Managing Sales in Small Business.
Once, I read about a Sales Head of an organization announcing that a salesperson, in one sale, made more than the CEO did in an entire year! Is that possible? Over the last two decades, sales and sales people have seen astonishing changes in the industry. Some good, some not so good. There have been platforms that ranged anywhere from acceptable all the way to epic.
Below are a few points that were discussed as tried and tested ways to successful sales. I hope to share this knowledge and help small business owners and their salespersons adopt some of the same tactics.
If there is a problem, ask for help. Make sure you have a few people that you have established a dependable relationship with; a few people that you trust. Would you be able to run a business or a sales team without a few such people? Definitely. But they help help you accelerate the process. Without a doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
There is no ‘I’ in team. Winning is a team sport. Collaborate with your team or your customer. This is another powerful rapport building technique – find common experiences with the customer and then bring those up during the conversation. This is something we all do when we first meet someone talk about the weather, sports or current events. This is a fast way of building rapport, and it also works as a collaboration technique. Be sure that you don’t focus only on this step.
Talent wins games, but teamwork wins championships. Also learn to collaborate with your team. When it comes to success in sales, you win as a team. And collaboration is very important to win.
- Share best practices, wins, losses, and lessons across the organization
- Collaborate on opportunities with all parties (e.g., sales, product, and engineering)
- Create groups to foster selling (e.g., industry-specific groups, competitive groups)
Yes, I just said that. There is never a sureshot successful hire. Mostly, you make a good employee out of a good candidate. Your sales process doesn’t guarantee that every hire you make will be successful. However, in the sales world, time is a deal killer. Not everyone that you offer the job to and that seems great on paper, would be the same in real.
If they are dragging along and just don’t seem like the right fit, you need to be quick to pull the trigger on letting them go. Someone who does not come up the learning curve soon, or blaming for things, or starts talking about getting promoted too soon, is not worth the time and effort.
When you have a strong relationship with a customer, you tend to have more influence with that customer. That means the customer respects your experience and advice, they are more likely to value your contribution to the decision process, and there is a greater chance of such customer becoming a lasting customer. It’s these strong relationships combined with a deep understanding of their business and an expert knowledge of how your product can help that leads to winning.
Some customers are analytical and focused on data; these customers want the facts and don’t value lots of small talk. People communicate and process information in different ways.Recognizing your customer’s communication/processing style and adjusting how you communicate is critical in making a sale. Some people may have an emotional communication/processing style, so they welcome a substantial amount of rapport building chit chat before getting down to business. Others may be action-oriented and results driven; these type of customers want to get down to business. Remain focussed and understand what will work with each type of customer.
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