Consistent sales are a product of an efficient and customer-centric business. While it is tempting to herald the charm and skill of a master salesperson, a business that is set up to produce sales is in a better position to harvest revenue from a sustainable, continuous pipeline. If a business can get behind their sales effort, then selling naturally becomes easier for each individual sales rep.
Here are ten best practices small and medium sized businesses exhibit to create larger sales opportunities:
1. They focus on every customer touch-point. Every interaction, direct or indirect, with a customer is a sales opportunity. Whether it is the accounts receivable person sending an invoice or a warranty customer service representative making things right, how these interactions are handled can grow a relationship. Winning companies build relationships beyond the mere transaction of selling and servicing the customer.
2. Every person is focused on getting referrals. Your customers are busy and may not be thinking about you much in their daily work. Having explicit requests for referrals in your email correspondence, marketing materials and conversations can fill your pipeline. Providing a personal incentive that helps you remain top of mind for your customers helps them recognize referral opportunities.
3. They share their story. Your company’s history and how you work are unique. People love stories. Hearing your origins and inner workings is memorable, and so it creates a connection. Telling stories internally also brings the team together, while sharing the story with outsiders brings a human element to your organization.
4. Problem solving is part of the culture. When problems arise, it is easy to achieve a resolution by involving other people. Work roles shouldn’t be exclusive and segregated. Instead, fluid collaboration between team members should be encouraged so everyone can contribute to helping your customers. This fosters strong relationships and trust. When a customer complains or is facing an issue and your team empathetically jumps in to fix it, that customer is more likely to become loyal and spread the word about your brand.
5. People are happy. Your staff’s enthusiasm is both noticeable and contagious. If your employees are happy, your clients will sense something special. It is what makes Chik-fil-A and Starbucks stand out. Their employees smile and create a personal experience that makes customers want to come back.
6. There is strong leadership. A company that stands for something and tells everyone what they are trying to achieve infects their customers with vision they buy into. The leadership of a company creates the culture. If leaders are doing what they expect of others and model how to treat people and achieve results, then the entire staff will mirror that standard.
7. Listening and learning are second nature. Making sure people feel heard is a focal point. This goes beyond mere customer surveys. There are processes for gathering input from employees as well as from both happy and disgruntled customers. Consequently, there must be immediate action taken to improve working situations and customer experiences.
8. Sales training is frequent. Selling companies continue to provide resources, systems and training for their people so they can improve their performance. Straightforward learning systems and accessible resources enable frontline salespeople to win deals.
9. A mentorship process is in place. When junior salespeople accompany sales leaders on calls, this mentorship process strengthens the team. Junior team members can ask critical questions and absorb the process behind winning deals. The nuances of customer interactions can be studied and create teaching opportunities for senior team members as well.
10. There are clear metrics. Organizations that help people clearly quantify and understand what is expected have transparency. With systems that can report real-time data today, team members can see if they are ahead or behind on what is specifically required for success in their roles.
How many of these techniques does your organization utilize? Take note of the areas in which you could improve to make selling easier for your team. Your customers’ satisfaction is the ultimate scorecard of how consistently your team performs. Sharing information, coaching effectively, and caring for the customer’s every need are foundational to sales success.
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