Eleven ways to increase sales results. Practical ideas that improve performance for those selling software, technology, and know-how based business solutions.
- Prepare and learn better answers to the difficult questions that prospective customers ask. See these simple exercises for suggestions.
- Increase the potency of the proof that your stuff does what you claim it does. A simple review is often enough to improve articulation or presentation. Facts convince. If you don't have factual evidence supporting your claim, get some.
- Define the characteristics of good customers. You cannot invest too much effort in creating a clear and distinct vision of the type of customers your salespeople should approach. Get this right and prospects really will say, "Funny that you called, I was just thinking about..." This story expands the point.
- Create different openings for prospective customers with different needs. The levers of decision depend on perspective.
- Make your openings more compelling, convincing, and compact. Illustrate the desirable outcome, make your words ring with truth, and keep them within 15 seconds.
- Test your openings on friendly customers to seek opinion on their effectiveness. Listen to what they say and use their advice to make improvements.
- Keep a record of 'opening' feedback and results. Score sales effectiveness and keep a score card. That which is left unmeasured, defies change.
- Identify the stages of a sale. These are natural transitions that mark progress from one stage to another. When you know where you are, it's easier to know where to go next. Typical stages include Preliminary Qualification, Contact Qualification, Buying Process Qualification, Preliminary Proposal Qualification, Proposal, Negotiation, Verbal Commitment, Contract,
- Use a qualification check list to score your chances of winning. Improve your score to improve the odds.
- Have the customer do the selling. Use CLEAR Rules to turn the selling process into a collaboration.
- Get a coach to make you do it. Regular coaching or training in the form of one to one sessions or short workshops has been shown to increase sales results by a third or more.
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