivational tool—but what combination works best? While a commission-only approach can be motivating, it also tends to decrease teamwork. Straight salary, on the other hand, removes motivation and creates “coasters.” You’ll typically get the best results offering a base salary plus commission. Quarterly or year-end bonuses can be an additional motivator.
  2. Offer extras. Non-cash incentives like prizes, trips or gift cards are good motivators and help foster healthy competition among the sales team. You can keep costs down by bartering with vendors and suppliers to get incentives.
  3. Create “stretch” goals. Goals should be neither too easy to attain nor so hard that salespeople get discouraged. Aim for “stretch goals” that require just enough effort to build new skills.
  4. Be clear. Put the details of how commissions, bonuses and incentives are earned in writing and make sure every salesperson understands what he or she needs to do to attain the rewards. You don’t want disappointment and resentment.
  5. “How’m I doing?” You or your sales manager needs to provide ongoing feedback or salespeople won’t improve. Make sure criticism is combined with suggestions for how to sell better. Sharing positive feedback and praise in public (such as at sales meetings) is a great motivator.
  6. Know your team. Different salespeople are motivated by different factors. Instead of using a “one-size-fits-all” approach, tailor your feedback, rewards and interactions to each individual for best results. For instance, one person might be more motivated by tickets to a sporting event, another by an afternoon of comp time.
  7. Help them grow. Ongoing training such as that offered by sales or industry organizations is a great way to show your salespeople you value them—and motivate them to try the new tactics they learn. You can also have more experienced salespeople on your team mentor novices. 


The Double Helix Trap

Don't let your business get caught in the Double Helix Trap! Grow your customer base steadily and consistently with these tips from author and speaker Barry Moltz. It only takes 5 minutes a day:

3 Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

A well-thought-out marketing strategy will attract clients to your business; a strategy with holes in it will allow customers to seep through the cracks. Here, Josh Turner, a marketing expert and founder of Linked University, a consulting firm that helps small businesses market on LinkedIn, offers his top three marketing mistakes to avoid.

Engaging in an empty social media campaign

You want your company to have a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, so you sign up and start posting. You fail to regularly check comments on your updates, re-tweets and follows and then wonder why leads aren’t flooding into your inbox. Does this sound familiar?

“If this describes your social media practices, don’t worry because you are not alone,” says Turner. “I think a lot of companies are misled to believe that if they just get on social media, potential customers will come their way. That is simply not the case.”

Instead, Turner recommends small business owners develop a clear strategy linking social media marketing activities and sales outreach. As long as the two are working together (i.e. sales is alerted and follows up when a positive comment is left on Facebook, etc), success should follow.

Failing to add real value

Think back to your last client-facing email newsletter. What did it contain? Did it describe your latest and greatest products? Your company’s most recent awards received? Maybe your latest big client landed? While all of those pieces of information are important for internal use, they create an annoying, snooze-fest of a newsletter for clients.

“You don’t want to seem too promotional with your marketing,” says Turner. “You need to make sure that you are providing real value. Instead of pushing your brand all the time, try offering your clients a helpful white paper on their industry and other resources to help them do their jobs better.”

Creating a stark division between marketing and sales

Marketing and sales should not be viewed as separate functions, according to Turner. Instead, the two roles should be complementary.

“The most effective companies are those that use marketing to nurture suspects and sales to help make those suspects into prospects,” he says. “Don’t do different things in your marketing and sales departments and just wait for the phone to ring. Use those roles in tandem for the best results.”



Nextiva Logo

phone-icon Sales phone-icon Support
Nextiva is the leader in Business VoIP Services. Copyright 2015 Nextiva, All Rights Reserved,
Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Patents Sitemap