Closing sales requires patience, effort, tact and sound sales skills. It is never easy, and sales are rarely won without negotiations and rounds of discussions. While there is no magic formula that ensures 100% success each time, there are a few things you can follow as a sales rep or sales team leader which can lead you to more successful closes.
CREATE A SCHEDULE
Sales reps always have a schedule when it comes to who to call and when, but what is important is sticking to the planned schedule and time management to help you meet the schedule. Make a rough outline of the tasks that pertain to meeting your sales goals for a specific period of time or for a particular prospect. Decide how much time you want to devote to planning, how much time you need to spend on research and gathering data, and how much time you need to devote to prospecting - then stick to it. Set aside a specific time during the day only for emails. And when it comes to calling prospects, lock in that time and do not procrastinate or compensate it with something else, you need to call at the exact time of day as was agreed upon, so that the client is available and responsive.
COMMUNICATE WELL AND OFTEN
Communicating with your prospect on a regular basis and building that rapport is important, as this reminds them that you are thinking about them and their problem. Conversely, if you are in charge of the team, it's important that you stay on top of all sales activities. Check in with your team to see how client communication system is progressing on each of the leads. When you communicate regularly, you can identify problems as they crop up and work towards resolving them before they lead you to loose the prospect.
UNLOCK THE VALUE OF YOUR SALES ACTIVITY
Your reps may be working the phones all day, and they must be keeping themselves busy - but how productive is your team? You need to understand what each call means in the process of winning a sale, and how effective each step and activity is to the end result- closing the sale. With our conversation results reports, you can gain insight into the live interactions your sales reps are having, and the outcomes of all those calls. You can see which sales reps are speaking regularly with prospects, and who is closing more deals. Salesvue also makes it easy to communicate with your team and check their progress. With the total activities report, you can glance at what your sales team has been up to over a given period of time. You can measure success rates by rep, campaign, prospect, time of day and even day of the week. Salesvue helps you identify the sales activities which lead to success, so that you can easily recreate that success.
Setting Your Team Up for Success
Motivating your sales team takes more than just offering competitive salaries. You want to make sure your top performers are happy, but also that up-and-coming sales professionals get the training they need to grow your business.
Andris Zoltners, co-founder of ZS Associates and author of several books on how to effectively manage and pay sales teams, was recently interviewed by Harvard Business Review on topics like compensation, management and how sales have changed in the last 35 years. Following are just a few insights he’s gained on building a successful sales team.
1. COME UP WITH REALISTIC COMPENSATION PLANS
Businesses have a tendency to try covering multiple products or services in their sales incentives. This causes sales team members to focus only on the most attainable sales opportunities, or the ones that result in the biggest bonus. A better method is choosing five of your business’ most prominent services and promoting them. Even if your business has a myriad of products and services, you should be able to pinpoint the ones that define your company.
2. HIRE GREAT MANAGERS
Hiring managers internally may be a worthwhile goal for employers, but just because an employee performs well doesn’t mean he or she is cut out for managing a sales team. A good manager knows how to motivate employees, takes the time to train new salespeople and helps their team succeed. Even if it costs you more to hire an experienced manager with proven accomplishments than promoting someone from within, it’s worth it to set your sales team up for success.
3. UNDERSTAND WHAT MOTIVATES EMPLOYEES
Each employee is motivated differently. Some are motivated by money, while others are motivated by the feeling that they’re making a difference in the world. Taking the time to find out what drives your sales team, helps you to know how to make them successful.
Constructive criticism is also a necessary part of sales, but, just like each person is motivated differently, each person receives criticism differently. Some employees may get defensive, while others embrace the chance to learn from their mistakes. How you approach an employee with criticism can determine whether they are receptive to it and how it helps them grow in their profession.
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