You want to increase your sales, right?
You’ve invested your time and energy starting a business and are excited to see it begin. All of your hard work has gone into laying the foundation for your business and it’s paid off: people want to buy what you are selling. But, as you start to grow, you realize that you’re just not growing fast enough to continue to make a profit. Now is the time to look at your sales department and help it scale.
Here are ways to grow your sales department.
Set measurable goals
Be realistic but determined when you set your goals. Instead of stating that you want to make more sales calls, state that you want to make 25 sales calls every day. And after you set a goal, make sure that you meet it.
The best goals are SMART:
- Specific – The next six months, I’ll have sold 15 new clients.
- Measurable – The number of prospects, leads, and sales during the next month, quarter, six months, year, etc. Or, the total dollar amount of sales.
- Attainable – We are going to prioritize the actions we take “A”, “B”, “C”, and “D” to reach our sales goals. First priority is to make sure our existing customers are happy. Second priorities are converting prospects into leads, prospects, and sales.
- Realistic – You want to challenge yourself, but also remain realistic. If you had 25 sales in the last month, you shouldn’t set a goal of a 100 new sales for the next month unless your sales process has changed dramatically too. Is it realistic to go from 25 sales this month to 100 the next? Maybe, but only if you can generate 400% more leads, and convert 400% more leads to prospects, and convert 400% more prospects into sales. Do you have a realistic process to reach that goal?
- Timely – Specific deadlines with actual dates are required for SMART sales goals. The target date must be specific such as by March 15th, 2016 we will have reached sales goal “A”.
Be organized when it comes to your sales department. Ensure that your sales team knows your expectations on how they begin and end their tasks. Test out different systems until you find something that works best for your business.
There are two keys to a successful sales system. One, you should stick to it, if it works. Two, improve it, if it doesn’t work.
Understand your customer
Get to know your customers and what they really want. Conduct surveys, read feedback and talk to them. The more you understand the wants and needs of your customers, the better you can create products that they will want to purchase.
Don’t underestimate the power of referrals. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to get new business, but unfortunately, people are more likely to tell their friends about negative experiences than positive ones. The best way to get your customers to refer you to their friends is by wowing them. Each company will tell you that they wow their customers, but only a small percentage does. To encourage referrals, you can also try offering discounts or promotions.
Look for companies that fit naturally with your company and create partnerships so that you can share customers. By joining with other reputable companies, you can also increase your brand reputation.
Here are few examples of strategic alliances:
- Apple has partnered with IBM, AT&T, Motorola, Phillips, and Sony, just to mention a few.
- Spotify and Uber – Passenger gets to hear their favorite music while riding in Uber cars.
- Snapchat and Square
- BMW and Louis Vuitton – Luggage specifically designed to fit in the BMWi8.
When you make it seem like time is running out, people start to worry about missing out. By telling customers about how many items are left, or running short term sales, customers will decide to purchase now, rather than waiting and thinking about it.
Manage your sales staff
Make sure that your sales staff is properly motivated and skilled, right from the point in which you hire them. By having a talented staff to begin with, you can have high expectations that you know will be met.
Focus and make sure that your sales team is spending their time selling. If you hire a salesperson, he should be selling. Don’t allow them to be distracted by non-sales related activities.
Make training part of your culture
Create an ongoing training schedule so that your sales team is always up to date and inspired. Make sure that any new products/services are accurately introduced to your sales team.
Reach out to different markets
If your target demographic has become too small, start thinking about where you can branch out to. Have a local presence and an online presence to target different types of buyers.
A business is a living, breathing organism, and its ever-shifting demands need to be met. Having a strong, reliable sales department will allow you to reach your maximum potential and profits.
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