Putting an effective sales system into place is the first priority for any sales manager looking to maximize their sales effectiveness. Once this is in place, however, the job is far from over. An effective sales system is an important foundation, but in order to increase sales in a cost-effective way, there must be constant adjustments and improvements being made to the overall sales strategy.
In today’s competitive environment, there is not always an abundance of additional resources available to spend on improving sales outcomes. This means that the most successful sales managers will implement winning sales strategies that are affordable. The following are a few ideas to help get you started when brainstorming sales strategies that won’t break the bank.
Empower your salespeople
One of the most effective ways to make a sales team more efficient is to empower the salespeople themselves. While there should be a clear set of goals and guidelines for the sales team to follow, studies have shown that an empowered sales team will perform more effectively than those who are micromanaged.
What exactly does empowering salespeople entail? First off, it is perfectly acceptable to distinguish between your successful and yet-to-be successful team members. One reward for sales success can be to give those successful salespeople greater leeway to make their own decisions during the sales process. Access to discounts, the ability to negotiate special terms and conditions, and a number of other privileges can be a powerful incentive for salespeople, and will also groom them for leadership roles down the line.
Whenever possible, the sales team should also have genuine input into how the sales department is run, and should play a role in developing or evolving the sales process. This is something that the Insight Sales Process™ encourages by having the team define the specific insights for discovery (see How to Improve Sales Discovery on the First Call) the best responses to these and the content and strategy that should be triggered by them.
Increase the efficiency of sales calls
Every day, your team wastes an enormous amount of energy on ineffective sales calls. It is important to set up a qualification process so that qualified leads that are ready to buy receive more attention than poorer quality leads that are still on the fence. You need to make sure that each sales member is spending the majority of their time making sales calls with the greatest chance of return, instead of simply working their way through a stack of business cards and contact information. Establish a ranking system to score each lead with consistent criteria and create offers of value so that you can stimulate the feedback required to estimate how proper segmentation and assignment of your leads.
Analyze results and adjust accordingly
As a sales team leader, you should constantly be looking at sales data to see what strategies are working and which ones no longer are. For example, a specific promotion or lead demographic may have been profitable in the past, but has been gradually decreasing in close-rate. A sales manager who has discovered this trend should do two things. First, they should look to see if there is a tweak or alteration that would make the sales process more effective in those specific instances. Second, they should look for opportunities elsewhere, such as with a different promotion or among a different lead demographic, and reroute the focus of their sales team to that more promising sales tactic. Without this continuous tracking and adjustment your team may in fact be working harder to obtain the same results and you might be burning them out to make plan. Always test against your baseline metrics so that you have a process for delivering continuous improvement.
All of the suggestions listed above require the definition, execution and measurement of your sales process in a consistent fashion so that you have specific and ongoing success metrics. The Insight Sales Success Program™ will help you develop these perspectives and implement them without breaking the bank.
- 5 Ways to Build Rapport that Increase Sales Outcomes
- Increase Sales Success With Selling Strategies for Leads That Didn't Close
- Is Your Sales Process as Effective as Possible?
- 3 Tips to Staying in Control of the Sales Process
- 3 Steps to Long-Term Sales Success