Saturday, November 30, 2013

Increase Sales in 12 Easy Steps

These easy tweaks to your sales process to create a huge increase in both sales revenue and profit:

Step 1. Reduce the number of opportunities you pursue

The more opportunities you've got, the more likely you are to make a sale, right? Wrong. If you can't give each prospect the attention they deserve, you'll lose sales you otherwise might make.

Step 2. Increase the percentage of time you spend selling

Get somebody else to handle your paperwork, expense reports, or whatever busywork is involved with making a sale. Use the extra time to get in front of customers.

Step 3. Stop buying technology because it's cool

Smartphones, tablets, and PCs can be important tools--but learning and supporting them can drain your productivity. Only purchase devices and programs that actually help you sell.

Step 4. Think about your solution as a verb

Suppose your company makes glue. If you're selling "glue" (a noun), you'll talk about product features. If you're selling "gluing" (a verb), you'll talk what your offering does for your customer's business.

Step 5. Treat selling as a service to the customer

Stop thinking that selling means "convincing" the customer, "overcoming" objections, and "winning" the business. Instead, view yourself as the customer's ally in solving a problem.

Step 6. Terminate weak engagements

The moment you find out that a customer really doesn't need what you're offering, point them in the right direction, then politely withdraw from the opportunity.

Step 7. Don't confuse telling with selling

Rather than talking to the customer about what your product can do, ask intelligent questions so that the two of you can discover whether the customer really needs you to help solve a problem or achieve a goal.

Step 8. Hone your lead generation effort

Based upon your own experience, observe who's just interested and who's actually buying. Hone your lead generation efforts to find more of the ones who are actually spending money on your offering.

Step 9. Don't focus on the gatekeepers

Make sure that you're talking to the real decision-makers, and not just the influencers and sideliners. When you meet a decision-maker, stay in regular communication throughout the sales cycle.

Step 10. Stay atop of your opportunities

Don't lose track of what's changing inside the account. Build a short sales plan that documents the process and the players, so you don't spin your wheels trying to remember who needs what and when.

Step 11. Outflank your competition

Find out who the other guys are calling on, and how they're approaching the account. Figure out who they're talking to, what they're saying, and defensively position your offering to counter their approach.

Step 12. Increase your average sales value

It takes just about as much effort to cut a $1,000 deal as it does to cut a $10,000 deal. The more revenue you book on each opportunity, the more money you'll make overall.