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How to improve your sales

How to Improve Your Sales

To improve the sales in your business, focus on the customers and shift to increasing sales performance rather than profit. This is the first word of advice any sales experts would give you. If you want to boost sales and don’t know how, here are 9 awesome ways to do just that:

1. Focus on the existing customers

If you want to improve sales, you should shift your focus from attracting new customers to makingthose who have already tried out your products or services to buy again and learn how to maintain all the buyers. According to sales and marketing professionals from LeadBridge Partners, the best sales prospects are those you have already transformed into existing customers rather than a total stranger.

If you focus on your proven customers, you are able to increase and boost your sales dramatically. Marketing can certainly affect the sales, but it cannot solely lead to increased sales because you only focus on new customers and forget to maximize the already existing customers.

2. Learn about competitors

You should analyze what the competitors offer and learn new techniques, thinking of ways to outdo them. Competition is the challenges and an opportunity to boost your sales especially if you use their weakness and maximize your strengths.

3. Innovation and unique products

The customers should not leave your business with some products or services but should be fully satisfied. It is important to make the customers prefer your business to other by maximizing on quality, unique and innovative products that can outdo similar production the market.

4. Cultivate value

The best way to boost your sales to create and cultivate value in all ways such as staff training increased value products among others. Creating an atmosphere of value setting helps to attract and retain the existing customers at all seasons.

5. Build a customer service approach

Building a comprehensive resource center and customer service is a great way to give the clients access to a diverse range of the products and services that you offer. Additionally, you should Monitor your brands and in case of complaints, address the issues quickly in a timely manner. The customers need to feel appreciated and welcomed to the business always.

6. Customer relations

One way of boosting sales is through increased customer relation and maximizing on the available customers in a genuine manner the staff should learn how to treat the employees in a special and appreciated ways to maintain those who have come to your business.

7. Promotion

The promotions and marketing give the customers a great deal of existence of the products or services in the market. In some instances, discounts give the customers the ability to try your products. The promotion can give way to attract more customers and at the same time maximize the number of existing users. In some instances, you can offer free samples.

8. Marketing

Marketing is a definite way that helps to boost sales. Through marketing, the products and services, which are unique and of high quality mainly capture the attention of customers and in the process, make them esteemed consumers. The customers are the only options that can help you boost the sales. Marketing can also involve rewarding of the customers.

9. Provide credible products

Credibility is the one of the key factors that makes the customers trust and feel comfortable with your products and services. Use techniques such as advertisements to enhance your credibility in your sale. For example, use of customer testimonials and online marketing aid in raising customers trust on your products. In the process, you boost your sales.

What to Do When Sales Slump or it’s Simply a Slow Day

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How to Improve Your Sales

Image by Ellen Lindner © The Balance 2020

If you are a retailer, it’s inevitable — sales will slump. Whether it’s due to forces beyond your control like the city tearing up the street in from of your store or seasonal sales dip or a decline in foot traffic, all retailers will experience a slump in sales at some point. Here are 10 simple ways you and your staff can improve your retail sales slump or if you’re just having a slow day.

Create Your Own Holiday

Most retailers only celebrate the national holidays like July 4th or Christmas. But, people love to celebrate. They love excitement. So why wait for the big holidays? Create a holiday of your own. Consider fun things that your store does or sells and the customers who shop with you and then make a holiday around it. For example, in my shoe stores, we celebrated National Hamburger Day. Granted the only connection was that shoes and burgers are both made from cows, but making an event out of it drew a lot of people.

Advertise More

Just when you may think it’s time to cut back the marketing dollars, you should probably be advertising more. It is wise to increase marketing efforts during slower sales periods because there is more competition and fewer consumer dollars. Consider newspaper ads, magazines, specialty publications and other forms of marketing. One great way to do this is to use remnant advertising. These are spaces in the paper that are “holes” for the local newspaper.   You simply create a branding ad that the newspaper can drop in at its discretion. For example, for our shoe stores, our ad had a headline that said “Feet Hurt? We can help.” We got a ton of traffic off of that ad. The key, though, was that the ad was as much a sales motivator as it was a branding play.

Generate a Buzz

Whenever anything noteworthy happens within your business, send a press release to the media. The idea is to grab any free coverage possible. Get involved with community events. Consider hosting classes, meetings or other networking events in your retail store. Use a unique promotional event to generate a buzz about your business.

Examine Your Pricing Strategy

When purchasing and pricing products, be sure you’ve considered the cost of goods and that your retail shop is able to make a profit at that price point. Your product price should be competitive, but still profitable. Ultimately, the right price is the price the customer is willing to pay for the product.

Design Store for Sales

Take advantage of cross-merchandising strategies and impulse sale opportunities. Use lighting techniques and creative displays to attract customers. Play videos for product education, customer entertainment and any other upsell or promotional tie-in. Involve all of the senses in your visual merchandising. Remember, an energetic store is a magnet.

Connect With the Customer

Excellent customer service is the key to increasing sales. Listen to your customer to understand their needs and wants. Then educate him/her about the products. Finally, let the customer know you appreciate their business. Offer value-added services and products. Create a mailing list by asking for contact information from each customer. Remember, the customer is looking for an experience and not just a product.

Be Social

The easiest, most cost-effective thing you can do is social media. Make sure that you have a steady stream of activity online. Customers who see a flurry of activity from you and then periods of silence know you are only online because sales are down. Use social media to position yourself as the place to shop and buy.

Manage Your Money

This may seem like an obvious step, but as retail operators, we can become too involved in the little details of our business that we lose track of our financials. Create a budget, know where every dime is being spent, keep an eye on cash flow, and control inventory.

Create an Event

Some of our most successful days were during the worst sales periods of the year. We accomplished this by partnering with a local charity and creating an event in our store. For example, we did a weekend event in February (usually a dead month for us) that had our stores as the drop-off point for baby care products like diapers and lotions to be used at the local shelter. A local charity, Baby Love, provided products and services to infants of homeless parents. We gave a 20% discount for every donation and we did this discount when they brought their donation into the store and not as a “bounce back” coupon for later. We built credibility with our local community, increased our sales and helped some babies in need all at the same time.

Move Outdoors

It is a retail phenomenon that when stores look like something is going on, people will want to check it out. Enter the sidewalk sale. This old but good idea has been around as long as retailers have. Often times, if it was really slow, my stores would move merchandise outside. This created a look as if there was something going on at our store and people would get curious and come check us out. When you do this you get the “passers-by” who normally ignore your store – after all, it’s not on today’s to-do list. But when they see stuff out front, it draws their attention and that can create traffic for you.

We didn’t always make it a sale. Sometimes just moving racks or a table outside was all it took.

Shift your focus to your existing customers

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How to Improve Your Sales

Eileen Bach / Getty Images

Want to increase your sales dramatically? Then shift your sales focus from attracting new customers to enticing your proven customers to buy again. The best sales prospect is a prospect that’s already converted—in other words, one of your current customers.

Think of it this way: If your business is located in a small town with a population of 1,000 people, and you sell a sprocket to everyone in that town, you’ve sold 1,000 sprockets—and saturated your market. Your sprocket-selling days are over. Is it time to pack up and move on?

Not necessarily. If you start focusing your sales efforts on your proven customers, you’ll be able to increase your sprocket sales dramatically. And these sure ways to increase sales will help build customer loyalty, too. Try some or all of these ideas to grow your sales.

1. Set up a Sales Incentive Program

Give your sales staff a reason to get out there and sell, sell, sell. Why do so many businesses that rely on their sales staff to drive sales have incentive programs in place? Because offering their sales staff the trips, TVs, or other big perks for a set amount of sales works. Your sales incentive program should be sweet, simple and attainable.

2. Encourage Your Sales Staff to Suggestive Sell

Essentially, suggestive selling involves adding related products or services to your line and making it convenient and necessary for customers to buy them. Just placing more products near your usual products isn’t going to do much. How can you increase sales? Persuade the customer of the benefit.

3. Give Your Customers the Inside Scoop

If you have a promotion or sale coming up, tell your customers about it. They’ll come back and probably bring some friends with them too, increasing your sales even more. And don’t forget—you can give your customers the inside scoop by emailing, calling them, or posting on social media, too.

4. Tier Your Customers

There should be a clear and obvious difference between regular customers and other customers, a difference that shows your regular customers that you value them. How can you expect customer loyalty if all customers are treated as “someone off the street?” There are all kinds of ways that you can show your regular customers that you value them, from simply greeting them by name to offering regulars extended credit or discounts.

5. Create a Customer Rewards Program

We’re all familiar with the customer rewards programs that so many large businesses have in place. But there’s no reason that a small business can’t have a customer rewards program, too. It can be as simple as a discount on a customer’s birthday or as complex as a points system that earns various rewards, such as discounts on merchandise. Done right, rewards programs can greatly help build customer loyalty and increase sales.

6. Distribute Free Samples

Why do so many businesses include free samples of other products when you buy something from them? Because it can increase sales in so many ways. The customer who bought the original product might try and like the sample of the new product and buy some of it, too. Or they might pass on the sample to someone else who might try the product, like it, and become a new customer. At the very least, the original customer will be thinking warm thoughts about your company and hopefully telling other people about your products.

Increase Sales With Less Effort

Attracting new customers is a good thing. But attracting new customers is not the only way to increase your sales. In fact, it’s the hard way of going about it. Shifting your sales focus to enticing your current customers can encourage repeat sales and generate more business more quickly. Build customer loyalty and you’ll be on your way to big sales growth.

How to Improve Your Sales

As a startup, you know that one of the most critical factors in your roadmap is establishing and optimizing your sales process . Having a well-oiled machine that allows you to identify what is and what is not working is going to be essential if you want to make it into the black. To grow your sales, there are going to be many things you will need to stay on top of. From your marketing and lead generation, to how your train your managers .

Sales Training

Very often, entrepreneurs who are good at understanding how to identify a problem, do not necessarily have the expertise to sell their solution when they enter the marketplace. If you have ever seen shows like Shark Tank or The Profit, you will notice that these businesses are great at creating their product or service, but do not understand how to sell it. Very often, this is why companies hire sales trainers and speakers who can not only teach your sales team, but inspire them to overcome any obstacles that may be in their way. These experts can also guide your managers on how to onboard new hires.

Consumer Demand

Consumers are getting more and more demanding these days, which is why salespeople have to go out of their way to make an appointment or close a sale. Every year, businesses lose their customers due to either poor customer service or failing to meet customer expectations. Increasing sales performance therefore represents a real challenge that must be addressed. Here are ten topics you will need to consider if you want to ensure your sales charts are trending in the right direction:

  1. Defining an effective business strategy

No matter how good your offer is, you need to be on the same page as your target to build trust with them. In principle, your target customer will not be able to remember all the information. It is therefore in your interest to only talk about the essentials, as long as this puts your offers forward. We therefore advise you to highlight three axes during your pitch:

  • The arguments that allow you to stand out from your competitors
  • Solutions to your customers’ problems
  • The relationship between your offers and your client’s objectives

Many corporate leaders will tell you that without a clear strategy, you are dead in the water.

  1. Prioritize your actions

Your marketing campaign should follow a schedule established in advance. This will allow you to put the most important ones through and focus on the priority actions. Scheduling also means delegating certain tasks. It is a method to save time and achieve more productivity. Very often companies get overwhelmed or caught in analysis paralysis because they have not prioritized their efforts.

  1. Know your competitors

Analyzing the positioning of other competitors is important to situate yourself in your economic environment. The Internet today offers you opportunities to see what others have in store. This will go a long way in helping you position your business and identify your business effectiveness. Start by analyzing the presence in the market segments, the size of the company, the positioning of the offers, the profiles of the customers they target.

  1. Attract visitors

The Internet is a source of qualified customers who are all potential sales leads . Consumers who have specific needs go online to find answers to their problems. Your role will therefore be to propose the appropriate solutions to satisfy these needs. In order to attract visitors, you must demonstrate your expertise.

Your site must be optimal and full of relevant information. All of your pages should contain impactful keywords. The information you present must be attractive enough to arouse the interest of Internet users. Take time to interact with visitors or other users on social media.

  1. The conversion funnel

Commercial performance goes through the conversion funnel From the outset, you have to know your target and interact with it. Sending quotes is a good idea so that they go further into the details of your offer.

When you see that your prospects are showing interest in your offer, you must turn them into customers at all costs. Use your calls to action such as landing pages and contact forms. By getting a list of contacts, sort out the qualified leads, that is, those who are likely to respond to your offer, and then write down their needs.

6.Google analytics

At the end of the conversion funnel, you will be able to calculate your conversion rate . If necessary, use Google Analytics. This is the best way to know the origin of your prospects , the time they spend on a specific page of your website. You can then adjust or improve your conversion strategy in relation to the stages of the conversion funnel.

  1. Prioritize tasks according to prospect’s needs

The maturity of prospects is not the same for all of them. The actions you take will depend on the prospect’s behavior at each stage of the conversion funnel: your content must be adapted to their needs .

  1. Control the customer life cycle

A prospect becomes a customer when you are able to take certain parameters into consideration. To be able to control the life cycle of a customer , you have to know when your prospects became customers and by what information processes they got to know you. You must also clearly state your objectives in this area: develop your conversion funnel over a specific period.

  1. Customer loyalty

From the moment you master the lifecycle of your customers, you can then focus on them to improve your business relationship . You can dedicate newsletters, auto responders or even send personalized emails to their birthdays for example.

Your content must be more qualitative than ever. It’s not just about increasing your traffic, it’s about nurturing the customers you have already acquired before.

  1. Refer to performance indicators

These are clues that allow you to better perceive your problems. Any manager must be able to deal with subjects and evaluate the indicators in order to master the entire company. The more relevant and important the indicators, the less difficult the decisions will be.

How to Improve Sales Skills: 6 Proven Techniques

Interested in becoming a sales superstar? Learn how to improve sales skills with these proven techniques. Keep reading.

How to Improve Your Sales

Sales is a fast-paced, competitive field. Sales professionals must learn how to improve sales skills in order to stay relevant, effective, and successful. In a blink of an eye, old sales strategies stop working, new ones are introduced, new competitors emerge, and similar products are released. By staying on your toes and learning how to improve sales skills, you can overcome these challenges and stay at the top of your industry.

No matter who you are, what company you work for, or what you sell, there’s always room for improvement.

Here are some steps you can take to improve your sales performance and ensure your survival in a dog-eat-dog world.

1. Research, Research, Research

Things change quickly in sales. The field is never stagnant. And you must stay on top of new sales trends, best practices, tools, technologies, and selling strategies and methods in order to keep up.

That means becoming an expert in your industry. Make it a priority to always research what’s new in sales, what’s passé, and what you should be doing to stay ahead.

If you don’t adapt with the times, your selling skills will quickly become outdated and ineffective. You must commit to changing your strategies when required. This is key to improvement.

2. Create Goals

Figure out which sales skills you need to improve, and set goals. If you want to get better at selling over the phone, the write down activity goals that you can control, such as calls per day or referrals per call, and work towards your goal. Then, measure and track your progress.

Creating goals can help you focus your attention and energize your action.

3. Work on Your Confidence

What if I were to tell you that you don’t actually need to improve sales skills themselves, you just need to improve your confidence? Many sales people use effective strategies and methods to close deals, but the problem lies in their confidence.

Buyers can see and feel your lack of confidence, and that doesn’t give them confidence in you. Not being sure of yourself can also lead to more selling mistakes, to sales slumps, and to other negative consequences.

When you work on improving your confidence levels and overcoming your fears, you’ll see that your skills will improve as well.

4. Try Out New Methods

There are virtually thousands of different sales strategies that you could try, from prospecting methods and closing strategies to presentation methods and negotiation strategies, and everything in between. If what you’re doing right now isn’t translating into much success and you want to improve your selling skills, try out new methods. Simple trial and error can help you find the right mix of strategies for your personality, your buyers, and your offerings.

5. Use Tools and Tech

There is a wealth of different sales tools and technologies on the market that can help you improve your sales performance. With a little bit of data and intelligence about your buyers and your sales process, you can gain the insights and visibility you need to successfully take your sales skills to the next level.

Plus, using sales tools and tech can eliminate many of the mundane and tedious tasks that take up all of your time, so you have more time to focus on getting better at your job.

6. Focus on the Customer’s Needs

When in doubt, focus on your customers’ needs. If you want to improve your sales pitch or presentation, customize it to your buyers’ pain points. If you want to get better at selling over the phone, focus the conversation on your customers’ wants, desires, and needs. If you want to learn how to improve sales skills, and I mean, pretty much any sales skills, all you have to do is make it about the buyer instead of yourself. Sometimes, that’s all you need to get the sale.

How to Improve Your Sales

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn’t networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.

Every startup wants to get bigger and better, but if your sales process isn’t optimized for conversions, growth, or repeatable business, you’re never going to grow.

Research shows that a structured sales process is a key differentiator of high-performing businesses. However, knowing how to implement and improve a start-up sales process isn’t everyone’s expertise.

In this blog, we’ll cover some of the fundamentals of start-up sales processes, including what yours should look like and actionable tips for perfecting each and every stage.

Definition: What is a sales process?

A sales process is a set of repeatable steps used to turn a lead into a customer, similar to a road map. The specific details of your sales process depend on the products and services you sell.

However, the main steps should look something like this:

  1. Prospecting – finding or attracting leads
  2. Qualifying – connecting with leads and gauging their relevance to your business
  3. Researching – learning more about leads and how you can help them
  4. Presenting – demonstrating your product or service
  5. Overcoming – counteracting any objections or concerns
  6. Closing – finalizing the sale
  7. Repeating – continuing to communicate and sell to the customer

When to focus on your sales process

What came first, the product or the sales process?

The best time to focus on sales is strongly influenced by what you’re selling and where you are in the start-up process. A start-up still building an MVP is hugely different from a start-up going for Series A funding with an established SaaS product.

However, as soon as that first sale is made, you’ve created a sales process – one that you should always be looking to improve.

The key components of an effective sales process

Before looking at the top tips for improving your start-up sales, let’s quickly cover the fundamentals of an effective sales process.

Your sales process should be:

  • Customer-focused – aligned with your customers’ needs and motivators
  • Defined – clearly set out for your sales team
  • Repeatable – easy for your sales team to replicate
  • Predictable – able to generate patterns of customer behavior
  • Goal-driven – tailored for specific goals
  • Measurable – monitored for results
  • Flexible – responsive to changes in the market

If it’s not all of the above, you could be restricting your results.

Tips to improve your sales process

Now let’s get into the good stuff; how to improve your sales process. There are many tips and tricks out there, but these seven steps will get you on the right path to boosting your sales success.

1. Define the right KPIs

Sales process KPIs should tell you how well your sales process is performing overall and at each and every step. This means that you need to measure more than simply your conversion rate.

Common sales process KPIs include:

  • Number of meetings (per account manager)
  • Emails sent to contacts
  • Number of replies from leads
  • How long leads stay in each stage of your sales funnel
  • Signups that interacted with sales

Don’t forget to supplement these with KPIs more specific to your individual process. For example, the percentage of leads who convert after a demo.

2. Analyze your current results

Use these KPIs to analyze your current process and identify any weak points where leads are lost or taking longer than they should to move onto the next stage.

One way to do this is by taking a selection of leads from the past few months, and analyzing the entire sales process, asking questions such as:

  • What stage did leads spend the longest in?
  • What action closed the deal?
  • What action had the most churn after?
  • How many touchpoints were there?

Use this information to identify positive and negative trends that can be used to tweak the process.

3. Redefine your buyer persona

As your start-up grows and finds product-market-fit, it’s fundamental to ensure you’re selling to the right audience.

Keep your buyer persona relevant and updated by identifying your current target customer and researching information on demographics, career, goals, problems, buying process, and decision criteria. The more you know about this person, the easier it is for your sales team to make a connection with them.

4. Map your customer journey

Use your refreshed buyer persona to map their journey as a customer, from awareness and engagement through to consideration and conversion.

This will allow you to understand the sales route from their perspective and to build a process that works in harmony with their journey, creating touchpoints and giving space where needed.

5. Identify “the action”

At each step of the sales process, there will be a specific event that moves leads onto the next stage. Whether that’s a demo, a customer testimonial, or overcoming a certain pain point – every stage will have that magic “action.”

Facebook discovered that if a new user invited 7 friends in 10 days, they were more likely to stay on the platform. Although it’s tricky to declare an end-all “aha” moment, your sales process should reveal insights that show you where to invest more time into (and what to cut).

Use your KPIs, buyer persona, and customer journey to identify “the action” of each stage, and then cement it into your sales process and give your reps the tools necessary to complete and enhance it.

Tip: Ask your leads. There’s nothing wrong with asking someone why they called in, scheduled a demo, or purchased your product. You can even speak to lost leads to find out why they didn’t convert.

6. Automate repetitive tasks

The average salesperson spends 21% of their time writing emails, 17% entering data, 17% prospecting and researching leads, 12% going to internal meetings, and 12% scheduling calls.

One of the quickest ways to improve your sales process is by automating repetitive tasks so that your sales reps have more time to sell.

This can be achieved by:

  • Creating email templates and voicemail scripts.
  • Using a CRM system to record leads, track prospects, and schedule calls.
  • Using an online calendar tool to create appointments and book demos.

7. Document it

For a sales process to bring in repeated success, you must document the magic steps. Create, share, and teach your sales process, covering the main steps and the details within those steps.

  • The information required before contacting a lead
  • When to make contact and what to say
  • Automated email campaigns used
  • What content the rep can use
  • How to overcome common pain points

While your sales process should never be so prescriptive is restricts creative freedom and natural skills, it should provide enough information to guide your sales team in the right direction.

Finally, don’t forget to experiment. The best part of growing a start-up is finding out what works for your business and customers. Experiment with different sales processes and techniques until you find the sweet spot, and reap the benefits with repeatable success.

How to Improve Your Sales

After hours of intensive research, you’ve finally narrowed down three retail suppliers for your eCommerce store. You send a message to all three of them. Of the three, only one of them responds to you instantly. One of them didn’t give you the time they’d respond and the other will get back to you within 24 hours. You signed the deal with the first one even though they had a higher price threshold than the other two, but you were impressed with their promptness and instant availability.

Bottom line? Businesses that don’t respond quickly are losing their sales to competitors.

What is a First Response Time?

Put simply, the time you take to first reply to a customer query or support ticket is called the first response time. The ‘average,’ is the measure of minutes or hours you take to respond divided by the number of email inquiries you or your team have.

For instance, in the past seven days, your teams took 5, 18, 20, 35, 45, 50, and 80 minutes to respond to a customer query.

The average response time for the week will be: 5 + 18 + 20 + 35 + 45 + 50 + 80 = 253 minutes/7 = 36 minutes.

Why Your First Response Time Matters and How it Impacts Sales Conversion

Imagine a customer walking into a store, asking for help in finding a product only to be told to come back later or wait for 24 hours. It’s the same with an online business. If your teams are not instantly available to help customers, you’re losing business fast.

Some important statistics to consider:

  • In a HubSpot report, almost ⅔ of buyers expect a response within 10 minutes to any marketing, sales, or customer service inquiry.
  • In a Klaus report, 50% of email respondents expect a response within at least 24 hours.
  • According to Super Office’s own research on 1000 companies, the average response time was 12 hours and 10 minutes – which is way too long!

First response time impacts your sales conversion rates more than you’d like. Minutes, not hours, drive conversion rates.

Supposing you have one sales rep and you have 10 leads coming in every hour via the web form. If you take 15 minutes to respond to each lead, you’re already covering 4 leads. Assuming each lead can bring you $5,000 in revenue, that’s $20,000 for responding to 4 leads within an hour. Now, if you’re taking 5 hours to respond to one lead…. well, you’ve lost a significant amount of revenue.

Though this example is basic, it illustrates an important point – if you’re not available to capture on an opportunity or a lead, you’re losing more money than you’d imagine.

Why You Need to Measure First Response Time

Measuring your team’s first response time is a way to identify gaps within your process and optimizing it to meet modern customer demands of instant communication. Most companies measure response time based on a superficial average, calculated using CRMs that generate an average value. These values are an accumulative average and do not represent the metrics for individual accounts.

To truly identify the problems within your teams and systems, you’ll need to know how each account performs to each request. You’ll also need to know the average response time to queries within and outside business hours, based on which you can optimize the performance of your teams, decide on whether you need more resources and make critical business decisions (such as hiring sales reps to manage requests from global locations).

Of course, you can’t be manually calculating this on spreadsheets. You need an automated system that generates extensive reports on the performance of each account within your organization. This is where a platform like timetoreply Sales comes in.

How timetoreply Sales Can Help You Measure Sales Team Performance

timetoreply Sales gives you quick, actionable insights into your sales team’s most vital stats, including their first response times. See an example of one of the response time reports below.

How to Improve Your Sales

As you can see, the Average First Reply Time, taking into account business hours is 2 hours and 23 minutes.

If you want to see each one of your sales team member’s first reply times, you can do that too!

How to Improve Your Sales

Here’s a detailed break down of the timetoreply Ratio report. With all of our customers, we see that there is a direct correlation between their first response time and their contact success rate.

How to Improve Your Sales

Measuring your team’s first reply times and contact success helps you improve your sales conversion rates. According to Velocify’s report, lead conversions are 391% higher if you call within a minute of an online inquiry. The timely and quality response of your reps to customer queries or lead inquiries can make or break your business.

How to go about improving your response times?

We detail six ways to improve your team’s response time here. However, it’s important to note that as a team, you should focus on your first reply time.

When a customer sends you a request for help, they may never have dealt with your support team before and may have had poor service experiences with other companies. So your first reply time matters more than any response time, and that is reflected in the correlation between customer satisfaction rates and response times.

Getting a fast, solid, helpful first reply back builds their confidence in your team and your product, and it creates a positive impression that you can reinforce over the rest of the conversation.

When you have already been responsive and helpful earlier in the conversation, your customer will be more understanding about needing to wait for you to get them more complex answers down the line.

How to Improve Your Sales

Every business wants to increase sales: after all, your business cannot survive if it doesn’t make money. However, you may not know how you should increase your sales and draw in more customers. If you’re not sure how to tackle these issues, or if you need ideas, then look over these four points to see how they can help you to improve your sales.

Customer Retention

Many businesses think that they need to focus on gaining new customers if they want to improve their sales. While new customers will help you with your sales, customer retention will increase those numbers even further. This happens because of customer loyalty and conversion to your company, brand and products.

How to Improve Your Sales

If you get new customers, you run the risk of them buying your product and never returning to your business. However, if you focus on customer retention, then those customers will regularly return and spend more money. On top of this, they will tell their friends about your business and get you new customers through referrals.

Automated Software

Some people may question the effectiveness of automated software, but using it in your business can help you to increase sales. This happens because a computer can perform online tasks faster than a human. For example, automated software can send out emails for your email newsletter in a moment while it would take a person a while to fill everything out.

Automated software can handle many parts of your business to make the process easier for customers and strengthen your relationship with them. For example, it can run chat bots at all hours of the day. As you strengthen that relationship, you will increase customer retention and get those increased sales with the help of automated software.

Collect And Analyze Data

If you want to see where your business performs well and the areas where you can improve, then you need to collect data. While it’s near impossible to do on your own, you can use revenue intelligence software to assist you. This way, it can collect the data and let you know the changes that you can make to boost your revenue and sales.

How to Improve Your Sales

As you collect data, you can analyze what you collected. If you notice that certain actions boost your sales, then you know to continue doing those things. However, if something causes your sales to drop, then you know that you should stay away from it. Use this logic and reasoning to help you make informed and effective decisions.

Focus On Your Customers

Your business needs to focus on its customers if you want to improve your sales. Customers determine the amount of money that you make, so you need to make changes that they will like. This includes improving your products, providing better customer service and giving them offers that make the price of your products worth the purchase.

As you focus on the customers and their needs, you can make changes and adjustments that will benefit them. Focus on finding that happy middle ground where you can boost your sales while keeping your customers happy. As you find this balance and work hard, you can turn more of your new customers into returning customers.

How to Improve Your Sales

Conclusion

If your sales stop growing or begin to drop, then you need to look into new techniques that will draw in customers and increase your sales. Make sure to try out these ideas so that you can improve your business, work past your competition and drive up your sales numbers.

How to Improve Your Sales

How To Improve Your Sales Performance

No matter what industry you’re in or how long you’ve been in sales; we all go through sales slumps from time to time.

The fact that you’re reading this article is a good sign, because it demonstrates that you either want to better your sales performance, or share this with someone to help them out too.

Here are some quick and basic guidance to help you improve your sales performance.

How To Improve Your Sales Performance

How To Improve Your Sales Performance #1 – Outcomes

The first thing you need to do in order to make sales quota and succeed at selling, is to get clear on what it is you actually want and need to achieve.

These are personal goals, knowing your metrics and KPI’s, and getting clear on a marketing and sales strategy.

Below are two articles that dive into the sales and marketing strategy to help you do this.

Tip #2 – Use A Proven Sales Process

Are you winging it with your sales, or are you going into each conversation with a step by step system to ensure you have a higher chance of winning?

Many sales professionals and business owners suffer at selling, because they use a technique or strategy one day; and use something completely different another day.

A sales process is important, because it gives both you and your prospect certainty, and it guides you on exactly what to follow to help you win more sales.

Below is a related article to help you learn how to do this.

If you want to learn how to improve your sales performance, it’s absolutely critical that you follow a proven sales process.

How To Improve Your Sales Performance #3 – Listen, Listen & Listen

What separates sales professionals from salespeople; is the amazing ability to listen carefully and ask excellent open-ended questions to learn more about the prospects pain, desires, and end result.

The aim of a good sales process and by asking great open-ended questions, is to guide the prospect to sell themselves on why they need a solution to their problem, versus you doing all the hard work of trying to sell them on your service.

Asking questions that keep your prospect speaking for majority of the time, allows you to control the conversation and sales process, and demonstrates to your prospect that you are showing empathy and truly care.

Tip #4 – Don’t Present Too Soon

One of the common errors made my salespeople and business owners, is that they present their product or service too soon without knowing if they can do the following:

  • Is the prospect qualified?
  • Are they speaking with the decision maker?
  • Do you know their pain; or their desires?
  • What will it mean when they own the solution?

Unless you have the answers to these questions, you can’t present your product or service because you don’t know if you can in fact help them at this time.

In this article on Entrepreneur, we’ve outlined the dangers of “Premature Presentation”, and how it can hurt your sales performance. If you want to learn how to improve your sales performance when presenting, make sure to read the article.

How To Improve Your Sales Performance #5 – Up skill Yourself

If a Doctor did their last medical training 20 years ago and hadn’t done any up skilled training, we’d be concerned about being their patient.

Likewise, if they were a Lawyer or any other Professional.

If you want to be a Sales Professional, you need to put time aside to invest in your sales training, so that you can be up to date on what’s working now, and improve your sales process.

If you’re serious about how you can improve your sales performance, check out the 7 day sales challenge here.

Khabeer Rockley

Khabeer Rockley is a Sales & Business Trainer, and the Founder of The 5% Institute

No matter your budget, there are always ways to increase sales and grow your business. But one of the trickiest aspects is increasing your sales when your budget is tight. Whatever the reasons are, it could be challenging to increase sales while keeping your marketing and advertising dollars under control.

No matter what industry you’re in, it is possible to increase sales. That being said, what worked well a few years ago isn’t good enough today. This is no time for trial and error or order taking; this is a time to sell. Here are some basic steps you can take to improve your sales performance, reduce your cost of selling, and ensure your survival.

4 Ways to Improve Sales

Here are 5 simple ways you can improve your company’s sales.

1. Talk to your current customers

The people who have already bought from you are your best resources for increased revenue. It is far easier to upsell a customer who already is familiar with your work, the quality of your product and services, and has already incorporated aspects of your services into their business.

If you have built a relationship with your customers, and they consider you a trusted partner, then they are likely willing to share current challenges they are facing. By listening, you can easily analyze how you might be able to help them address challenges by offering new or alternative products. This approach allows you to continue to be a good partner while also increasing your revenue.

This is the best way to increase sales.

2. Ask for direct referrals

Your current customers are also a great asset in providing you with client referrals. If you know that a client is satisfied and happy with your products, ask him or her for the names and contact information of other small business owners who might also benefit from working with you.

You can also ask satisfied customers for testimonials and then use those on your website and in sales emails or newsletters. Always be sure to ask permission first when using a customer testimonial.

3. Have limited time sales and/or promotions

Discounting your products may seem somewhat anti productive if you are wanting to increase sales but hear us out.

Offering a slight discount can make your products and services more attractive to a client. Make sure to clearly define the parameters of the sale—including start and end dates—so there isn’t any confusion if the client decides to continue working with you once the promotion ends.

4. Use social media properly

You can easily utilize the power of social media platforms to increase sales.

If you have even a small following on Twitter or Facebook, using social media to promote and tout your product offerings is a great way to raise customer awareness and quite possibly get the phone to ring. Customer testimonials, as mentioned in item #3, are perfect for posting to social media feeds, and can spark interest in your offerings.

Additionally, don’t just view social media as a sales tool, but as an open line of communication.

4. Increase your prices

Again, this may seem like an odd thing to say. Surely higher prices are going to lead to less sales, right?

Well, that depends how you do it.

When you do raise prices, don’t do it quietly. Announce the increase to your current clients. Give them the chance to renew their contracts or purchase products and services before the increase takes place. Raising prices is not something that should be taken lightly. Be sure to analyze the pros and cons of increasing your prices for both the short- and long-term.

One thing you absolutely should not do is suddenly jack up your prices overnight; your clients and/or customers will notice, and they will be unlikely to respond kindly. When done properly, however, increasing your prices can lead to a huge increase in your sales.

It’s Not Too Hard to Increase Sales

It does take time, though.

While the strategies above do not require any cash up-front or a huge amount of effort, they do take time to manifest. Commit yourself and be patient and, over time, you will notice a steady increase in sales.

Are you scratching your head, wondering why your prospects aren’t responding to your emails and calls? You may think you have a strong value proposition, but chances are you can make it even stronger. Sometimes, as a salesperson, you can’t “see the forest for the trees,” and you lose sight of what customers truly want and need.

To improve your value proposition, you’ll want to focus on the “why” instead of the “what.” Of course, you know the benefits of your product or service, but why should customers open their wallets for you? What change will they experience, and how will their lives improve? In this article, we explain how you can start improving your value proposition and increasing your profits.

What is a value proposition?

If this is sounding like so much word salad to you, we’ll do a quick rundown on what a value proposition is and what it’s useful for.

At its heart, a value proposition is simply this: what do you have to offer a potential customer, and why should they spend money on it? Then, you distill this need-versus-cost into a simple mission statement or pitch for potential clients and customers.

In essence, a value proposition should be at the center of every piece of marketing or communication your business does with the outside world.

Ask your current customers about your value

One of the best ways to identify your true value proposition is to ask your past and current customers how you were able to improve their lives.

You can ask informally or through a survey.

If they have statistics to back up their claims, then numbers are even more valuable than anecdotes since you can share them with prospects in case studies and even in casual conversations. Your customers may even tell you something about your product or service that you hadn’t previously considered.

You can even use that customer feedback to improve your own referral program.

Try to predict value based on past data

Do you know how much value your product or service will bring your prospects in the long run based on previous data? If so, you can try to show them how much money or time they’ll save or how much easier their lives will be.

If your company isn’t doing case studies, now is the time. We already talked about asking your customers how your product improved their lives. Now it’s time to collect that data across your entire customer base and organize it into actionable intel. How have profits been improved by using your service? Has there been a consistent average growth in leads or sales? Time saved? Increase in their customer reviews? Greater word of mouth?

Once you have this data across a broad spectrum, you have a possible predictive model to judge future clients, customers, and business against.

Predicting value can be tricky since you don’t want to make promises you can’t keep. However, you can present the data in an honest and transparent way.

How to Improve Your Sales

Recognize the difference between a feature and a value

Features and values are often confused — something your product/service does versus the need it fulfills.

Only hobbyists and other companies in your field are really interested in all of the bells and whistles of your product. In fact, customers generally aren’t interested in your product at all! What customers want is to eliminate a problem in their life, save themselves time on a process, or be titillated by something. Your value proposition needs to find that pain point and target it. This process is sometimes called finding the “voice of the customer” or seeing things from their perspective.

If you’re selling a pizza, for instance, you wouldn’t say “we have bread, sauce, cheese, toppings, all cooked together and served in a convenient carryout box.” Instead, focus on how hungry the customer is and how quickly you can get that pizza to them.

It’s a tough pill to swallow because when you create a product or service, you get excited about it. You spend every day working on it, improving it, making it better. Features are the focus of most of our daily work, so it’s easy to talk about them.

But the job of your value proposition isn’t to wax poetic about how many things your product can do — instead, it’s to remember the customer’s pain point and how your product eases that pain.

Make your value proposition relevant to your customer

Even if you only target customers within a specific demographic, you’ll still have some variations among those prospects. Are you presenting the same exact value proposition to every prospect? If so, you could be missing the mark since every individual has unique needs.

By taking the time to do your research and crafting different versions of your value proposition, you can begin to understand how to optimize it for each situation.

Stop scratching your head about why your value proposition isn’t working and start taking steps to refine it. Once you’re able to personalize your value proposition and back it up with historical data, you’ll feel more confident about sharing it with your prospects.

How to Calculate an Overall Contribution Margin Ratio

When your company’s sales revenue isn’t enough to cover your fixed costs, there are a couple ways to address the problem: increase your sales, or increase the return on your current sales — the percentage of your current sales revenue that you get to keep. The first option is far easier said than done, since many of the factors that determine sales volume are beyond your control. The second option may be more feasible; businesses can often increase their profit margin enough on normal sales to cover an operating deficiency.

Increase the price of the product. Perform comparative research to ensure that you don’t price yourself out of sales by making your product far more expensive than the competition’s, but you do not always have to be priced the same as the competition. If you offer a better warranty or better customer service, make sure you promote that as part of the reason a customer should pay the additional cost for your product. Even a 10 cent increase on a product that you sell 10,000 units of a month will increase your return by $1,000 a month.

Reduce the cost of your product inventory or materials used to produce the products you sell. Talk with your suppliers and see if you can negotiate discounts or lower pricing on inventory items. Check with other suppliers to see if they will offer discounts for changing suppliers. Even the slightest reduction in inventory or material cost can add up to big increases in profit.

Reduce the cost of preparing or selling the product. If you prepare or manufacture products, consider tying workers’ pay to productivity to encourage them to get more done in the same amount of time. If possible, take on some of the preparation work yourself and reduce staff altogether. If your largest expense is the sales team, consider eliminating one sales position and filling that job yourself until the business is back on its feet.

3 Ways To Improve Your Sales Forecasting

Here in San Francisco, during Day 1 of Dreamforce ’13, there’s a large focus on how businesses can and should use cloud-based services to gather more accurate insight out of their data analytics. It’s one of the biggest issues facing today’s fastest-growing businesses. That’s why Adaptive Planning and Salesforce are working together to address this issue, from a financial planning, budgeting, and forecasting perspective.

So if you find yourself struggling to set quotas, create sales budgets, or conduct accurate sales planning when using Excel spreadsheets, or spending too much time managing files and not enough time actually analyzing key metrics, you’re not alone. Many companies are still in Excel hell, buried under multiple spreadsheets for sales forecasting and business data analytics. You’re trying to marry the information from your CRM system with your forecast. But because they’re in different places, it’s difficult to adapt and be responsive to business change. Reps aren’t accountable for their numbers and there is little visibility into the pipeline, so the forecast just isn’t accurate. Adaptive Planning is here to help. Here are three tips that can help you to improve your financial processes and see real results.

How to Improve Your Sales

Click on the banner above to find out how Adaptive Planning providers sales forecasting, quota planning, data analytics, and reporting, completely unified with Salesforce. The result is a higher level of productivity, improved accuracy within financial forecasts, and accelerated quota planning. Adaptive Planning and Salesforce can help you standardize your sales forecasting process and visualize key sales metrics throughout your organization.

1. Connect with your CRM system and drive the forecast based on your pipeline. More than 75 percent of the best-in-class provide enterprise-wide insight into the size, timing, and stage of deals, giving an on-demand view of where the business is going. This helps stakeholders with their corporate budgeting, hiring, and project plans, which can lead to improved accuracy in cash flow forecasting.

2. Visualize sales trends and metrics frequently, then update your forecast in real-time. A central repository with key metrics is critical. Giving reps instant insight to attainment vs. plan and overall performance enables them to answer “how am I doing?,” on their own , in real-time. The ability to visualize trends quickly and easily also positively impacts the forecast.

Say you forecast a specific opportunity to close this month. If that opportunity has actually been delayed one month, you can update your forecast accordingly. Without a centralized repository, your users wouldn’t be able to do this – and your forecast accuracy diminishes.

3. Create a standardized process that leverages the right technology. It is critical for finance teams to develop a standard framework to managing pipeline and quotas. Why? This ensures that your efforts are actually effective and drive value for the business. If your efforts are not effective, you’ll know it. Then you’ll be able to adjust your focus on activities that do actually work.

Best-in-class are able to leverage their CRM system and weigh opportunities based on probability, then integrate that data with their planning system, leading to more accurate financial forecasting. They’re also using quota and territory management applications to set realistic quotas. The average cost to replace a B2B sales rep is $35,360. That’s not a trivial number, so it’s important that you plan carefully and ensure that sales reps have achievable quotas so they’re engaged and driving profit for the enterprise.

Follow Shauna Steib, @ShaunaSteib, and Adaptive Planning, @AdaptivePlans, on Twitter for more planning, budgeting, and forecasting tips.

How to Improve Your Sales

This is the beginning of a new era of business and marketing. AI is being added to nearly every software and is quickly being ingrained into everyday life. If you want to improve at sales and grow your business, then you need to learn about how AI is changing the game and how you can use it to improve your profits. This will go over AI, successful business practices, and multiple tips to help you improve your sales performance.

Business Trends with AI

AI is already improving many business practices. You have already received AI-crafted emails and communications, but you probably didn’t know it. For example, Netflix and similar providers are known for using AI because it makes powerful emails that people pay attention to.

In this case, you may have noticed that your emails are accurately tailored to your interests. You’ll be told when new episodes of your favorite shows are released or when interesting new shows are added. This is because these emails are almost entirely crafted by AI that is watching what you like and responding.

This allows businesses to accurately target each person individually. There has never been segmentation to this degree until now. While humans are still doing some of the marketing work, more and more is being shifted to AI.

It also helps with sales and determining when someone is ready to sign. AI can send relevant emails at the best times based on when people read emails and when they engage most. It can also craft headlines that people pay attention to and will know when someone needs one more push to sign a major contract.

The lesson is that AI is helping businesses succeed by better targeting each individual client and customer. Other common uses include personalized advertising, chatbot creation, automated file updating, and fraud detection.

Successful Business Practices

AI helps with the most fundamental business practices. The most successful tenants of business include commitment, clarity, accurate information, and engagement. AI frees people up to think more about their clients. It’s a tool that lets employees do what’s right for their clients, which is essential for a successful business.

Not only that, but AI captures accurate information to a far deeper level than any other system. This software can interpret people’s actions and determine what they need to make a sale. With this information in hand, you can better engage your clients to keep them happy.

Successful Revenue Management

Revenue management comes down to doing everything right. This means selling the right product or service to the right client, at the right time, at the right price, and through the right channel. That might sound a little neurotic to get so many things right, but that’s what every business is striving towards. From restaurants and hotels to retail stores and wholesalers.

In your sales position, you must know your clients and determine the right time to push for sales and what products or services to pressure them with. That’s where automation and accurate information comes into play. It is imperative that you understand your client inside and out. The truth is that you can only do so much on your own, but AI can help push your abilities that much further.

How Revenue Intelligence has Changed Sales and Marketing

Revenue intelligence technology is the next step in understanding your clients and getting to the heart of what they need. People can only observe so much, and most existing systems are only capturing a small amount of data. Revenue intelligence systems are able to capture more data about your clients and can draw accurate conclusions based on their interactions. It can help determine when they’re ready to buy and what they’re most likely to buy.

Aside from better targeting each individual client, this also improves profit and allows a business to do what clients want and not what they think clients want.

How to Improve Your Sales

How AI Helps Better Understand Customers

Previous data collection systems would only capture information about people and nothing else. While making a spreadsheet based on what someone buys and when might be useful, it’s far from accurate. This tells you what someone does, but not why they do it. The second part is far more important if you want to improve your sales figures.

AI pushes client understanding into why territory because it explores why people do certain things and forecasts from there. It notices that people commit certain actions at certain times, that they buy certain items after engaging with certain marketing, and all of this helps AI to understand clients on a deeper level.

Understanding someone is great, but now you have to use this information to improve sales. AI can even help with this if you know how to use it.

How AI Enhances Sales and Customer Understanding

As discussed in the last section, AI helps you understand your clients on a deeper level. It’s the next leap in capturing information because it can accurately forecast what people will do. Not only that but the more information AI receives from a client, the better it understands them. For example, if a client does something completely unexpected, then the program will seek to understand why someone did that.

If you understand someone better, then you’ll know exactly what buttons to push when it’s time to make a sale. AI will tell you the best time, approach, product, and all other associated information you need to properly target the client. This makes AI the best weapon in your arsenal for improving profits and getting people to buy more than ever.

AI gives you a deep peek into why a certain person buys products and how to go about selling to them in the most effective way possible.

Conclusion

AI is spreading into every software and will soon be a part of daily life. Business is embracing this technology because it helps you understand why people buy and to individually market to each client. If you want to drive profits more than ever and improve your sales performance, then it’s time to use AI revenue intelligence.

Answer the questions below and see how your organisation stacks up against 2015 industry benchmarks. Then read the seven tips to improve your sales process.

How much time do you spend on-boarding a new sales rep?

The industry average is about 6‐7 months. Getting new employees up to speed quickly is key to a strong sales organization. However, few organizations have mastered the quick on-boarding process. Here is one trick we’d recommend:

Tip 1. Develop a buddy system. Pairing a new employee with a seasoned employee allows new employees to ask questions, see how process works first hand, and dramatically reduces their on-boarding woes.

What percentage of your sales team’s time is spent on selling vs. other activities?

Time spent on sales – 35.7%
Time spent on lead gen – 21.8%
Time spent on post sales – 18.5%
Time spent on admin tasks – 14.8%
Time spent on other tasks – 12.1%

A further dive reveals “paperwork activities” are the area in a sales person’s job where they could free up more time for selling. It accounts for 5 hours of each day. Paperwork is a key component of the sales process, but inefficiencies aren’t. To increase your time selling, and decrease your time on other activities, follow these tips:

Tip 2. Be creative in how you encourage your sales reps. For example, sales leaders could use a #sell90 tag to remind sales reps to focus 90% of their day on selling within social channels or even within internal emails.

Tip 3. Leverage technology systems that allow you to integrate your sales, services and marketing for greater productivity. This enables tasks like paperwork to be completed once and then synced seamlessly across devices and platforms.

How do you measure sales performance and compensation?

74% of companies use a CRM system but 59% of sales execs admit their processes need improvement. 26% of companies still don’t have a CRM system in place. However, implementation of CRM systems is a key factor in overall sales success.

Tip 4. Leverage the technology you already have. Many CRM systems work with the technology you already have like email and collaboration tools. See how you can do this by contacting our CRM expert to get some more ideas.

Tip 5. Learn from your peers. There are many tricks and tips that exist in the industry already, check out this LinkedIn group of 80,000+ CRM experts to discover some of the best ideas.

Which metrics do your sales execs use to determine which sales reps need more coaching?

Pipeline activity – 74.9%
Previous performance – 65.9%
Close ratio – 60.5%
Key account tracking – 35.0%
Past forecast & accuracy – 33.2%
Average deal size – 26.9%
Average deal slippage – 22.9%
Competitive threat – 12.6%
Other – 6.7%

You might know which metrics to track for your company, but a better question might be how actionable are your data? 85.2% of sales execs say not enough accuracy in tracking data is one of their biggest barriers to more accurate sales forecasting. There are a few key best practices in making data faster and more actionable.

Tip 6. Take time to strategically define taxonomy and tagging systems for data inputs. This keeps your data organized and allows you to turn to the numbers with confidence. For example, how will you track “average deal slippage?” And how would you avoid data duplication?

Tip 7. Consider how usable your technology actually is. If your technology doesn’t work with the ideas and systems your sales reps already know, you’ll set yourself up for battles against that technology.

How to Improve Your Sales

Your sales pipeline is the lifeline of your business. Keeping it healthy is crucial to keeping your sales going. You need to be on top of your pipeline.

Here are four ways to improve your sales pipeline for a better sales experience:

Prospecting continuously

If you or your team slow down on prospecting your pipeline will start to shrink. This can happen when your team becomes complacent or when targets are set too low. When the team becomes complacent, they will take their foot off the gas in terms of prospecting and professional development.

While you might meet your sales targets this month and next month, but down the road, your shrunken pipeline will impact your revenue. Prospecting continuously will help your pipeline stay healthy, efficient and protect your sales revenue.

Efficient follow-up process

Following up on inbound sales leads should be ingrained in your sales team, but the majority of inbound leads are never followed up. Following up on leads will build a robust pipeline of prospects and grow your sales. To develop an effective process on how to follow up on inbound sales leads, you must understand where the leads are coming from.

You need a develop an efficient follow-up process so that you stay in touch with customers and prospects. It is so simple to stay in touch by email, phone or video call. Your follow-up process should prioritise customers who are likely to repeat purchase.

Keep your pipeline clean

A clean pipeline is a healthy pipeline. There are times when you need to remove a deal from the pipeline; when the customer buys from your competitor when they go quiet, or they are dragging on. Although we will always advise a salesperson to check back in with these prospects occasionally, they shouldn’t stay in your pipeline. To keep the pipeline healthy, you should have a timeframe for removing deals from your pipeline.

You should have a pipeline clean up once or twice a year. Remove any deal that isn’t progressing.

Keep all of your CRM data up to date.

Track everything

As we all know, numbers don’t lie. The most important metrics are the number of deals, sales speed, the value of your pipeline and average deal size. Out of all of these, the speed that deals move through your pipeline is what dictates health.

Pipeline mistakes are avoidable and can be quickly fixed. But only if you are watching it. Every sales manager should keep an eye on the health of your pipeline. Identify issues early and safeguard your sales revenue.

We understand the demand for quality leads and the need for your team to meet those demands. We are here to help and add value by finding tangible, highly qualified leads where we have secured a date and a time for an appointment. These individuals are in your target audience, at the right decision-making level and have an interest in your solution. Taking away this pressure from your Sales team allows them to focus their time on closing deals and generating revenue.

The Official Site of Jon Allo

How to Improve Your Sales

Can You Improve Your Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is a tool guideline that helps you visualize where your prospects may make a purchasing decision.


Visually, a sales funnel is a graphic that is wide at the top because prospects with all level of engagement enter there, leading to the most engaged ones channeled through the various levels of the funnel, onto the bottom of the funnel where they have been turned into sales and repeat customers.

It’s easier to visualize the funnel stages by looking at an actual sales funnel chart. There are How to Improve Your Salesvarious marketing techniques you can use to improve your sales funnel at each stage of the process.

4 Main Sales Funnel Stages

  1. Engagement (establishing a relationship)
  2. Educate (building the relationship)
  3. Convert (turn prospects into paying customers)
  4. Re-engage (build loyalty and generate repeat business)

FREE Checklist: Create An Effective Sales Funnel

Increase Conversions

Your goal is to keep customers coming back and buying from you again. People can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist. They won’t buy from you if they don’t trust you. To improve your sales conversion strategy you have to work at promoting your brand in order to establish your business as an industry leader.

The most common awareness stage tactics for attracting new prospects and establishing authority are:

  • Blogging

You can write about anything related to your product or industry. Don’t be afraid to include even loosely related topics. For example, if you sell privacy fencing, it’s highly likely that your website’s visitors will have an interest in backyard barbecues.

  • Social Networking and Publishing

Consumers today rely on their social networks to find advice, referrals, and reviews. They expect a business to be available for questions on Facebook and Twitter and look for tutorials and how-to’s on Pinterest and YouTube. They also want a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your business on Instagram. Social proof builds trust and helps increase conversions.

  • Pay-Per-Click Campaigns

Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns allow you to pay websites for sharing your advertisement. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad or by the number of impressions your ad receives. You can use PPC campaigns to drive traffic to landing pages where you’ll convert prospects by capturing their email addresses.

Get Their Email Address

Once someone has become familiar with your business, engage with them. Encourage them to make small commitments to your business even before they’re ready to purchase.

The best way to do this is to offer a lead magnet which helps solve their problems in exchange for their email address. A lead magnet is essentially a valuable bribe offered to a visitor in exchange for their contact information. Small commitments like this build to larger ones, like ultimately purchasing your product.

Landing Pages

A landing page is a page on your website with content that addresses one specific problem. It should include a single call to action. Its entire purpose is to capture your prospect’s contact information or make a sale. A specific landing page and call to action is much more relevant to your visitor’s needs than the homepage on your website, and is more likely to convert.

Calls to Action

For every page of your website, ask yourself, “What do I want this reader to DO?” Do they need to call to set up an appointment? Complete a contact form? Download a checklist or report? Watch a video? Decide the action you want your customer to take and add a clear call to action multiple times on the page.

Email

You can begin to educate prospects about your business and build trust using a simple email. For example, send an automated email to subscribers with answers to the 10 most frequently asked questions about your service. If you’re not doing any email marketing yet, now is the time to get started.

Autoresponder Series and Drips

Drip marketing is a strategy that sends, or “drips,” a pre-written set of email messages to customers or prospects over time. When done well, an autoresponder series can move a customer through the crowd and committed sales funnel stages, leading directly to a purchase.

Make the Sale

To improve your sales funnel you have to encourage your customer to buy. The average customer needs to be offered a product or service 7 times before they’re ready to purchase. Give your customer clear opportunities to purchase and do it often.

Free Checklist: Improve Your Sales Funnel

If you’re looking for ways to improve your sales funnel, the tips above will help. When you create an effective sales funnel strategy it puts your business on autopilot and consistently turns prospects into paying customers if you structure it the right way. To learn more, you can download my free Sales Funnel Checklist which outlines how to convert customers into sales to produce the results you want for your business.

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Sales skills are fundamentals in today’s business world. Every positions require a sales driven mind as companies need to be more and more customer centric. Even if we heard a lot about inbound marketing nowadays, selling is still what bring you direct revenue and need to be done the right way.

Learn right now the 3 best practices to improve your sales

Invest in a combination of before-sales needs analysis.

Top performers invest a lot on the before sales analysis to save them time and be more cost efficient. The best BDR spend twice much time on before sales needs analysis than the others. Selling means selling a product/service/idea to a targeted audience that meet specific characteristics. Those characteristics are defined in your buyer persona stage. Salespersons who can challenge their customers to think differently about their business and offer them a constructive analysis appear to be 3 times more likely to perform better than the others (the “ Challenger Rep ). Do your research about your customers using social media websites. Your customer are over there and put very important data about their needs, buying behaviour and buying journey. The best way to extract those data is to use a lead generation software. The best software on the market extract accurate data on targeted social media and make them exportable to various CRM Modern prospecting.

Best sales person strategize their selling approach

Selling to a customer is a process of asking (questions), listening (answers) and arguing. You cannot convince your customer if you did not ask questions and listen their answers. When the 2 first step are done then you convince him your product will solve his biggest needs. For the convincing stage you need to define what is the core value of your product, your competitive advantages and you need to find innovative ways to overcome customer objections.

Salespeople spend more time preparing their pitch and arguments than presenting their solution. Nowadays strategizing is the key success factor of a great sales pitch.

Top performers stay close to customers even after sales

The best sales persons continue to nurture relationship with customers even after closing the deal. You close one deal, Great! Have you covered all needs of your customers? No! They are infinite. The best is to ask your customer about your performance. Stay close to him and ask his feedback. Create a form where you ask him about what you did great, and what you can improve. Your customers have maybe the key to boost your business by creating new opportunities.

You can as well ask him if he has new challenges, goals, and needs uncovered. You close one, you definitely do better.

Buyers are looking to learn something new and useful, and they expect salespeople to come to the table with some real insight about their business. Align your customer with a strategic-partnership approach and stay in touch with them even after the deal.

Sales skills need constant work. With a new year of prospecting, of winning and closing coming up, with new targets, salespeople need to think about where they can improve and how to get ready for the new year.

According to Rain Group, a global sales training organization, with the right training, closure rates can increase as much as 15% and profit margins on deals closed can go up 12%.

Every salesperson will have different challenges. Or areas where they know they aren’t as confident as they want to be. Whether training is done formally, with the help of a training organisation, or with a manager acting as a mentee, now is a great time of year to sharpen the skills that will help improve win rates in 2020.

5 ways you can improve sales skills for long-term success

#1: Better qualifying questions

How well, or not, you qualify a lead makes a massive difference.

Getting on well with a prospect, having a conversation full of energy and enthusiasm can break up a dull day. However, it won’t move the needle and get you closer to hitting targets if a prospect isn’t a good fit. In order to work this out, you need to qualify them.

There are dozens of out-of-the-box questions you can use, in almost any scenario, for any potential client. The trick is finding the right questions to align around the needs of your process and the sort of clients you want to win. Here are a few examples of questions that work well in a range of scenarios:

  1. What problem are you trying to solve?
  2. What roadblocks have you encountered trying to solve it so far?
  3. What happens if it isn’t solved?
  4. Do you have a budget for a solution?
  5. What kind of timescale are you hoping for a resolution/ROI?
  6. What do you personally gain or lose if this is solved, or isn’t solved?

Qualifying leads is about identifying challenges, understanding what is at stake, making sure there is a budget (and owner/C-suite support) and getting a clear handle on how important this is to a potential client.

If you have a lot of leads that never go anywhere, it could be that they aren’t being qualified effectively. Asking the right questions and practicing active listening would go along way towards solving these problems.

#2: Improved follow-up process

Following-up is one of the least enjoyable, but most important skills salespeople can practice. You need to get good at it.

More often than not, a lead won’t covert straight away. Nor will they convert on the 2nd or 3rd follow-up, either. Persistence always pays off.

We recently published an article on this, including templates for a range of scenarios, such as sending an email after a trade show or leaving a voicemail. * > Link to article #2

#3: Make everything a process

Alongside improving how you follow-up, have you given much thought to the process you follow? Do you have a process?

In sales, it’s too easy for everything to get overwhelming. Juggling calls and meetings and demos. Sending dozens of emails and messages, even texts to prospects, depending on the methods of contact they prefer. Everything can get awfully busy!

Thinking about how you work, and how to work more effectively can help you implement a working process to improve efficiency. Help yourself to keep on top of things. Make more effective use of a CRM and a Calendar app to plan reminders for following-up, for making a fixed number of outbound calls and messages every day, preparing proposals, and keeping up-to-date with admin tasks. Reduce overwhelm with a more efficient process for managing your time.

#4: Review sales calls/demos

How often do you review calls and demos?

Does your company record them?

With software such as Refract, sales teams can record calls and use AI-powered tools and coaching to review and improve future calls and demos. No matter how much software we use, coaching and training is always going to be an essential part of sales performance improvement.

Going over call recordings and actively listening to feedback is how salespeople improve. Coaching done the right way can be a big boost to performance and outcomes.

#5: Handling objections

During every sales call, demo or meeting, there are always objections that are going to come up. When a prospect doesn’t raise any, there is a good chance they aren’t that interested.

So, prospects who ask questions and throw objections your way are ones you want to engage with. It shows they are interested. It shows they are thinking about challenges and potential problems. It pays, therefore, to be ready to handle these.

Take time to prepare. Have a list of questions to qualify them and understand pain points. And from these, pull out the most frequently cited objections and come up with suitable answers. Have these answers ready, on a sheet in front of you on a call, so that you can more effectively respond to objections and encourage prospects to move forward.

Sales skills need constant work and improvements. Nothing in sales ever comes easily. So take this time, as the year is winding down and plans are being put in place for a new year to review where more work is needed and take action to prepare.