Do you have a productive sales team?
Every time I consult with business owners and sales managers, I quickly discover that there is always room for improvement. But talking about getting better and actually taking steps to get better are two entirely different things.
You need to find ways to make your sales team more productive. But how?
Believe it or not, this isn’t as challenging as it sounds. There are simple steps that you can take that will boost your sales productivity in just a few months.
Just follow this simple guide that I’ve outlined below, and you can implement it into your sales strategy.
First and foremost, you need to improve the quality of your sales leads. Dealing with people who aren’t going to buy anything is just a waste of your time, and therefore unproductive.
But on the flip side, a high-quality lead will be more likely to buy. That’s who should be getting the majority of the attention from your sales reps.
Bring your marketing and sales team together. The two departments can’t just work independently from each other. There may be instances where your marketing team thinks that your sales team can sell to a certain customer, but in reality, your sales team can’t close the deal.
Your sales team can provide valuable information to your marketing team. They can discuss who is actually buying based on things like their job title or industry.
Marketers can use that to create a buyer persona, and target leads accordingly. In turn, this will make it easier for your sales team to sell more down the road.
For this strategy to work, the sales reps need to make sure that the database of their leads and customers is accurate. Otherwise, the information that is given to the marketing department will be useless.
Even if you’re getting more qualified leads, it doesn’t automatically mean that everyone is going to buy. Just because they fit your buyer persona and look qualified on paper, certain leads can still be a big waste of your time.
How often do your sales reps spend five, ten, or even 30 minutes on the phone trying to develop a new lead, only to get shut down? Yes, this is the nature of sales, but you can still improve the process.
Allow me to provide a more in-depth explanation.
Simply put, some leads don’t want or need what you’re selling. Others may want or need it, but can’t afford it. These are all dead-end leads.
Being able to identify dead-end leads as fast as possible is just as important as identifying highly qualified leads. So how do you do this?
It’s a simple approach. Rather than diving straight into your sales pitch, you can ask some preliminary questions to qualify those leads even further.
Let’s say your company sells SaaS for marketing at $5,000 per month. You end up on the phone with a CMO who fits the buyer persona that was previously identified. Instead of talking about the software, you could inquire about the company’s annual marketing budget.
If that company has a $10,000 annual marketing budget, then you immediately know that this is a dead-end lead. Rather than wasting your time, you can just move on to a more qualified candidate.
Based on everything we’ve discussed so far, you now have the blueprint for reaching more qualified leads in a shorter amount of time.
That’s great. But a lead doesn’t become a customer until they convert.
Once you’ve identified that a prospect needs what you’re offering and has the budget to buy it, it’s just a matter of fine-tuning your sales tactics.
You need to establish a proper line of communication with whoever has the power to buy.
Let’s say you establish communication with a CEO at the start of the sales process. Your plan is to re-connect with that person towards the end of the sales cycle. That’s the wrong approach.
This communication gap creates an opportunity for your competition to close a deal.
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask your prospects who else they are considering. Once you have a better understanding of what offers are on the table, you can use that information to out-sell your competitors.
But if you’re just guessing or don’t really know what’s going on, then you’ll be just negotiating against yourself, which isn’t productive at all.
Taking this approach will make it easier to close your leads, and therefore increase your conversion rates.
If you’re already making a sale, why not get more money out of the deal?
I know it sounds simple, but if you have this mindset, you’ll easily be able to increase your average order values. Here’s something to take into consideration.
As I’m sure you know, there is a cost associated with the time and resources required to close a sale. For the most part, a $50,000 deal will require more resources than a $5,000 deal.
But with that said, it definitely doesn’t require ten times more resources.
It’s much easier to sell to a current customer than a new prospect. So rather than just being happy with making a sale or reaching a quota, you need to find ways to maximize your engagement with each customer.
To be clear, I’m not talking about inflating the sales price. It’s not about the price, it’s about the value that you’re offering.
All too often I see sales reps so willing to slash prices just for the sake of closing a deal. I’m not saying that you can’t have some wiggle room. But the second you give that discount, you lower your perceived value.
Instead, do a better job of explaining what you’re offering, and why it’s priced accordingly. Don’t ask yourself how much money needs to be taken off a sales price to close the deal. It’s much better to ask what value can you add to increase the price of the sale.
Increasing your sales productivity is easier than you think. You just need to have clear objectives in mind.
Start by getting highly qualified leads that take less time to develop. Once that happens, increasing your conversion rates and average order value won’t be as challenging.
So follow the tips that I’ve outlined above over the next three months and see what happens. If you’re looking for some assistance with that 90-day strategy, we have the resources you need to succeed. Request a consultation and we’ll let you know how we can help.