The sales profession is a fast-paced, constantly adapting industry with an onslaught of new competitors and niches. As a result, it’s vital for sales professionals to strive for continuous improvement.
Here are 11 ways to improve your sales performance and reduce the cost of selling include.
1. Emphasize vision and clarity
A thorough understanding of your business niche can help elevate and personalize your sales pitch. Lack of information can lead to indecision, which in sales can result in time lost and frustrated leads. As a result, address common questions before a sell, specifically by consider aspects like target demographic, budgetary constraints and marketing approach (cold calling, email pitch, event-based, etc.). Make sure to address these issues before beginning anything. The result will likely be improved sales performance.
2. Strive to accomplish set goals
Set activity goals for yourself to make sales missions easier to conquer. Goals can include referrals per call, calls per day, proposals per month or anything that elevates success with leads. Additionally, record your results, so you can measure progress and track them to help improve on various performance. With goals, you can better focus your efforts and actions.
3. Provide standout customer service
Fantastic customer service is an excellent way to elevate yourself above the competition. Many sales teams lose leads and current clients over lack of follow-up. To prevent losses, maintain a spreadsheet of active customers and on-the-verge leads, along with the last date of communication. This way, you can see who to follow up with, while straddling the fine line between overly pushy and neglectful.
Related: 6 Dynamic Ways to Serve Your Clients
When following up, address them by name and personalize the email or phone call as much as possible, so they feel valued by your customer.
4. Address customer needs
A product won’t sell very well if it doesn’t fulfill a customer base’s needs. For whatever you’re selling, be sure to have a firm understanding of the target customer, specifically those whose lives will improve by the product or service. Emphasize this need by highlighting features of the service or product that help saves them money and time. Compare the product or service to what the customer presently owns instead, offering the appeal of an upgrade.
5. Plan your questions and approach
Spontaneity can be great in certain situations, though when approaching prospective customers it’s best to have a plan and questions that are methodical, relevant, interesting and direct. These questions could involve which products or services they are presently using to fulfill a need, in addition to their overall satisfaction and receptiveness to trying something new. Additionally, strive to prepare for common questions they may ask regarding the product or service’s features and advantages, so you don’t sound like you’re thinking on your feet when responding.
6. Assume responsibility without gloating
A successful sales team involves all individuals working toward a shared goal. Team leaders should keep a steady composure, advocating for strong sales and work ethic. Although it can be productive to applaud team members for achieving sales goals, it’s important to express praise without gloating or disparaging others in the team who have yet to meet their own goals. A sales team with vitriol might let their conflict and anxiety bleed into a sales pitch, putting leads on edge.
7. Aim for maximum time efficiency
People manage their time in various ways, and different methods work for different people. Some rely on a more traditional notebook approach, while others use a time-planning app like Planner Pro. In sales, time management is crucial for success, as a variety of tasks are always at hand. Follow-ups, geographical mapping, pitch creation, meetings and more make up a typical day, and forgetting a single task or two could result in chaos. Use a time management approach or app to prevent scheduling catastrophe.
8. Intelligently monitor sales performance
Measuring sales performance helps you calculate the value of a sales team. Many businesses establish a quota, wherein a salesperson’s progress is measured based on their ability to meet that quota. In addition to this, the nature of a team entails collaboration. One employee may be doing work comparable in quality to others even if it doesn’t reflect in meeting the quota. For these situations, it’s important to have a firm understanding of each team member’s tasks, so a team member does not undergo an unfair review despite putting in good work.
9. Opt for a real conversation when possible
Sales pitches in email or voice messages can accurately convey information on a product or service, though most potential customers need more than that to be convinced. Potential clients often prefer it when you speak directly to them since they can ask questions that can be pivotal in their purchase decision. Speaking in person also enables salespersons to figure out a customer’s needs and explain how they can address those needs.
10. Maintain composure when opposed
Salespeople will encounter leads who seem intent on criticizing the service or product within the pitch. While they may want to hang up and move on to another lead, these situations provide an opportunity to learn something. As long as the seemingly irate lead is still on the line, use the conversation as a way to find issues that you can address with future customers. The lead may have some legitimate gripes that you can address in the future. Beyond that, quality composure and being receptive to their viewpoints can lead them to gain trust in you, perhaps ultimately resulting in a sale.
11. Listen to leads
It can be tempting to rush through everything on your pitch but to capture the attention and trust of leads, you need to focus on their points and concerns. Ideally, you can weave your pitch points into conversation naturally, while addressing their questions and providing a personalized reason the product or service would be beneficial.
These 11 tips are important for anyone on a sales team to keep in mind, as they can lead to better relationships within your sales team and with customers while sustaining recognition among the competition and your business niche in general.
This story originally appeared on Personal Branding Blog