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Sales Tips: Converting One-time Buyers into Lifetime Customers

Posted by CustomerCentric Selling® on Mar 7, 2018 11:12:00 AM

Sales Tips: 4 Ways to Convert One-time Buyers into Lifetime Customers

By ShaDrena Simon, Inbound Marketing Expert for Yokel Local

While bringing in new customers is an important part of business, the latest numbers suggest that retaining customers is even more valuable to today’s companies. The benefits of going the extra mile for your first-time clients make it well worth the effort.

Today’s businesses are focusing on customer retention more than acquisition because it costs five times less to keep current clients than it does to acquire new ones, meaning greater return on your investment.

Lifetime CustomersYour repeat business could be worth ten times more than your first-time clients, so a plan to create loyalty is crucial to your company’s success. 

The first time a new B2B customer uses your service, will they leave feeling like while they had a good experience, they could have the same experience with one of your competitors? If so, there is room for improvement. Mediocre service is for mediocre businesses. Show your customers you are a cut above the rest by exceeding their expectations at every turn.

To delight first-time customers and keep them coming back for more, put the following four tips into practice right away.

1. Provide an Exceptional Customer Experience

Providing a top-notch customer experience is essential to retention. Business has become increasingly competitive and being average is no longer enough. When you consider that increasing your retention rates by a mere 5% can increase your overall profits by up to 95%, the importance of standing apart from your competitors becomes clear.

Recognize and acknowledge that the client is new, and make sure your team is on the same page and ready to promote a positive and helpful experience. You only get one shot to nurture and grow the first-time customer relationship, so make it count. 

2. Be the Solution to Their Problem

Solving your customers’ problems the first time will create a lasting impression. Instill confidence in your first-time clients and they will trust you to make things easier for them again in the future. Show new customers that you are knowledgeable about how their needs and your industry intersect. Ask questions about your first-time customer’s situation that shows them you are knowledgeable about how your products and services can make things easier for them. They will appreciate your insight into your base and come back to you because they know you can be counted on for delivering results. 

Thank Your Customers3. Give More than What's Expected

Want to dazzle first-time clients? It’s time to get familiar with the concept of under-promising and over-delivering. Anytime a company does business with you for the first time, consider that they are taking a risk and most likely wondering if it will pay off.

Set reasonable expectations that are clearly laid-out, and then double down on delivering. Promise two-hour turnaround if you know you can do the job in one. Include personal touches like thank you cards and discount codes. This shows your first-time client that returning to you down the line is a risk-free proposition and a gamble worth taking.

4. Embrace the Art of Following Up

Where your first-time clients are concerned, follow-up matters. Strike a delicate balance between showing that your company is worth doing business with again and not coming off as pushy. After an initial sale, delight a new customer with a carefully crafted e-mail. You can increase your click-through and engagement rates by placing your clients into categories based upon their first purchase.

Targeting them with relevant content that specifically meets their needs at this stage of your relationship means better follow-through than you could hope to achieve with a generic welcome e-mail. 

If you are the owner of a B2B business and you are making increasing customer retention among your first-time clients a top priority, you are not alone. An increasing number of businesses have implemented loyalty programs because research has consistently shown they work. While there is just a 32% chance first-time customers will purchase from your company again in the future, by the tenth purchase there is an 83% chance they will buy from you again. A customer’s first visit is an opportunity to grow your business, and smart owners will have a plan for success.

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Sales Tips: 7 Best Practices to Increase Competitive Win Rates

Posted by CustomerCentric Selling® on Mar 5, 2018 11:03:33 AM

Sales Tips: 7 Best Practices to Increase Competitive Win Rates

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

No matter which industry you’re in, sales evaluations play a major part in your company’s success. While product features and functionality are usually the most important aspects in an evaluation, buyers still consider company reputation, service and support, and future direction in the final decision.

Here are seven best practices you can apply to increase competitive win rates for your company. 

Competitive WinsIncrease Competitive Win Rates

1. Highlight and demonstrate your company’s deep expertise in the customer or prospect’s industry.

Because experience in the client’s industry is critical to buyers from an overall company perspective. Make sure you’re well aligned in the opportunities you’re pursuing in terms of your company’s background and expertise.

2. Vet customer references.

Ensuring that your company has solid customer references will help to assuage any concerns customers may have about your experience in and commitment to their industry. Look for promoters who can help to evangelize your company and the strategic direction in which it’s heading. Case studies, user conferences, co-webinars, and joint customer-vendor presentations at industry events will help to showcase your most successful customer accounts.

3. Share future direction.

It’s important to share product road maps, strategic vision documents, long-term planning, and other evidence of your organization’s future direction with your customers and prospects. Ask recipients to sign non-disclosure agreements if necessary but make sure your customer base is excited about the strategic direction in which you’re headed.

Customer Support and Support4. Improve service and support.

Understanding what changes need to be made to offer customers outstanding service and support will help make your company stand out in the eyes of your customers. Leading organizations target improvements in customer experience as a competitive differentiator to ensure their customers stay loyal over the long term and don’t defect to competing vendors.

5. Understand ratings for your firm and vertical.

Make sure you understand the ratings for your company specifically, as well as your industry overall. How are buyers judging you in terms of your industry expertise, in terms of your customer references?

Also understand what’s important to buyers in your industry and how your industry is doing overall in terms of company-based attributes.

6. Leverage areas of strength; correct areas of weakness.

Look for areas of strength you can leverage, along with areas of weakness you can correct. If you know you have weak customer references, look for new accounts you can solicit as references. If you know you’ve got a solid reputation or that you consistently deliver what your sales team sold, advertise that as a key selling point.

7. Look for best practices in other industries.

Go beyond your own industry to seek out best practices that you can adopt from a company-attribute standpoint. Unlike the solution capabilities, most company-related attributes are the same, making cross-industry comparisons easy and straightforward.

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Sales Tips: What Is Sales Intelligence?

Posted by CustomerCentric Selling® on Feb 21, 2018 10:51:11 AM

Sales Tips: What Is Sales Intelligence?

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

Sometimes, it is interesting to try to classify different areas of research and intelligence to see how certain specialties have originated, evolved and grown into their own species, so to speak. This study of sales intelligence can provide intelligence practitioners with the ability to see how their efforts might support or interrelate with other disciplines.

Sales IntelligenceWhere does Sales Intelligence Sit?

So, lets define the top rung as general market research. The purpose of market research is to answer any question that might be of interest to a company. This is very broad and probably doesn’t do justice to all of the value a skilled market research director or data scientist can provide. But, the umbrella of market research covers the entire gamut of information collection.

A subset of general market research is competitive intelligence. Again, this can be a pretty broad area and it is concerned with gathering information and answering questions that are influenced by the presence of competitive forces.

A sibling to competitive intelligence is market intelligence. This specialty works to understand the market, value proposition, opportunity and forces in play against your company and product which are not influenced by the competition.

Sales Intelligence sounds like it should be a sibling to competitive and market intelligence. It could be defined as the information that is used to help sales win more deals. This should include things like win loss analysis and predictive analytics. However, the definition of SI seems to be evolving to refer to mainly CRM technology and functions. If you limit this type of information to sales data, contact information, pipeline dashboards, etc., you could say that’s true. But, on the broader spectrum, is that really the right approach? Instead, the definition of sales intelligence could be:

Gathering insights (competitive or otherwise) that can and will be used by a sales individual or team to increase the chances of winning a qualified sales opportunity.

Overall, sales intelligence seems less like a specific discipline and more like a purpose. In other words, bits of competitive intelligence, market intelligence, general market research, (branding, pricing, value, etc) can all be included in sales intelligence. If the information can be used to help sales people sell more, we think it can properly be classified as sales intelligence.

If a business exists to make money as efficiently as possible, and the role of sales is to create the revenue streams as effectively as possible, then isn’t sales intelligence potentially the most important information a company can possess?

There are so many research initiatives that clamor for budget. When deciding which efforts to support, give the proper amount of gravity to those projects that will have a direct effect on a company’s ability to sell more effectively in a market against the competitive landscape. Your company will likely benefit from this approach.

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Sales Tips: The Keystone to Competitive Advantage

Posted by CustomerCentric Selling® on Feb 7, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Sales Tips: The Quality of CRM Data Is the Keystone to Competitive Advantage

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

Recently, The Economist published an article titled “The World’s Most Valuable Resource Is No Longer Oil, But Data.” That article focuses on the market domination of internet giants like Facebook, Amazon, and Google (among others). These profitable titans use their vast stores of data to capitalize on their size and maintain their market advantage. “Google can see what people search for, Facebook what they share, Amazon what they buy.”Their market intelligence comes from the quantity they collect, with quality being a lot less important.

Quality of CRM DataFor the hundreds of thousands of businesses that aren’t one of the internet behemoths, organizations that face a treacherous competitive landscape and possess far fewer data points to rely on, the quality of data is the key to using it to your advantage.

We think of Customer Relations Management (“CRM”) system’s primary purpose as being the facilitation of the sales process. Your sales reps need something to keep track of their deals in a manner that is superior to a spreadsheet. But, the truth is, if we just want to keep track of things, a spreadsheet would work just fine.

Another, better way to define a CRM is: “CRM aligns business processes with customer strategies to build customer loyalty and increase profits over time.” That’s a pretty inclusive definition that is clearly more than just tracking a transaction. And yet, how many sales professionals treat the CRM as a tracking tool? 

High Quality CRM Data is the Key to Competitive Advantage

The pitfall with treating the CRM as a tracking tool is that the data loses any perceived value once the lead gets closed out as a loss. Once the sales rep knows there is no deal to be made, there is no more value.

CRM data is, and should be treated as, an asset in and of itself. It should be validated, cleaned up, monitored, nurtured, and treated with every bit as much respect and deference as your customers. The revenue brought in by your sales department is not merely the dollar value of the deals they close, but the monetization of the data they collect and maintain. And if that data is treated with disregard, disrespect, and neglect, you will lose that revenue just as you would lose a customer who was treated in the same manner.

For example, marketing departments routinely run campaigns using CRM data to drum up leads for sales initiatives – new products, special deals, etc. These campaigns take time and money to put together and track. For every outreach that goes to an incorrect email address or telephone number in the CRM, the organization is wasting that time and money. In addition, because the correct contact information is missing, the company misses out on an opportunity that might have been profitable had the campaign reached the correct person.

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Sales Tips: 6 Best Practices to Apply to Your Win Loss Program

Posted by CustomerCentric Selling® on Jan 24, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Sales Tips: 6 Strategic Best Practices to Apply to Your Win Loss Program

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

Win Loss TipsWin loss programs are important at all levels of the organization because they help explain why buyers choose specific solutions and why they do not choose others. Win loss takes us beyond market research and competitive intelligence.

Win loss analysis is more than just gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information about a market. It’s more than just sizing a market and understanding the growth rate, competitors, and buying segments. Win loss research is a sales, product, and marketing enablement tool focused on improving sales, improving the product/service, and improving a company’s market presence as a result of listening to customers.

Here are six strategic recommendations you can apply to your win loss analysis. 

Six Win Loss Strategic Recommendations

1. Get Sales and C-level leadership support: Getting Sales buy-in for Win Loss is critical.

C-level support is also important and can make or break your win loss program. Once senior executives see the value of the win loss information the company is getting, however, they are usually quick to provide their full endorsement. We often see C-level executives taking their win loss programs from one company to another, as they learn to rely on win loss findings.

2. View Win Loss as a learning tool.

It’s important to put forth the right message about the win loss program, stressing that win loss feedback will be used as a learning mechanism, helping the entire organization improve. This communication is especially important to ensure sales teams are fully on-board with the program, especially since buyer feedback that is most critical tends to focus on sales behavior.

Goals3. Define program goals.

At the outset of the win loss program, it’s important to ensure there is organizational clarity about the goals for win loss analysis. Is the program in place to improve sales effectiveness? Better understand buyer behavior? Improve product features and functionality? Will the program be used strategically, tactically, or both? Make sure you have clarity on these issues because this will drive the questions you ask and the results you receive. Also make sure you have clarity around processes you’ll put in place, such as how customers will be contacted, how the information will be communicated back to internal constituents, and how deep structural changes will be made within the organization.

4. Share information broadly.

At Primary Intelligence, we feel strongly that wide distribution of win loss information is a best practice. Organizations that share buyer feedback from win loss interviews have better outcomes than those that limit the findings to a small group of executives or managers. Individuals in different parts of the organization can see the impact of their actions—even if they’re not interacting with the customer directly. Linkages can also be made between different geographic regions in terms of market conditions and competitive responses to specific offers or product initiatives. Companies that close off access to win loss information don’t get the benefits of win loss programs that organizations that share information widely experience.

5. Look at individual interviews and deal reports.

It’s important to look at individual interviews or deal reports, as well as program information in aggregate. A lot can be learned from specific buyer feedback reports, while over-arching trends can be seen from consolidated information. It’s important to do both. Now, the types of information you share may be different depending on the person or audience’s needs. For example, you may share individual deal report information with the sales team responsible for specific opportunities or product management, pricing, and support representatives when buyer feedback highlighted issues relevant to their domains. In contrast, executive summaries may be shared with C-level executives.

6. Conduct debrief/discovery sessions.

Debrief and discovery sessions are incredibly helpful to engage in because they allow key players to hear details of won and lost opportunities and strategize on next steps, both internally within their organizations and as they relate to the market, including competitive threats. While individual stakeholders can read reports and digest the information individually, discussing key wins and losses with other company executives helps to promote greater synergy and helps to “connect the dots.” We’ve seen debriefing and discovery sessions work very effectively for our clients.

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Sales Tips: 5 Habits for Being a Better Sales Professional

Posted by Jill Perez on Jan 17, 2018 1:07:46 PM

Sales Tips: 5 Habits for Being a Better Sales Professional

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

5 Habits for Better Sales

The key to winning more deals always comes down to understanding your prospects’ business needs. Putting these five habits into play in your daily work as a sales professional will not only help you align with your prospects’ needs, but be in position to solve those needs.

1. Research your buyers’ business processes

When you have an understanding of your buyer’s processes, you can present your solution as an enhancement to their process. This is time to show your expertise and shine the light on your solution.

Research how they win business over their competitors. What yardstick do they use to measure success in their industry? Your ultimate goal is providing them with the solution that improves their way of doing business.

2. Be an industry specialist

If you know your buyer’s industry and their buying process, you can engage in more meaningful conversations and show that you understand their business needs.
Having specific knowledge of their industry gives you a competitive advantage. You will be able to speak to the pain points of your buyer’s industry and gain their trust.

3. Be a problem solver

Buyers aren’t looking for sales reps; they’re looking for advisers. How can you step into the role of most valuable player? How can you demonstrate that your solution should be an integral part of their connection to their customers? Your buyers need to see that you add value to their equation. Give them a fresh perspective. Demonstrate value. Show that your product or service will help them solve their problems.

4. Think like a fisherman

The most significant component to fishing is the fish. Studying where, when, and what they eat all add up to the success of catching the fish.

You need to get past the mechanics of selling and focus on the buyer. It is really all about them. What do they want? Why not ask them directly?

Go beyond the RFP and actually talk to your buyers. Ask for an onsite visit. You can learn a lot by watching your buyer in action. What lure appetizes your buyer?

5. Walk a mile in their shoes

One common denominator between the military and their contractors is the contractors are often former military themselves.

It makes sense that buyers will gravitate to people who know their business inside and out because they’ve “been there, done that.” If you have not walked in their shoes, it makes sense for you to talk to someone who has. Who do you know who may have a close relationship with this buyer? What insight can they share?

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Sales Tips: Stop Measuring Customer Satisfaction

Posted by Jill Perez on Jan 10, 2018 3:35:34 PM

Sales Tips: Stop Measuring Customer Satisfaction

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

We recently worked with a company trying to fix their high customer attrition rate with annual customer satisfaction surveys. Their survey project was successful. Fixing the attrition rate was not.

Customer SatisfactionBut why?

The company measured satisfaction, and the numbers said customers were not satisfied. To raise the numbers, the company formulated and implemented action plans. Sounds like a solid plan, right? The problem:

The company was measuring how their customers felt, but not why they felt that way.

They knew perception of their services was low, but couldn’t figure out why. Measuring satisfaction provides no predictive analytics that score the likelihood of renewal. 

The account teams were earnest in their actions to attempt to solve the issues, but the actions were misguided because the surveys failed to ask the customer: What are we doing wrong or right? The team was assuming root causes based only on customer satisfaction numbers and their own best guesses about what, exactly, was causing those numbers.

Measuring Satisfaction is Not Enough

“Satisfaction” (including NPS) tells you if they like you. It gives you a thumbs up or thumbs down.

It doesn’t, in our opinion, accurately tell you what it’s like to be your customer (the customer journey). It also doesn’t necessarily help you retain customers because it leaves a host of questions unanswered. What will the customer care about when considering a renewal? What will drive their perception of value and ROI? A score can’t tell you either.

Customer experience analysis is ultimately about renewals.To really retain those renewal dollars, you need to do it differently.

Now, let’s be clear:

If you are not measuring your customer’s satisfaction, stop reading this post and do it now. It’s that important.

We are not really advocating doing away with customer satisfaction numbers. Instead we are advocating changing what is measured and how.

Start Measuring the Journey

The Buyer's Journey

Instead, start measuring and analyzing the customer’s experience. Customer experience analysis is different from customer satisfaction because it helps you walk the same path as your customer. At Primary intelligence, we’ve found a three-pronged approach works best.

  1. Feedback – Figure out what the customer thinks and why. I’d recommend conducting interviews using both quantitative (scale, ranking, binary, etc.) and qualitative (open-ended) questions. Create a formal discussion guide to create consistency and a focused discussion, but don’t be shy about going off script to probe for details. Figure out what will be driving a renewal decision and the overall perception of value.
  2. Discovery – Although the customer has filled in the gaps on what they are feeling and why, your account team needs to round out the view. Ask everyone involved with the account to review the interview feedback and then schedule a debrief session. Focus the session on what the team is doing – good or bad – to drive those perceptions and what will likely drive a renewal decision. (Get more tips on debrief sessions in this webinar.)
  3. Act – As you end the debrief and move into planning mode, identify specific actions the team can take to resolve concerns and emphasize value. Also don’t neglect identifying growth opportunities and how you’ll act on those. Ultimately determine what you want the customer to say during the next feedback session.

The When Matters Too

And while you’re at it, adjust when you measure. Reaching out to all customers at the same time each year doesn’t do your account teams any favors. They need feedback throughout the customer’s journey, so map the feedback timeline to that journey. No time is more important than 3 to 6 months prior to a renewal event. Give the team enough time to shore up weaknesses and plant seeds for growth opportunities.

Remember: Your customers are future buyers. Stop just asking if they’re satisfied. Instead use customer experience analysis to predict the likelihood of renewal.

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Sales Tips: How Staying on Top of the News Can Help You Close Sales

Posted by Jill Perez on Dec 28, 2017 12:37:32 PM

Sales Tips: How Staying on Top of the News Can Help You Close Sales

By Drew Steigerwald, Co-Founder of 1440 daily news digest

Creative Commons photo: Source

“Hey, did you hear that Elon Musk built the world’s largest battery in under 100 days on a bet?”

No, it has nothing to do with what I’m selling you. But staying on top of the news not only keeps you informed of industry trends but makes you seem savvy and smart – a person you’d want to do business with.

The problem is that you – like me – probably feel deluged with constant news and information, and don’t have time to stay on top of what’s happening. That’s okay – there are solutions for that. But here’s why staying in the know across many topics, not just your own industry, can make you a better salesperson.

Staying on Top of News Helps Close More Sales1. Keeping up with the news helps breaks the ice and humanizes you

Salespeople can get caught up in the repetitive nature of their role. Aggressive sales tactics that salespeople might use to reach their quotas can give the industry a bad reputation for caring more about the sale than the customer. Staying abreast of current events and using them as ice breakers can help you soften your sales technique.

Whether you make sales in person, over the phone or via email, start the conversation by talking about something interesting you heard in the news. By not going straight into your sales pitch, your potential customers will sense that you care more about building a relationship rather than talking money. You will also come off as interesting and cultured, which will reflect well on your company and product.

In general it is best to stay away from incendiary news topics like politics.

By chatting about current events before diving into your sales pitch, you will build a rapport with your customers, which will help you close the sale.

Rather than searching a dozen online publications to catch up on all of the day’s top stories, you can get an overview of all of the day’s need-to-know news with an email newsletter like 1440 or news aggregator like Google News.

2. Staying local helps you know when to change your approach

It is very easy to get caught in a bubble during the workweek. You are focused on your week’s goals and may not be paying attention to what’s going on outside of the office. However, keeping up with the news in your customer’s region is tied to reaching your sales goals.

If you are based in New York City but your accounts are in the Midwest or China, it is professionally more important for you to follow the news in Chicago or Shanghai than New York. Staying abreast of current events in your potential customer’s region will help you anticipate and further sales decisions.

If you live in New York but pay attention to Chicago news to know what’s going on with your Midwest customers, you will learn of events that don’t become national news but that will affect your sales. If you typically conduct sales in person but see that a snowstorm will affect the Midwest, you can accommodate your potential customers by suggesting a video conference instead of an in-person meeting to avoid the back-and-forth of rescheduling due to bad weather.

If you hear that China is facing an economic depression, you may anticipate your prospect’s troubles by offering a discount or relieving them of an onboarding fee to help you close the sale.

Keeping up with your customer region’s local news will impress prospects and help you close the sale.

You can stay up on local news from your customers’ regions by searching their local newspapers’ online editions, visiting Patch.com for hyperlocal reporting, or using the local edition of an industry-specific site like Curbed or Eater.

3. Industry trends help you improve your sales technique

Outside of keeping up with general news, keeping up with industry trends will help you close sales by inspiring you to always be innovating. Sales and marketing blogs like CustomerCentric Selling®'s will help keep your sales skills sharp so that you, the salesperson, can reach and surpass your sales goals.

By learning what filler words to avoid during your sales pitch or why you should plan your sales call, you will learn new skills, sharpen weaknesses and become a better salesperson.

4. Keeping up with the competition helps the product sell itself

On a more macro level, staying on top of industry news will help you keep an eye out on what your company’s competition is doing. Whether you are the Chief Sales Executive of your company or a Junior Sales Associate, you will make yourself a valuable employee by letting your employer know what competitors are doing and how your company can keep up.

By suggesting features that competitors are introducing, you will help keep your product the most innovative in the industry. When the competition isn’t competitive, the product will sell itself and you will close more sales.

To find the latest news in your industry, join your company’s industry association. To keep an eye out on the giants of your industry, follow these top business publications.

Author Bio: Drew Steigerwald is the Co-Founder of 1440, a daily email news digest that empowers professionals by curating, explaining and serving the day’s top news stories and more on a silver platter.

1440’s social media accounts:

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Sales Tips: 6 Strategies to Get Buyers to Talk to You

Posted by Jill Perez on Dec 27, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Sales Tips: 6 Strategies to Get Buyers to Talk to You

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

Are you having a hard time getting buyers to talk to you?

How many times have you tried to find out how your most recent sales opportunity went and got no response? Or attempted to talk to a customer to see how it is going only to hear crickets? Frustrating, isn’t it?

After completing well over 20,000 interviews with busy buyers, we’ve learned a thing or two on how to get them to talk to us. We also know:

Getting feedback from buyers is the best way to improve your win rates.

And talking to your current customers to see what benefits they’re receiving from your solution is a highly effective plan to retain them. By going straight to the source, you discover what is and isn’t working for you and most importantly, why.

Here’s an infographic sharing our top 6 strategies to get the conversation started.


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Sales Tips: 4 Foolproof Ways to Increase Sales Productivity

Posted by Jill Perez on Dec 19, 2017 10:33:25 AM

Sales Tips: 4 Foolproof Ways to Increase Sales Productivity

By Sam Holzman, Content Marketing Specialist at ZoomInfo

Stressed SalespersonWith quotas and long term goals constantly at the forefront of our minds, sales professionals are under constant pressure to perform. With this in mind, it’s no wonder 65% of B2B companies say sales productivity is the biggest challenge they face on a daily basis.

Many organizations increase sales hiring as the only means to reach the goals they have set for themselves. Yet, many hesitate to make changes to their actual sales strategies. To truly boost sales productivity for the long haul, managers must examine every part of their sales process.

If you struggle to increase sales productivity, keep reading. We’ve compiled the top four ways you can increase your sales productivity today.

1. Provide ongoing sales training.

Sales training is an expensive process, both financially and in terms of the time it takes. However, an extensive sales training program is integral to your sales productivity in the long run.

Studies show that 84% of all sales training content is forgotten after 90 days. To remedy this problem, place an added focus on sales coaching and ongoing training:

Sales Training WorkshopsBy investing a small amount of each month on ongoing sales coaching, managers can ensure that their sales reps are always learning and absorbing best practices – and that will have a lasting impact on productivity.

To learn more about the many merits of sales training, check out these articles:

2. Invest in technology to automate non-selling tasks.

Did you know the average sales rep spends only one-third of their day talking to prospects? It’s true: the majority of a salesperson’s day is spent on administrative tasks like reading and writing emails, attending meetings, scheduling calls and conducting research. With so many tasks to juggle, it’s no wonder so many companies struggle with sales productivity.

Not only do administrative tasks cut down on selling time, but they actually damage your overall performance. Multitasking is often considered a desirable trait in sales reps, but research shows that juggling tasks can actually hurt the quality of your work.

The solution – automate these tedious tasks. By crafting the perfect sales technology stack, businesses can cut down on the busywork and ensure that more time is spent selling.

3. Prioritize sales and marketing alignment.

One of the biggest inhibitors of sales productivity is a lack of alignment between sales and marketing departments. And unfortunately, studies show that only 8% of companies have tight sales and marketing alignment.

Sales and Marketing Working TogetherSales reps waste valuable time when they aren’t on the same page as their marketing counterparts. To start, both departments should establish an agreed upon definition of a qualified lead.  This is because, 61% of marketers send their leads directly to the sales department, but only 27% of those leads are qualified. Not only does this waste time, but it strains the relationship between the two departments and leads to further roadblocks.

Your sales and marketing departments must operate using the same goals and data. By doing so, you will see massive improvements to both your sales productivity and overall business performance:

For a deeper look at sales and marketing alignment, check out the following articles:

4. Don’t be afraid to take a break.

That’s right – one of the most overlooked ways to increase productivity is to step away from your desk once in a while.

76% of all people report the top two causes of stress in the US are job pressure and money. Because sales is often commission-based and money-driven, stress and pressure run rampant in this profession.

While taking a break may seem counterintuitive, psychological studies say that taking breaks throughout the day dramatically improves your mental performance. Rather than thinking of a break as a waste of time, think of it as a necessary step to keep yourself at peak performance.

Final Thoughts

Given the high-pressure nature of the industry, productivity will always be a top concern for sales professionals. Looking for a single, quick solution will rarely make a long-term impact on your team’s productivity. Instead, take a step back and look at every aspect of your sales process, from big picture strategies to day-to-day practices.

Sales productivity must be top of mind at all times and, therefore, integrated into your daily sales processes. Consider talking with your team members to determine their biggest inhibitors and motivators. Then, test new strategies and tactics.

Contact CustomerCentric Selling® today, to learn more about sales productivity.

Contributed by Sam Holzman, Content Marketing Specialist at ZoomInfo. ZoomInfo offers the most accurate and actionable B2B sales intelligence to help organizations accelerate growth and profitability. The continuously updated database enables sales and marketing teams to execute more effective marketing campaigns and improve lead generation efforts. Visit zoominfo.com for more information. 

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