What is your top challenge in Sales in 2018? According to this Gartner Report, 25% of respondents identified new customer acquisition as the top challenge for Sales Leaders in 2018.
Reading further through the Gartner report, 80% of respondents listed ‘improving sellers’ skills and enablement’ as their top initiative by importance and leadership confidence in execution.
We’re living in an age of inbound customers, delivered to us on an email platter, garnished with tasty data telling us exactly what it would take for them to buy. It is so easy to reach customers. Some would say it’s never been easier. So why then do sales leaders report that their top challenge in 2018 is new customer acquisition?
Another question - With the latest training so easily accessible from our desktops, why are salespeople in such urgent need of training?
Perhaps the time that we’re living is the source of these challenges. Many businesses are so distracted by generating inbound leads that they forget some vital statistics. Like the fact that only a very small percentage of visitors to your website are ready to buy right now. Read this blog by HubSpot, where they put the figure of website visitors who are ready to buy at just one per cent!
Make no mistake – the one per cent of total website visitors who are ready to buy are most definitely worth spending time on.
However – what about the remaining 99% who are not yet ready? How do you bring them in so that they become your customers? The automation software that is available to help you progress these website visitors on their journey to becoming customers is a huge help to your sales team.
Sticking with these prospects on their journey to becoming your customers will require a lot of love and a lot of patience. That’s right – you’ll need to nurture them.
Sales is all about building positive and profitable client relationships. Emphasis please on building. It takes time to build something worthwhile. Sometimes, the best customer relationships, those long-term customers who absolutely love what you do and will never move, take some solid time to build up. Along with your content marketing, social media and any automated sales processes, customer relationships can also benefit from some old-fashioned care in the form of telephone calls, visits and even snail mail.
There’s so much noise for your customers, so many emails to navigate through each day. If you’re serious about succeeding in new customer acquisition in 2018, when you’re looking to improve your ‘sellers’ skills and enablement’ in order to deliver on this goal – be sure to look for ways that you and your team can stand out to your prospective customers.
Many business owners admit to fearing sales. The thought of selling their goods and services is enough to make them break into a cold sweat.
If you’re scared of sales, pause for a moment and think about what a sale is. At its core, a sale is an agreement between two people. One person agrees to supply goods or services. The other person agrees to buy the goods or services, for an agreed price.
The very heart of sales is an agreement between two people. Sometimes we’ve forgotten the power of personal contact. Listening to clients, making time for them, providing solutions to their problems – these things never go out of fashion. Yes – that’s right! People buy from people.
Next time you’re at a function and you meet a potential client, remember that they are a person first, and a potential client second. Take the time to understand their story. Listen to their pain points. Have one or two good sentences (your elevator pitch!) that you can say about your business. Then, suggest a coffee catch up. They’ll probably say yes!
Why? In experience, it’s a rare man or woman who says ‘no’ to a suggestion to catch up for coffee. When two people sit down over a cup of coffee (or tea), they relax. Even the person who says, ‘I’m happy with my current supplier’ will often say ‘Yes’ to a coffee catch up. When you’re sitting having coffee, relaxing, you might just discover more of their pain points.
You might not realise it, but you’re already starting the sales journey together. Whether they buy from you now or in the future, that person you’re having coffee with is evaluating whether they’d like to deal with you. That’s right – you, as a person.
Think of sales as an opportunity to meet some great people, learn more about them, and then to share how you can help them.
As Zig Ziglar says ‘Stop selling. Start helping’. Focus on how you can help people. Any fear of sales will soon go – all you’re doing is helping people to understand the options available to them. Your sales will just naturally ‘close’ if you focus on helping those ideal clients.
Yes - People buy from people. We love how that still works!
Do you want to magnify your business and sales? An excellent way to do this is by having great Sales Documentation for your client communications.
Think for a moment about the emails, letters, tenders, proposals, and everything in writing that you send to your clients. The smallest detail really can make a difference in your written communications with clients – right down to subject headings that capture client interest and help your emails to get opened.
Here are Seven Ways to Shine with Great Sales Documentation:
When you shine in these seven ways, you really will out-class any other salesperson, blitzing the competition.
It's time to let your sales documentation shine. Go forth - Magnify your Business and your Sales!
Clients ask many questions about their sales. At the heart of it, they're really asking, “How long will it take to reach my sales goals?” We understand this question. Who doesn’t want a bit of certainty in their life, especially when they're about to spend some budget?
Every client situation is different. Some clients have never talked to their customers, some have sporadic email relationships with their customers, others communicate regularly. Add into the mix industry factors, how your business measures up against competitors, the economy, the time of year (we’re about to hit the end of the March financial year) – and forecasting becomes a whole lot more complex.
Some clients have never mapped their sales processes, and do not know how long it takes for them to make a sale, how many touchpoints are needed, or how the customer experiences their business.
All of us want happy clients. Here at Magnify, we’d love to promise the moon and deliver it to everyone. But the reality is that sometimes people come to us because they’re finding the Sales Mountain hard to climb and need some help.
Just like our last blog, where we talked about the Seven Lessons that St Patrick (climbing a mountain!) can teach us about sales – a lot of what we do is sheer perseverance.
So – what do you need in place to climb your Sales Mountain and get the best from your outsourced sales campaign?
Your outsourced sales provider needs to ensure that your data is ready, and that you have good client documentation ready to go. It’s also important to discuss the sales processes already in place, and how the new business development you’re about to start will fit into that. Skimping on the preparation, just like a mountain climb, will mean a less successful journey to the top.
Are all your sales steps in place? Now you’re ready to start the climb.
Please note that no-one can accurately predict when your high-level sales goals will be reached. What you need most is an honest assessment of your sales situation. Your outsourced sales provider needs to prioritise your business needs over their need to make a sale. This may mean your campaign takes a pause for a week or two while you pivot your sales approach, to help your business meet the market needs and conditions that you’ve uncovered. Breaking through into that new market might take longer than you think.
However, much of sales is scientific. So you can predict some things.
When your sales team collectively put their shoulders to the proverbial wheel and P-U-S-H – uphill if necessary – you will generate sales momentum. Well-thought, appropriately spaced contact with your client database will provide the touch-points you need. Listening carefully to your customers will help you understand their experiences of your business. Which will ultimately deliver the results you want.
Good sales notes (in a CRM or database) will help you to see what’s happening with your new and existing clients. After a couple of months, you should be able to spot patterns to help you map your sales processes, number of customer touchpoints, and how long it takes to make a sale. You can then start to calculate the real cost of bringing on board new clients, and make more accurate predictions on how long it will take to reach your sales goals.
So – we can’t say exactly how long it will take to climb your Sales Mountain. But a good outsourced sales provider can provide tools, insight, and measurable results for the journey to help get you there, however long it takes. And a couple of coffees to start you on the right track!
Happy St Patrick's Day! Yes, that’s right – it’s the day that around 20 per cent of New Zealanders celebrate being Irish. For Saint Patrick’s Day last year, I posted on LinkedIn about Celebrating the Irish in IT.
This year, I thought I’d recount one of the stories of Saint Patrick, and extrapolate on Seven Things that Saint Patrick can teach us about Sales.
The story goes that Saint Patrick was attacked by snakes during a 40-day fast he was undertaking on top of a hill (Croagh Patrick – known as Ireland’s holy mountain). Saint Patrick chased the snakes into the sea, banishing them from Ireland.
As they say in Ireland – Slainte!
Getting people and businesses excited about Sales.