How can sales departments improve their performance using online technology?
Selling in the modern era is easier for some and a struggle for others to understand why using online tools is essential for success. Studies show that 90% of the sales process in most industries has already begun before the prospect talks to a seller.
What remains true is that consumers have gone online for their information. The seller is no longer a source of information but a means to an end – and usually at then end of the sales cycle. In fact, the term has now changed from a sales cycle to a buyers cycle because of the shift in dynamics. How can we improve and show competence in this modern era of selling?
It has been accepted as fact that people will go online and they will share their experiences – positive or negative -about their interactions with companies and brands. If we can accept that reality, it makes embracing this ideology useful to the sales process.
Understanding this type of information will hopefully bring your awareness to a focus on why your sales or sales department is under performing and what to do about it. In our experience and studies, we noted particular points that will help increase your sales performance to the modern seller.
6 Ways To Increase Your Sales Performance
1. Understand your objective
Know the niche of your business and understand what it does well and why your customer needs your solution to their problem. Make sure your focus is “customer-centric” and not focused around product. Get to ALL of their questions before you focus on solutions.
2. Use digital tools for success
If you are still using a notepad and/or spreadsheets to track your activities you will get outdated – and soon. Implement or find a way to implement a CRM to increase your quality of appointments and activities. To date, there is no better method of tracking no matter if you are a sales department or a one-owner operation.
3. Use supportive material in digital form
Your customers are visiting your company website (care to take a stab at how often?). Know your numbers and find out what they are looking at. Know what interests them and provide them with supportive articles and content from your company to nurture their interests. Trust me, if they are not in your content funnel they will end up in someone else’s and further away from considering your product or services.
4. Segment your leads
By using more intelligent digital tools for lead tracking, you can segment your list into categories of interests by product or service. This is a key time-saver and an effective strategy for follow-up actions such as call backs, emails, and appointment setting.
5. Document your interactions
When do you write down that one comment the customer made at your last contact? What was it that they asked you that made you wish you had more information to give them? These types of questions that arise during an initial contact can further facilitate content development – the type of stuff customers love to read in blog articles and down-loadable material. If you don’t produce it, who will? This is a great place to document that in a CRM.
6. Ask, listen, and write
Ask those questions that lead you to their needs. Be more empathetic of their situation and ask storytelling questions that lead in an internal narrative to a story you are trying to put together. For instance, “What made you look us up online?”, “What did you find helpful?”, “Would you tell others about your experience?”, “What other types of sites did you find helpful?”. This method can breakdown barriers to abrasiveness and interruptive methods making the prospect open to more helpful approaches instead of self-serving ones.
In summary, embrace the reality that your prospects are online and get on the same playing field. The use of the internet is only beginning to take root and there is many more applications that will grow from online information.
Understand your objective and use digital tools for success. Use supportive and follow-up material in digital formats and save time by segmenting your leads. By documenting your actions you will have a clear road-map of where your prospect is in the “buyers cycle”. Lastly, to further increase sales performance, be the one to ask, listen, and write. Don’t just leave that up to your IT or Marketing department.
Do you feel you need help with your sales and lead generation strategy? Leave us a message and we would be happy to consult with you about your process.