Is your sales cycle too long?
Of course it is!
Whether it’s days, weeks or months, most sales pros would agree it’s too long. Instead of months, they want weeks. Instead of weeks, they want days. And instead of days, they want hours!
The sales process gives sales its structured, systematic approach, which will enable the staff to close more deals, increase margins and get more referrals. These posts provide guidance.
Mention sales productivity and nearly everyone in sales has the same thought: Let’s increase it!
But that’s clearly a struggle: Nearly half of sales executives say boosting sales productivity is a top challenge, according to ongoing research from The Bridge Group. Sales pros constantly want to maximize sales results while keeping tabs on cost, time and effort.
The challenge is real. Consider all the things that can – and do – get in the way of salespeople actually selling:
Your prospect didn’t respond. Or a hot prospect went cold. You’ve followed up with email – and still nothing.
There’s a chance you didn’t get through to the people you needed to reach. But there’s a bigger chance you didn’t build enough intrigue in your first contact.
Don’t give up. Send another email. Send several follow-up e-mails.
The prospect finally agreed to meet. Once you present, the sale is practically a given …
… until it’s not. Because your presentation is just as lifeless as the next one.
If you made the buyer’s calendar, you got their interest. But it’s tough to keep their interest with a pocketful of tchotchkes and a mediocre slide deck – which is the depth of way-too-many presentations.
Presentations are a crucial turning point in successful sales. If yours stands out and above, you’ll win. If yours is the same-old, same-old, you’ll lose. Plain and simple.
Here are 14 sales presentation tweaks that help you win more sales.
Existing accounts have the highest potential for growth.
So why don’t salespeople build more business with them?
They’re crazy busy and over-committed to finding new business.
Enter customer success – the person or people who can maximize business with existing customers. They hold the key to growth, according to research from Gartner.
Here’s why: The performance of a product or service doesn’t have a significant impact on customers’ decision to buy more. Aggressive selling doesn’t. And – surprisingly – exceeding customer expectations doesn’t impact their decision to buy again much at all either.
But when customers are confident in the people who helped them – salespeople, customer success reps and any other support pros – they’re 11% more likely to buy more. When the sales team creates “customer improvement” – giving a critical, unique perspective that helps customers succeed – they’re 48% more likely to buy more.
“Exceeding customer expectations through service doesn’t increase their likelihood to increase buying,” says Scott Collins, VP at Gartner. “But ‘customer improvement’ does increase the likelihood to buy.”
Good sales development reps hit goals. Great sales development reps smash them.
What makes the difference? Great sales development reps go beyond learning certain skills. They master critical skills so they can fill the pipeline with highly qualified prospects and make revenue grow.
Here are 15 skills sales development reps (SDRs) want to focus on mastering:
Working with my clients’ sales forces, I started to see repeating and quite frankly alarming patterns. Because for the most part, we were working with good salespeople from good organizations marketing good products, yet far too often the results suggested otherwise.
It was obvious that something was wrong, something needed fixing.
Now, I have always believed in the value of talking to actual customers, so I introduced a singular, and at the time somewhat radical element to our methodology. I insisted that we research our clients’ customers as comprehensively as we did our clients’ sales teams.
From talking to ever more customers about how they buy and why they don’t, we came to regard this process as a journey, the Customer Buying Journey.
We developed a model that enabled us to effectively decode and map the elements, the “DNA” as it were, of each buying journey. The DNA concept of an actual identifiable code meant that the Customer Buying Journey could now be mapped.
Here’s what we found.
Don’t let anyone convince you cold calling has one foot in the grave. Cold calling statistics prove it’s very much alive and one of the most effective ways to gain new customers when prospecting.
The more you know about what you’re up against – and what’s working– the more effective you can be at cold calling.
It’s imperative to keep the pipeline filled with prospects. As a result, the prospecting process must come to occupy a primary place in a salesperson’s list of priorities if success is to be achieved.
Here are 10 prospecting techniques that will bring you a steady stream of qualified potential customers:
When was the last time you took a close look at your sales process, starting with lead generation and working right through to the close?
It may have become more complex or intricate than it needs to be, which may burden prospects with needless, time-wasting activities.
And that could be killing your sales.