Is Your Sales Process Working?
Following on from last weeks sales article about managing your revenue I wanted to talk this week about the processes you should think about putting in place to really optimise your sales activity for your business.
Did you know that you should only ever “cold call” any particular company once, but many businesses continue to cold call the same companies, often over extended time periods over and over again, why do you think this is?
They have no process!!
This year I was asked to help a sales team, improve their cold calling hit rates to help their parent company gain market share with one of their premium products. On further investigation into the process the sales team followed, we discovered they did not have one!! They never recorded who they spoke to, their Sales Manager had a weekly meeting which discussed very little, the sales team had no targets and it wasn’t unusual for one member in the team to talk to a potential customer on the Monday, just to discover than another member of the team talked to the same potential customer on the Thursday!! Again why was this happening?
They had no process!!
Am I starting to make my point here? If you want you or your sales team to be effective, you must have some sort of processes in place, here are 4 for your to think about.
- Set some targets: Whether you are the sales team or whether you have 20 in your team, you need to have a goal, how much do you need to sell each month to make your desired level of profit? Break that down into weekly or even daily targets for every member of your sales team. If they don’t know what they need to achieve, they will never achieve it!
- Record all sales activity: My comment earlier about “you should only cold call a company once” refers to this. Once an initial contact and conversation has been made with a potential client it should be recorded on a database, preferably a sales data base called a Customer Relations Manager (CRM) system, there are many on the market, a simple but effective one that we use is called CapsuleCRM. Every entry should have the following information; who you talked to, what was discussed and what action is to be taken. With this on the system, the next time that potential client is contacted you can refer to the last conversation which no longer makes the call a cold one!
- Conduct effective sales meetings: If you have a sales team, meet with them regularly, discuss the hurdles they faced since the last meeting, educate them in promotions or new products, ask them how you can further help or support them in their role (especially important for those out on the road all the time), review how they are performing in relation to their targets but most of all, ensure they leave the meeting positive, fired up and motivated.
- Keep the sales team accountable: Everything in business needs managing, not necessarily micro managing but they will need some degree of managing. When I talk about keeping sales teams accountable I’m not just talking about their sales targets, I’m talking about making sure they are all using the sales processes ALL of the time. Are they seeing enough new clients, how many quotes are they generating, are they following through on all these quotes, what is their conversion rate from “sales quoted” to “sales won” and are they following up and adding their new clients to their call cycles after the sale is completed?