Raybec Sales Effectiveness Blog

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5 Networking Tips for Your Sales Team

Posted by Robert Beckerman

Purchase behavior has changed radically in recent years, but today, more than ever, networking is the key to sales effectiveness. Networking is about meeting potential customers and leads, and building a relationship with them, with the goal of being in the right place at the right time to be considered when an opportunity arises.

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Topics: Sales Effectiveness, Networking

Make or Break: Client Relationships

Posted by Robert Beckerman

When you're focused on the bottom line, it's easy to forget the importance of client relationships. Relationships can seem burdensome and time-consuming. On the other hand, you may find that client relationships can make your work less stressful and more satisfying as your clients become people you work with and not just business contacts you work for.

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Topics: Networking, Customer Development & Retention, Sales Process & Performance

5 Problems with Social Media and How it’s Affecting Your Networking

Posted by Robert Beckerman

There is no denying that social media has grown in recent years, not only in popularity but also in power. We’re all networking at unprecedented levels through platforms like Twitter, Vine, LinkedIn and more. As social media has grown, so too have social media problems. Even the most tech-savvy business can find itself mired in social media problems and the networking nightmares they can create.

Keeping Your Network Safe

Online privacy continues to be one of the thornier social media problems. Workers whose attention wanders to the internet aren’t always as cautious as they should be, which could result in accidental downloads of malware, spyware and all manner of viruses. At best, this costs you time and money; at worst, the private information of your business or your customers can be stolen and used maliciously. As the owner of the desk where the buck stops, the burden falls to you to make amends.

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Topics: Social Media, Sales Effectiveness, Networking

5 Steps to Becoming a Networking Champion.

Posted by Robert Beckerman

Networking is at the heart of any successful sales endeavor, whether you're looking for new salespeople, trying to generate leads, or converting prospects into clients. Successful networking will attract qualified salespeople to come to you, bring leads to your doorstep, and give you the tools and information you need to increase your conversions. If you've been involved in sales for a while, you've probably already learned the basics of networking. However, to take it to the next level, you need to learn the tips and tricks of networking champions. Once you've become a networking champion, you'll find much of your work already done, and success will be much easier to achieve.

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Topics: Social Media, Sales Training, Successful Networking, Networking, Sales Process & Performance

3 Keys to Implementing a Winning Sales Strategy

Posted by Robert Beckerman

3-keys-to-implementing-a-winning-sales-strategyHaving a winning sales strategy is important for creating competitive advantage and meeting your sales goals. Your sales strategy is the foundation for your sales efforts and helps direct your energies in the most productive direction. These three keys to implementing a winning sales strategy will help you formulate an approach that is comfortable for you and successful with your target prospects.

1.  Develop a Sales Strategy That Attracts Business

Although no sales strategy is complete without outbound sales efforts, a winning sales strategy compliments these outbound efforts by attracting business to you. Warm leads, especially those that are generated through referral, are an important source of business that take less effort to convert and can produce larger sales achievements. Work on attracting business through your sales strategy by:

  • Tapping your networks for outside the box opportunities. Go beyond simply asking for referrals and ask your contacts whether they belong to any organizations, associations, or meeting groups that would be interested in hearing from you.
  • Making sure that you have a coherent and visible internet presence. The internet is the first source of information on potential purchases for many prospects. Make sure that prospects can find you, and equally importantly, become interested in contacting you by optimizing your internet channels.
  • Setting aside time in your schedule to generate and follow up on the business that is attracted through your inbound sales strategy.

2.  Prepare and Plan For Every Stage in Your Sales Strategy

Though flexibility is a virtue, so is having a concrete plan for success with your sales strategy. Shortcomings in sales planning can cause issues throughout the sales pipeline, from prospects who leave the pipeline too early to prospects who stay in the pipeline indefinitely before committing to a deal. Ideally, your sales strategy should help prospects move through the stages from lead to customer as efficiently as possible without depriving any part of the sales process or rushing your prospects. Being prepared with your sales strategy also benefits the prospect, since you will be able to demonstrate your value and commitment to saving the prospect time in the process. Prepare and plan the stages in your sales strategy through:

  • Acquiring the information you need from the prospect as early as possible, so you can spend the rest of the sales process sharing relevant information with your prospect.
  • Outlining a sales strategy for each individual prospect after the initial sales call based on the information you have and the steps you need to take to move the prospect forward.
  • Defining key objectives to take place at milestones in your sales strategy so that you can define and measure your progress.

3.  Demonstrate Your Purpose to Your Prospects

A sales strategy that has a purpose of selling to prospects will rarely be successful. Make the overarching purpose of your sales strategy to help your prospects through consultative and relationship based selling and your prospects will respond positively.

  • Practice the art of persuasive positioning. Adopting the purpose of helping prospects does not mean that you become a sounding board for their business issues. Instead, position yourself to listen and respond with moderate persuasion towards your proposed solutions.
  • Learn the prospect's industry. If you are targeting your prospects, there are probably a limited number of industries you consider core to your sales strategy. Learn these industries inside and out so that you can share insights with prospects and demonstrate why your offering is the right solution.
  • Develop added value. Value is integral to the buying decision and no sales strategy is complete without it. Have a "schedule" of value propositions so that you can always choose the right approach.

Prospects do not want to be sold to; they are looking for individuals who can consult on their needs, form a meaningful relationship, and provide lasting solutions to business problems. With the right sales strategy, that someone could be you.

The Sales Effectiveness Scorecard

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Topics: Social Media, Sales Effectiveness, Networking, Lead Nurturing & Conversion, Sales Process & Performance

5 Ways to Generate More Sales Referrals

Posted by Robert Beckerman

It's no secret that sales referrals are the most valuable tool for business growth, but all too often this method of outreach underutilized. Receiving sales referrals is one the sincerest and highest compliments, yet sales people frequently disengage from pursuing referrals because they fear that it will somehow spoil relationships by being intrusive. In actuality, sales referrals are earned and generating them boils down to mindset and business practice. Here are five ways to revitalize your business contacts and generate more sales referrals.

1.  Make Asking for Sales Referrals A Habit

Prospecting for sales referrals is easier when it is a dedicated part of your routine. Revisit your sales process and document current strategies: Focus on how to integrate referral selling as a continuous habit. Plan to ask for sales referrals at the appropriate stage in the sales pipeline:

  • After you have submitted a sales proposal and the prospect lets you know that he or she is impressed;
  • When a prospect mentions that a peer was looking for solutions that your organization could provide;
  • When a sale closes successfully as part of routine follow up;
  • When your solution has provided value.

2.  Adopt the Skills and Presentation Approaches That Support Sales Referrals

While asking for a sales referral can seem intrusive, it doesn't have to be. Make it part of the natural conversation by preparing referrals as a talking point. Let your client know that you strive for results and want to earn not only their recommendation, but an introduction as well. Include prospecting for sales referrals in the initial conversations following a successful deal. Whenever your services are complimented, thank the client and inquire if they know anyone who could benefit from your work as they have. Remember that the referrer's reputation is at hand, so earning new sales referrals must be something they feel you deserve.

3.  Utilize Your Networks

Sales referrals don't come strictly come from converted clients. Outreach to business contacts and associates can also be helpful. Specify to your contacts what your services are and who you want to meet. Challenge yourself to be more outgoing at networking events and meet new people. Moreover, generously brokering your own sales references to bring contacts together can create a return sales referral (and make it easier to ask for one yourself). Think about networks that you can deploy to find more sales referrals:

  • Your membership in professional and alumni associations.
  • Your social networking and internet presence.
  • Your professional social relationships, including your mentors and previous managers and coworkers.

4.  Create and Measure Goals

Setting a defined goal guides your sales referral generation efforts: How many sales referrals were asked for weekly? Monthly? Have you stepped out of your comfort zone? How many referrals resulted from those efforts, and what new opportunities became available? Starting with simple goals and measuring them summarizes your efforts and helps further define your priorities. Increase your effectiveness to generate sales referrals by:

  • Setting well defined goals to ask for a certain number of sales referrals on a weekly and a monthly basis.
  • Setting expectations for how many of your asks will result in actionable referrals.
  • Setting goals for following up on your referrals and track your results.

5.  Demonstrate Gratitude

One of the best ways to generate sales referrals is show your gratitude. By thanking the referrer for providing their contact, you lay another building block in your professional relationship. Present gratitude appropriately, whether by note, a progress update, over a meal, or some other way. Doing so can be a capstone for a positive customer experience and prove your sincerity to your referrer. These acts also display your commitment to referral selling, bettering your chances of generating repeat sales referrals.

The Sales Effectiveness Scorecard

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Topics: Social Media, Sales Referrals, Networking, Pipeline Management, Sales Process & Performance