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Developing an effective sales process is always a difficult task. Without an efficiently functioning course of development, no amount of effort will improve an inherently flawed sales strategy.
Continually analysing your sales approach will not only make your process fluid and efficient, but will convert your energies into sales revenue. Consider these 7 questions as you endeavour to improve your sales strategy.
1. Am I spending too much time prospecting?
In order to keep the sales pipeline flowing, you need to continually uncover new opportunities. If you spend a disproportionate amount of time prospecting without closing, or using more leveraged ways of generating interest, then you may be wasting time. Are you receiving a return on the time you are investing into prospecting?
You can create a simple time tracking worksheet for a week or two to get the answer. See how many new meetings or deals you are getting for your efforts. This can include your time at networking events, trade shows, etc. Be honest and find out how much time you are spending.
2. Have I planned my sales strategy around specific customer needs?
If your sales approach is too generalized, you may not be connecting. Examine what the emotional response to your sales pitch is.
If you are not seeing clear engagement, than begin to design your messaging around more specificity. Provide solutions to your customers that are precise to their needs. Help them picture your product or service in context and use language and pictures that help them see the possibilities in their world.
3. Are my sales targets high enough?
We are all susceptible to Parkinson’s Law, where work expands to fill the time allotted. Our constraints tend to focus our minds and efforts.
If your sales target is too low, then you adjust accordingly, whether subconscious or deliberately. Try raising your targets and emotionally buy in. Watch your focus adjust and calibrate to the higher targets.
4. Am I being too abrasive with new prospects?
Selling can become dull, especially if you have given the same sales pitch to hundreds of prospects. It is common for salespeople to forget that every new prospect is experiencing our proposition for the first time. Thus, we should never forget to be welcoming, warm and kind to prospects. We have to lower the tension and build trust. If you come off as an abrasive salesperson, then it creates a high tension environment.
5. Am I talking too much?
When someone does not feel heard, then they can shut down. If you are monopolizing the conversation, you may be discouraging your prospective customers.
Ensure your customer understands you are listening to their specific concerns. Prospects should feel as though they have a larger voice. Fluidity in conversation keeps communication lines open and allows the customer to voice their problems. Make listening the priority.
6. Am I trying to sell myself or am I selling the product and service?
Selling yourself too hard and not focusing on your customer’s world can cause a disjointed sales interaction. If you focus on selling your product or service, then you are overlooking how it appropriately fits specific problems your customer faces. Ask yourself if you are adequately accommodating to your customer. Are you pushing products the customer doesn’t need? It is important to understand the customer’s world. Analyze what could benefit their needs and show them how you can benefit their bottom line.
7. Have I obtained referrals from my new customers?
If you want a more fluid selling process, then work hard to close the loop in your selling process.
Provide incentive and desire for your customers to refer you to their network. If you close a sale with a new prospect, ensure to ask if they know anyone who would benefit from the goods and services you provide. Likewise, reach out to existing customers in order to build your pipeline and use your time in more efficiently. Meeting current clients for referrals is often a better form of leverage than cold calling.
Reflect and Change
If you find yourself in a sales slump, use these questions to help you focus on the bigger picture. Changing your strategy can make your efforts count more towards a return on your time. The process of evaluation should be a continuous part of your selling strategy, in order to ensure that your efforts are rewarded. It will improve your sales and boost your motivation.
About the Canadian Professional Sales Association
Since 1874, we’ve been developing and serving sales professionals by providing programs, benefits, and resources that help you sell more, and sell smarter.
Contact us today at MemberServices@cpsa.com or 1-888-267-2772 to see how we can help you and your team reach new heights in sales success.
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