How do you feel about achieving targets this year?
It's been a tough few years, and economic uncertainties prevail while confidence is rebuilt, and debts are repaid.
The confidence and capability of your sales teams is at the heart of your future.
Here are some tactics which will help you make sure you invest your time, energy and budgets wisely.
Help your front line deal with price objections. Most people are talking about the cost of living. They are feeling rising prices in their pockets, so your front line might be very sympathetic to their customers.
• Do your front line understand the impact of heavy discounting on your bottom line?
• Do they know which products are “bullet proof” i.e. which should never be discounted, because of the product or availability which your competitors can’t meet?
• Do they know how to offer added value when making concessions?
• Are they confident in what you offer versus your main competitors?
• Do they understand the difference between price and cost?
• Do they know who and when they should be doing a deal for?
• Can they overcome price objections?
• Do they understand the variables they have to negotiate with?
Achieving targets will be hard enough in the current economic climate unless you equip your people with the right skills and practices.
Call us on 0845 450 0988 for more information about how we can help you develop your people.
Increase your average order value. Every call, every order, every opportunity gives you the chance to cross sell and upsell your goods and services.
Do your people know the “go-withs” and the automatic questions they should ask?
When a customer says “I’d like to buy a stapler” do they respond ”Certainly, would you like any staples to go with that?”
Can you be creative by bundling products together for better value purchases for your customers?
Call Handling Skills can make a huge difference to customer satisfaction ( because customer service is high ); improve your cashflow ( because fewer mistakes are made and invoice queries are minimised ) enhance your bottom line and long term account profitability.
Know your customers. Do your people know the key accounts in your business? The one it would hurt like hell to lose. Often, people’s time can be drained working on smaller time consuming accounts.
This can often happen if you trade through a network of branches or depots, with people not understanding the bigger picture. It’s important that everyone understands how much some accounts mean to your business.
Do they know which accounts have the most potential? If they are asking the right questions they will be able to help your customers grow their business and yours.
Focus your people on frequent buyers, high spenders, and real potential.
Be business intelligent. Focus time and energy on accounts where there will be most payoff. This might be in best performing markets, or accounts with the most potential.
Focus on your existing customers. When times are tough, the reaction is often to try to get more new business in. And that might be appropriate for you to do, but not at the expense of your existing customers.
The reality is that you will generate business more readily, more quickly and more cost effectively from your existing customers. You will need to defend your key customers from competitor activity as these are the customers that will seem more appealing to your competitors in a downturn.
Re-generate the accounts that have stopped trading with you. It may be that you have let them down so calling them will give you the opportunity to put that right.
However, when surveyed a lot of customers will say that you just forgot about them, and someone else started to call. Make sure you have a regular and meaningful contact strategy.
Target profitable new business If you do need to win new business, then be intelligent about it. Write down the criteria that are important to you in your ideal customer or client.
Start with your existing customer base, what is it that makes your best clients your best? It might be that they pay on time, that they collaborate with you rather than treating you as a supplier, it might be that they are within 20 miles of your office and therefore that helps with economy of deliveries. Start to build up a profile of your ideal client, and then target businesses who fit into that profile.
Increase budgets on best performing markets. Focus your sales and marketing activity on those markets where you will get best results. It’s all about the return on your investment of energy.
Keep in touch Remember people will not buy from you based on one contact. Think about the most vital product supplied to your business. Would you change suppliers based on one call or email? The answer is probably no, unless they make you an offer you can’t refuse which means they are probably selling on price. Is that sustainable –it’s not likely. Yes times are hard, but if you get drawn into selling on price, your profits will suffer, and selling is about protecting price and profits.
Think about how you deploy your internal and external sales people to keep in touch with your customers. Use face to face sales people for profitable accounts you want to gain or retain. Use the telephone for specific sales, retention campaigns and business intelligence.
Help keep yourself and your team motivated. It can be hard to find the energy when the odds seem stacked against us. Find out how your attitude and your action can help you help your motivation and your outcomes.
Sales Resource Centre
Here's some information we've put together for you to help you sell more to more customers.
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For more information about how we can help you develop the skills, and approaches of your sales teams so that you can still be successful in your market place, call us now on 00 44 (0) 845 450 0988 or 00 44 (0) 1793 855501
We'd love to talk through the challenges you are facing and how your sales people can become more confident and successful.
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Choosing a sales training provider? Some useful sales training information for you to consider. More...