For those outside of sales (or in sales but doing it the wrong way), the very word sales can seem a bit, well, dodgy.
Mental images of sales people in tailored suits, white snake skin shoes and slicked back hair are well entrenched and although sales is moving further and further away from that world, it is still an image some people associate with your sales team, maybe even you.
But if done correctly, sales doesn’t need to be a dirty word.
Sales isn’t about convincing clients to do something they don’t want to do with a product they don’t need. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
Below are 6 points on how to increase revenue with happier clients.
- Your product must increase revenue or increase productivity for the client
While there are some exceptions to this, in most cases you need a product that can either increase revenue or productivity better than what the client is doing now. That doesn’t mean you need the best product in the market though. Maybe your product is better value for money or its easier to use than other products. Value does not necessarily equate to the product with the most bells and whistles.
- Know your customer
To be able to create value for your client you have to know as much about their business as possible and everything about what they are doing now to solve the problem you intend to solve. Then, your job is to find and communicate a way to create even more value with your product. A skilful sales process and sales people listen more than they speak. The days of churning and burning have been over for some time.
- Don’t focus on clients that don’t want to speak to you.
For some newer sales people or sales leaders this can seem counter intuitive but a good sales process focuses its energy on those clients that have a genuine need for the product and are open to speaking to you. That doesn’t mean you delete someone of your database if they say no, it’s about finding out why it’s a no and then setting up the right follow up procedures to be there when they are ready to talk in the future. The right follow up procedure is not weekly calls, text messages or emails either, think of a way to provide enough value first, with no expectation of return, to position yourself as a thought leader and for the client to want to speak to you in the future.
In marketing we should be moving away from talking about the number of new leads and start counting ‘new activations’. New activations include new leads to the business plus those in your database that you have re-activated to a sales qualified lead.
- You have to believe
If you are doing the three items above correctly and your team still doesn’t really, deep down, believe your product is what your clients need, then you have the wrong people or you haven’t given them the right training. You have to sell yourself and your team before you can sell a client. Sure, there are talented sales people out there that will be able to sell a product they don’t believe in but it is short lived. It leads to burn out for the sales person and unhappy clients – both of which are bad for business.
A crucial part to this is product knowledge and training. Don’t just leave it up to your sales team ether, you should have a process and structure to help them learn and continue to upskill. The biggest barrier to product knowledge is the knowledge holders not willing to put the time into training the sales team.
- Be numbers and process driven
The way you learn the most efficient ways to increase the probability of your clients buying your product is to be a student of the numbers. It sounds simple, but you must do less of what makes people not buy and more of what makes people buy.
Not only will you increase sales but you will reduce friction which means happier clients. You can’t know this though, unless you know your numbers intimately. This is the main reason we are seeing more and more companies install Sales Operations roles to help keep track of their numbers and look for ways to improve.
- Onboarding and support as an extension of sales
If your sales and onboarding teams don’t communicate you are in trouble. Your onboarding team must be an extension of what you do in sales. Sales proves to clients how the product can help them and then onboarding shows them how to do it. Sales in not training, they should know the product intimately but more importantly they should know the benefits of the product and how it compares to others in the market.
Onboarding should not just show you how to use the product either, knowing how to navigate a product is important but even more important is how to get the best out of it. You should be asking the client what is most important to them in the first onboarding session and then focussing on those items.
If you are a founder, CEO or senior manager and you still think of sales as some slick group of people that have limited talent or knowledge then you are not doing it right and I would almost guarantee you have an NPS that bis well below the industry benchmark. Getting the sales and marketing process right not only increases revenue but it provides you with more clients that need your product and love you for it.
As always, strategy is the easy part and the skill is in the execution. If you’d like to discuss how to get the best out of sales and marketing for your business and grow faster with happier clients, send me a private message.