Any successful sales endeavour involves a lot of hard work. Don’t think that you already did a good job once you’ve made your pitch and just wait for your prospect to respond. It doesn’t magically work that way.
It is completely understandable if you don’t want to be a pain and an annoyance, but no one wants to be rejected either. One of the key factors to a successful sale is a persistent and consistent sales follow-up strategy.
Note that when it comes to sales, there are no second chances in making an excellent first impression. Making a sale is admittedly trying and a bit tricky. However, you should have an easier time closing deals if you know the essential do’s and don’ts in the art of selling.
A documented plan for strategic positioning of your products or services to qualified buyers is what a sales strategy is. It also provides information to your prospects how your solution/s differentiates from that of your competitors.
Another purpose of a sales strategy is to provide clear-cut objectives and guidance to your sales team. A sales strategy typically includes key information, such as:
- Growth Goals
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- Sales Processes
- Buyer Personas
- Team Structure
- Competitive Analysis
- Product Positioning
- And Specific Selling Methodologies
A sales strategy is helpful for communicating your goals and keeping your sales team on the same page. What’s important in a sales strategy is its messaging element – what your salespeople say and what they write to create perceived value that wins or loses the deal.
Why are sales strategies important?
In today’s modern business world, there are a variety of ways that leaders and movers in sales can reach their customers. It’s also become clear that digital platforms have become key tools for attracting new prospects.
But, without a clear strategy, it would be difficult to reap the rewards of any sales activity you initiate. Businesses always aim to be a success; therefore, it is essential for businesses to create a proper sales strategy with clear and achievable goals.
Sales teams need to adopt a strategic approach to building solid relationships to drive leads, regardless of if it’s through product-oriented selling or social selling.
However, many start-ups commit a costly mistake by highly focusing on marketing and product development, while paying little to no attention to sales. Every aspect of making a sale is important but note that marketing strategies focuses mainly on increasing your brand’s visibility, and even generating leads. While a well-defined sales strategy helps in making real and quantifiable profits through closing deals or making actual sales.
Once you have the key information you need for designing a sales strategy, you also need to address four important components to make it great.
- You need a process on how to acquire new customers – assisting new customers requires a different approach than helping current customers. They need education about product features and functionality.
- You need to consciously expand/strengthen relationships with existing customers – existing customers mostly need assistance when it comes to support and after sales service, but there is usually unrealised wealth in an existing customer base.
- Design a process on how you are going to sell more products and/or services – is your upselling strategy fetching enough results against your efforts?
- Your process must include an effective your follow-up process for each of the components cited above.
By focusing on these components, you will be able to determine which of your sales tactics are working and which aren’t. You can then maximise your results by focusing on specific areas/techniques that lead to closing more business.
We understand that most start-ups have budget limitations in one way or another. By having a sales strategy, it will help in cutting waste and help you prioritise to get the most out of your sales budget.
What are the dos and don’ts of sales strategies?
When it comes to sales, one important factor to keep in mind is that you will be speaking to another human being. Therefore, there are human factors that you must consider when creating and actioning your sales follow-ups.
You can execute these follow-ups more efficiently by following these simple dos and don’ts.
Coming off to your client as rude is a big turn-off. Any form of distraction when on a call can be quite distracting and can hurt your chances of making a sale. A good yardstick to keep in mind is that respect begets respect. As a good rule, if you’re communicating on the phone, smiling while on the call will help your voice come out more positive and engaging so is good practice
Put in mind that an effective communication is a two-way street. Restrain yourself from talking too much, and keep in mind that listening to your prospect yields better results. Simply ask the big questions such as: How is business going?” and wait and listen to their responses, often these are the key to discovering where you can help the customer.
We all have our priorities
As salespeople, our priority is to make that sale. Our prospect’s priority is to find solutions to their problems. Make it your priority to help your prospect find solutions to their problems by using your products and/or engaging your services.
Keep your Follow-ups short
Following up doesn’t have to be time-consuming and painful. Think that when they talk to you, they are giving you a part of their time. So, meet them on their own stomping grounds if possible, or arrange a Zoom call, and think about their preference and comfort, not yours. Be nice but get to the point.
Always provide value
Hard selling simply does not work anymore, and when it does, it often causes poor customer satisfaction and retention. Keep in mind that your prospects are busy and note that every follow-up does not require a direct conversation. You’d get better results when engaging prospects and provide them with value. Your aim must be to add value, not add stress and aggravation to your prospects.
Never try to wing it when speaking with prospects. Great salespeople make it look easy because they come prepared. Do a bit of legwork and research your prospect on their website or LinkedIn. What you find out can be great take off points for discussion and connection.
It is best to be honest
Be honest about everything, especially about pricing and any additional fees. Even white lies can degrade trust and may undermine your genuine Call to Actions (CTAs).
Consistently following up can lead to building a better relationship or even closing a sale. Regardless of any reason they may give you, ask for their permission to get back in touch with them and ideally lock in an actual appointment for the call/meeting.
Don’t be a negative Nancy
Never allow a failure or rejection get you down. Every no is one step closer to a yes, note what happened that caused the no, if it was a sales failure, learn from your mistake and move on. Encourage your prospect to consider you as a vital resource in the future, and, when they select another supplier above you, try to get feedback about why.
Don’t be pushy
Although a little persistence is not entirely a bad thing, overdoing it will rub off as being too pushy, or desperate even. Being too pushy can also give you and your company a bad name.
Don’t assume anything
It’s not good for sales prospectors to read negatively into statements made by gatekeepers or prospects. It’s true that sometimes, we can’t help but assume things. The problem with assumptions is that we begin to believe that they are the truth. When we make assumptions, we misunderstand. We take things personally and end up creating unnecessary drama for nothing.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep
A sales process is basically an agreement between people trying to acquire something that is important to them. The salesperson goal is to close a sale. On the other hand, the customer is looking for a good deal on products or services that will meet their needs. Avoid unnecessary promises if you can’t deliver them. Avoid these situations by being realistic regarding anything that is truly possible and not possible. Be clear and concise about your products/services and what you can deliver.
Never force a sale
Understand the buying behaviour of your clients and who makes the buying decisions. Understand that when it comes to sales, people appreciate being treated as human beings first, not as a lead. Instead of forcing a sale, make it a point to inspire a purchase.
If you want to lead your team to greatness, then you and your team need to commit to continuous learning and growth. Identifying what works and doesn’t is just half the battle. At The Growth Manager, we can help guide you to your sales journey with our Sales Mastery Mentoring Pack.
This program will not only help you develop your sales strategies but guide you through your customer’s sales journey and your follow-up processes with full confidence and ability to close a sale.