Sales Team Performance Tips – Tracking Your Sales Ratio

The trends in sales enquiry and sales conversion will always help you with developing and implementing a good business strategy.  Those salespeople that really know their way around numbers and ratios will usually rise to the top of their business faster than others.The fact of the matter is that numbers tell us things that are very useful; you can then adjust any prospecting and marketing activities that are not converting the business, and improve on those that are getting good results.

Here are some of the numbers that we track when it comes to business growth and levels of activity:

  1. Find out where the enquiry is coming from.  If you do a lot of marketing in various channels of the media, work out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing.  They call the process ‘test and measure’.   Do more of the things that attract the best levels of enquiry.
  2. If you work with or are in charge of a sales team, watch the sales and business conversions of all of your salespeople and then compare them.  Some of those salespeople will be better than others when it comes to building momentum and sales.  In many respects the results can be driven by the salespersons sales character and personal systems.  If something works well for one salesperson, replicate it and spread it across the team.
  3. Do you keep specific numbers relating to your prospecting activities?  The numbers to know and check on a weekly basis should be calls in and out, meetings held, sales made, and time involved in the sales cycle.  Some businesses have very long sales cycle; all the more reason to have a ‘sales pipeline’ process.
  4. When you create a client relationship, the next step in the business cycle is to strengthen the sales relationship so you can sell them more product or services over time.  Some of those clients will be of a Key Account nature; on that basis they will require the attention of your best people and client services.
  5. Lastly something should be said about ‘referral business’ and the obtaining of that business from existing clients.  Do not overlook the opportunity here.  Your existing clients know other people and on that basis some new relationships can be opened up.

When it comes to building a business or market share, systems work every time.  This then says that you should develop a system of approach at a personal level and then make it a habit in your daily activities.  When you make it a habit, you can improve it and that’s how results come in.  Many salespeople struggle with the fact that ‘systems’ are required to help them achieve better success in their industry.  If anything, that then makes it much easier for others that can develop a good approach to business with well-developed systems.

Fast Track Your Sales and Market Share

Successful sales campaigns require continual momentum to a plan or a target.  That is why many sales campaigns fail; the people behind the process do not have the plan to keep them on track. They may also lack the discipline to focus on the daily activities required.

Time is your resource of great importance in moving ahead in sales and in business today.  Using your time productively to a plan will help you get ahead.

The rules to set up a sales campaign involve some key decisions including these below:

  1. Identify those ‘rainmakers’ in the sales team that are proven performers.  They should be given optimal latitude in driving more business and sales from the client base.
  2. Determine the priorities that apply to the selection of ‘Key Accounts’ in your market and industry.  Populate those segments from existing clients and prospects in your territory.
  3. Track the clients that are serviced by your competitors.  They will require special attention to get leverage and encourage them to move.
  4. Some clients will be prioritised for repeat business as well as volume sales.  Discounts can be applied depending on volume or sales stability.
  5. Set the rules for Major Accounts as opposed to Ordinary Accounts.  Interact with both segments based on the applied rules.
  6. Create rules that take a new account into the pipeline of conversion and elevated sales over time.
  7. What are the delay factors that will apply to orders and supply? Always prepare for the known factors before anything else.

Top sales people are highly motivated at a personal level.  The only way to achieve that is through focus and directed effort.  It takes time to get there, however the rewards are many.

Database CRM Strategies in Sales Today

When it comes to building your market share or establishing your market share as a salesperson, a good database program or customer relationship management system will help you greatly.  Keeping in contact with the right people in the right way is really what this is all about.  Systems will help you do that and open the door with more prospects at the right time and in the right way.Here are some rules to establish a contact management program in your business:

  1. Define your market geographically so you know where your clients are going to come from.  Unless you do this first, you could spend far too much time spreading your efforts too broadly and seeing little outcome.  You want results as soon as possible and on that basis you should limit your efforts to a defined area at all times.  Importantly that area should contain enough clients for you to focus on and convert to new business.
  2. Establish a list of raw data including a list of companies and people that should be contacted as part of marketing efforts.  To keep the pipeline of opportunity moving ahead, this list should be added to daily at a rate of 10 to 20 people from selected businesses.   Take care in setting the right level of decision maker that should be approached regards your product or service.  Keep the calls going and eventually you will have a solid database of opportunity.
  3. Suspects are the people that you will be making contact with.  They will come from the research undertaken as part of the ‘raw data’ stage above.  On a daily basis, ring down your suspects at a rate of 20 per day.  You will only reach 5 to 10 on average per day, so those that you missed out on should go back into the call register for another day.
  4. Prospects will be the people that you have spoken to and identified a need or interest in your product or service.  When they are noted to be prospects, you should be moving them towards a meeting with you if and when such can be arranged.  This can take time to achieve depending on their business and their need, so keep talking to them on a regular basis until you can the meeting that you require.
  5. Face to face contact is important in most industries before any orders are achieved.  Rarely can you sell your services and products across the telephone.  It is far easier to sell a meeting over the telephone and then to get to know the right people.  Relationships are everything in business today.
  6. Hot Prospects are those people that know you and are actively looking for something to buy or sell as part of your industry and market type.  Keep in contact with them every few days to open the door on a sale or order.
  7. Clients that you work with should be kept at the top of your contact register.  The contact made will include calls, meetings, conferences, product or service briefings, product releases, and regular client events.
  8. Your competitor’s clients should get a special category in your database.  Over time you can convert some of them to your clients, so a strategy of high priority contact should be established with these people.

Given all of these things, it is wise to ask for referral business whenever possible.  Every client and prospect in your database will know other people, some of whom will be valid contacts for future business; ask the question at the right time with the right people.

Gain Visibility in Your Sales Market or Industry

When it comes to building your market share and your business, it is very easy to get tied up in the unimportant things that happen every day.  If you work in sales, this can be a disaster that will destroy your market and eventually your commission or income.

In an ideal world you want your good reputation to spread around your industry and client base.  You need to be seen and known as the expert that people go to when they want help.  This ‘guru’ status does not come easily and can only be built by what you do and who you know.  You earn the ‘expert’ mantle of a top expert in your industry.

The key to this process is in being different in an acceptable and relevant way.  Business is not all that complicated if you follow the rules.

  1. Build your brand with clients and prospects after every meeting or contact.   Send them your business card in the mail.  Write something on the business card that is personal and connecting.  Thank the person for giving you some of their time.
  2. Speak at business conferences or community groups on your speciality.  In doing this you can give relevant information and tips that help people.  Do not sell from the front of the room.  It just puts people off.
  3. Set aside 90 minutes of your day to make calls to new people that you have not spoken to before.  In this way your market share will stay positive and potentially grow.
  4. Leave messages when you cannot reach someone.  You are a brand and your name means something.  Some of the most successful salespeople have very unusual names that are hard to forget.  This then says that leaving your name will in some minor way form part of the bigger marketing picture for you.
  5. Send short messages by SMS after a meeting to thank the person that you just spent some time with.  Adopt a similar process when you are to meet with a person.  Send an SMS message first thing in the morning or the night before so they know that you are coming to see them as expected.
  6. Go beyond email and lift the telephone as often as you can.  Voice contact helps you build your credibility.  Most emails get lost in the world of the email trash can.
  7. Follow-up the prospect or client after every sale to ensure that they are happy with what they purchased from you or your business.  It also gives you the opportunity to answer any questions that they may have on product use or application.
  8. Spend 50% of your day out of the office visiting clients.  It is harder to win business from your desk, so make it a part of your diary each day to get out and talk to people.

Is business all that hard?  Is there something that some salespeople do that is special?  No, the answers are quite simple; the top salespeople in any industry know that personal contact and branding will help them more than anything else.  You are in charge of your branding, so build your contact system and start moving it forward every day.

Sales Teams – Look for Bigger Clients to Build Better Market Share

When you work as a salesperson one of the best ways to rise to the top of your industry or to get a hold on your market is to target the bigger clients.  Here are a few facts for you:

  • The larger clients buy more products and services
  • These bigger clients buy more frequently and seasonally
  • The large customers give you credibility as a top salesperson in your market
  • You can value add your services and spread your offering more easily in a top clients account
  • These bigger clients want productive and problem solving solutions.
  • These clients want to streamline their activities so they can improve the bottom line.

It is notable that many top prospective clients are already serviced by your competitors, so they are easy to find.  That being said, it may take some time to convert these prospects to clients so a systemised contact process is required.  Set up a good database in your business to help the sales team coordinate their efforts in contacting the right prospective customers.

In today’s business environment where productivity and the bottom line means just so much, it is a very wise strategy to look at your client base and refine it to higher quality clients in this way.  Your smaller clients may stay with you but they should not get the same focus as a Key Account or big client.

These large prospective clients can be defined in a number of ways, depending on your business type and location.  Here are some ideas to help with that:

  1. The locational factors will drive better business for you.  To some degree, the convenience of the client to your business location will allow better supply and demand of product and services.  For this reason you should define your territory for both primary and secondary business.
  2. A top client or top prospective client can also be defined by the type of product or service that they buy from you.  That may be by volume or by sales total.
  3. A good client is one that can take you into other locations as part of their business model, or take alternative products, and add on services from you.

Look around the current market and see who your competitors are servicing.  Those relationships are ready to be tested.  You can open the door through any of the following:

  • Alternative supply solutions
  • Better customer service
  • Discounted prices and bulk discounts
  • Value add products and services

Building your business with better quality clients is a wise strategy for an established business that is looking for market dominance.

Sales Opportunity – Focus on Poorly Serviced Clients

When you work in sales of any type you will see prime examples of clients that are not serviced well.  It could be that they do not purchase often enough, or not in sufficient volume to rank as a priority.  That being said, they are likely to be an opportunity in waiting.

Many of those poorly serviced clients not purchasing much today can be key clients of the future.  Everything changes in business and you should not accept the status quo when it comes to clients and their business situations.  Keep in touch so you know when their business or personal situation requires your product or service.

It is interesting to note that many salespeople do not maintain regular and consistent contact with their entire database.  In most situations they will contact less than 25 clients on a regular basis.  All other clients will be relegated to the ‘call me when you need me’ process.

It has been proven that a regular 90 day contact system with all clients in your database will build greater business opportunity than just waiting for the ‘client to call’ when they want something.  After the third contact of 90 days, the client or prospect starts to see that you are really interested in them and their needs.  It is likely that they will get closer to your business and could potentially over time convert to a key customer.

So often I have seen sales and customer service situations where many clients and prospects move to another supplier simply because they felt overlooked or neglected.  That’s something to be avoided.

Here is a contact model to help your business growth:

  1. Understand who your key clients are by definition and location.  Yes they will need special attention; however that attention should be in balance with all other clients.
  2. Create a contact model for Key clients and then all others.  Key clients should be contacted at least every 30 days.  Other clients should be contacted inside 90 days regardless of their status.
  3. Use a multi faceted contact process to give your clients information about your product or service and any changes of product that they may be interested in.  The contact tools that you can use should include email newsletter, direct calls, and drop in meetings, product updates, and industry briefings.  In balance they create a good source of market and product information.
  4. Look at the competitors in your industry and identify their client base.  It is likely that you can open the contact process with some of their clients.
  5. Devote the first part of your day to contacting at least 10 new people that you have not made contact with previously.  When this is done in balance with your existing database you have a pipeline of growth.

Those clients that are underserviced will be great allies, if and when you convert them to greater levels of business.  It may take months or years to move them closer to your business, however the journey is worth it with some clients.