Photo Credit: HubSpot
How many times have you heard this phrase? "Sales is a numbers game." As sales professionals, your job isn't to throw everything on the wall to see what sticks. That's like making cold calls to companies or individuals who you know nothing about. You don't want to do this just to see what lead turns-up. Your sales team will spend lots of time and energy time trying to find prospects, then when they think they find someone, the prospect is not likely to purchase. Do you really want your sales team wasting time trying to sell someone that isn't a good fit and probably won't purchase? Aaah, No. The answer is to train your team on how to develop leads that are truly qualified and a right fit for your products and services.
1. Personas: This may be a marketing term that is talked about every time new content is created. However, I think the sales team needs to know whom the personas are even more than marketers. The sales team has to know this information intimately so they can use it to help them define their actions for business development and prospecting. When they understand the persona traits, they will be able to communicate more effectively and with higher efficiency.
2. Product Knowledge / Value Proposition: Marketers know the product and value proposition better than anyone. So have them train the sales team on this information. Both product knowledge and the value proposition are critical knowledge for any sales team to know because it helps them articulate the brand's advantages.
3. How To Overcome Objections: Every sales person faces objections from a prospect, it's part of the sales process. But does your team have the knowledge of how to overcome these when they are instantly faced with them? A way to combat this is to write down every objection that your sales team is faced with on a day-by-day basis. Then, figure out what are the best phrases for your sales team to say when they hear objections. If the sales team knows what these are and understands what to communicate to overcome them, their job will be much easier.
4. Cross Selling and Up-Selling: Not every business has a model that allows the sales team to do this. However, if your company has several products that are part of the same offering (like smartphones, or cellular service), your sales team needs to know the benefits of each and know when it's the right time to mention it in conversation. Sometimes it's as easy as providing options for your prospect and letting them know why it could be good for them.
5. Selling Money: This may sound funny, however, sometimes your product's features or benefits may not be the best angle to take when talking to a prospect. If you're in a crowded market, figuring out the price benefit of purchasing your product could be the most attractive thing you have to say. Understand the usable monetary value of your product and how a customer benefits from that. Sell them money savings, and tell them exactly what that is and how you derived that cost savings.
6. Use The Competition's Information: A good sales professional knows their competitor better than anyone else. They also know how their own products and services stack up against the competition. Understanding strengths and weaknesses are critical. When sales teams know how to sell by using competitive knowledge and facts, this will help them to communicate more intelligently and with confidence. Knowing this information helps place them in a position of power, not in a position of weakness.
7. Social Media And Blogs: These may sound like they are just for the marketing department. Think again. If your sales team is actively using social media, it's like having additional advertising in the market that's credible, viral and leading directly to a company representative. Both social and blogs are incredibly powerful tools to use to advance the business development efforts of your company.
8. What About Mobile? Mobile technology and services are the obvious future for connecting brands with customers. Has your company embraced the power of mobile marketing and technology to supplement your human sales efforts? By using smartphone technology, you open up another sales channel to generate leads and additional revenue without person-to-person interaction. This saves valuable time and money so your people can spend time on the business development efforts that require human insight and engagement.
When it comes to investing in sales teams, many companies have dropped the ball because they expect them to continue to generate business over and over again without the benefit of ongoing professional advancement training and resources that help them do their job at a higher level.
We all know that without highly effective sales teams, businesses just won't grow. Companies need to pay more attention to investing time in their sales teams and equipping them not only with the tools to use, but also the knowledge to be highly successful. The goal is to create business development professionals with an increasing knowledge of their own products, the market, the competition, tools to use and sales techniques so they become highly efficient at generating revenue.