One of the biggest tragedies I see in business is watching a business owner spend significant time and effort generating leads for their business, but then not acting on them in a logical, methodical, repeatable way to convert those leads into paying customers.
Are you one of the many business owners who has a stack of business cards on your desk that you have collected through your networking activities and you haven’t quite got around to adding it to your customer database? No follow up has taken place and the leads are essentially growing colder by the day. If that is you, no need to raise your hand. But it is time to get out of the trap and start turning those leads into paying customers.
To make improvements in this area, you simply have to start doing one thing- MEASURE your current conversion success rate. Most business owners have no clue what their conversion rate is. By simply measuring where you are, you will improve. It happens every time. Once you start measuring, you realise what you should be doing and your results begin to improve.
Add to that a specific, focused approach to handling your leads and your conversion rate will go through the roof. The best part is, you can grow your business without spending one more rand. You’ve already invested marketing funds to generate the leads. Now, make the most of that investment by defining your specific, repeatable sales steps that will convert your leads into customers.
To get started, take a few minutes and write down the specific steps that you take each and every lead through to get them familiar with you and your business. Each business has a different set of steps in their selling process. Some have just a few steps. This is most often where the average ticket price for a transaction is relatively small. Large ticket price transactions usually have many steps. It is also wise to decide how familiar a new prospect needs to be with you and your business in order to pull out their wallet and make a purchase. If it is a complicated product or service, you will likely need more steps in your selling process.
Once you have your current process steps written down, ask yourself: is everyone in my business doing it the same way? If not, why not? How can you have a “best in class” approach if you allow each individual to “roll out their own”? How can you test and measure new approaches if you don’t first start with a standard? How can you improve and predict your outcome if there are multiple approaches? The answer to all of these questions is you can’t.
I often hear business owners say they would lose their best sales person if they made them follow a standard sales process. Then let me ask you – whose business is it? Is it yours or your sales person’s? Who has all the risk in the deal? Who is setting the expectations and limitations? My hope is that it is you – the business owner.
Establish your specific selling process steps, train your team to follow the selling process, support it with the necessary materials and measure the results of each specific step. Make changes to your sales process based on the results of your measurements. Test and measure. Test and measure again and again. Make incremental improvements and hold yourself and your team accountable for the results. This is the recipe for success.
One last thought. As you build your step-by-step sales process, be mindful of the thought that in every sales process there is a point where your prospect will do some something specific to indicate they are ready to buy. If you can identify that “something” for your business, then point all of your efforts to make that happen and your conversion rate will improve. I call this the ‘get on the boat’ moment. What is your ‘get on the boat’ moment?
If you stay focused, stay determined, be determined and build a repeatable process for converting leads into customers, your business success will become a certainty.
3 Ways You Should Use Data Science To Skyrocket Sales
Sales business is getting harder and more competitive day after day. Both physical retail and e-commerce offer a wide variety of brands and products, which makes it more difficult for an average sales person to seal the deal with potential customers.
Sales professionals have to be clever and extremely analytical before even approaching their clients. That’s why they use data science to skyrocket business. Data science is a contemporary statistical model which seeks to provide meaningful information from large amounts of complex data.
According to the study, this type of business analytics is expected to generate almost USD170 billion in 2018. If you want to keep the business stable and highly profitable, you should consider embracing data science in everyday work. This post will show you 3 ways to do it successfully.
Data science is based on artificial intelligence that has enough analytical power to give you remarkable insights into the traits of all prospects. Using this tool, you can personalise sales negotiations so as to match the exact needs of each client individually.
For example, data science will tell you the basic demographic features like age, gender, and location. But it goes beyond that and reveals income levels, professional titles, or personal interests based on online searches. All these inputs allow you to customise offers according to client’s preferences.
At the same time, you can prioritise prospects based on company size, predicted revenue, long-term potential, industry influence, or any other feature you might consider relevant to your business. This way, you can dedicate more time to the more important prospects and increase profitability just because you know who to talk to first.
It’s much simpler to sell products to existing customers than to attract new buyers. Data science can help you to upsell products and increase the profit using the base of loyal clients.
The system is simple – data science analyses the purchasing history and the preferences of every customer and suggests complementary products. That way, you make sure that your upselling suggestions stay relevant, which not only reduces bounce rates but also strengthens the base of loyal clients.
Create Ambitious Sales Quotas
Creating sales quotas has never been an easy job. Most companies are selling dozens of products in many cities, regions, or even countries, which makes it difficult for sales managers to manually determine ambitious but realistic quotas for their agents.
It’s actually one of the biggest reasons why managers underperform and fail to meet company requirements. However, data science makes this task a lot easier because it can automatically conduct the research and decide how much is enough for every sales representative in your team.
Company Aussie Writings uses data science to make sales forecasts and here’s what they say about it: “The new business analytics model goes through huge volumes of data within minutes, detect sales trends, and givesus a good plan for each agent, product, or region. With such powerful tool at our disposal, we don’t put too much pressure on sales representatives, but we also don’t have to worry about underachievement.”
The benefits of data science
Data science helps businesses to analyse potential clients more comprehensively and increases the odds of keeping sales high in the long run. It’s a perfect model for entrepreneurs who want to stay competitive in the abundance of brands, products, and services.
In this post, we showed you 3 ways you should use data science to skyrocket sales. Which tip could give your company the biggest boost? Let us know in comments and don’t hesitate to ask us if you need any additional information about this topic.
Exclusive Offer: Get 50% Off For This Premium Masterclass On Influence And Persuasion
Sales are the life blood of any business and the ability to make sales is a critical component of a business regardless of its size. But one of the biggest ongoing challenges for many entrepreneurs and sales people is to find new business.
Special offer exclusive to Entrepreneur Mag readers
- Visit http://www.qkt.io/salespersuasion
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What to expect from the masterclass
Over the past decade, many marketing options have been promoted as “sales prospecting tools” with very limited results for sales people. The reality is that nobody cares about you, your company or your products. They only care about if they can be better off from buying what you are selling.
Understanding how to influence and ultimately persuade someone to buy from you is the secret to sustainable sales success and business growth.
The Matt Brown Show partners with Sales Guru and The Influence Institute for this ‘one of a kind’ show. The expert panel consists of Gilan Gork, Expert Mentalist; Mark Keating, CEO of Sales Guru and Matt Brown, CEO of Matt Brown Media and host of The Matt Brown Show.
Together they will explore the topic of how to use influence and persuasion to get what you want in business.
Why you should attend
Every business owner will agree that in 2018 the ability to make sales is the ultimate game in business. Whether it’s selling a product or a service, knowing how to sell yourself and your ideas to decision makers is critical. With the competitive nature of a business, everyone should be learning more to get a competitive edge over their competitors.
Mark Keating, CEO of SALESGURU had this to say to entrepreneurs: “Do you know what sucks more than cold calling? Being broke”.
Gilan Gork, an expert in influence and the founder of the Influence Institute had this to say about influence:
“People under estimate the relevance that influence has in all our lives. From leadership to sales, from social to personal, and even the ability to influence ourselves in what we do every day in business.”
Who is the masterclass for
The Sales and Persuasion Masterclass is for entrepreneurs, business owners, small businesses, sales teams and anyone who sells a service or product or just wanting to learn how to sell themselves better.
The Show takes place on 4 April at Mesh Club, Rosebank, Johannesburg. Limited seats are available and we advise that you book your seat here today still to avoid disappointment.
“The ability to get what you want in business is a skill that anyone can learn but very few ever master. Understanding how to influence and ultimately persuade someone to buy from you is the secret to sustainable sales success and business growth”, said Matt Brown.
Follow Matt Brown:
3 Strategies For Closing Sales Without Picking Up The Phone
Cold calls generate follow-up conversations only 10 percent of the time, and lead to in-person meetings less than 2 percent of the time. Use these three strategies to skip the cold calling and get straight to decision-makers today.
Anyone who’s been on the receiving end of a sales cold call, which is virtually everyone with a phone number, can attest to how annoying these unsolicited sales attempts often are. Even if you stay on the line long enough to hear what the caller is selling, your first question probably isn’t, “Can you please tell me more?”
It’s more like, “How did you get my number?” Or maybe, “Can you please remove me from your calling list?”
Yet cold calling has been a widely used sales tactic for decades, and is often considered a rite of passage for veteran salespeople. But it’s high time for that to change. There are simply more efficient and effective ways to sell products in the digital age.
Time not well spent
Cold calls generate follow-up conversations only 10 percent of the time, according to a Harvard Business Review study. The other 90 percent of the time, they’re most likely alienating potential leads, even the ones who may actually benefit from the product or service being sold.
Moreover, not even 2 percent of sales calls lead to an in-person meeting, according to HubSpot research. That means you have to spend a lot of time on the phone before you get the chance to make an in-person pitch.
All of that time spent researching prospects, refining sales scripts and training your sales team to pitch your product on the phone, drives up your cost of customer acquisition immensely. Not surprisingly, HubSpot also reports that cold calls cost roughly 60 percent more per lead than acquisition methods like email marketing and social selling.
Cold calling is an aggressive approach, and today’s consumers don’t want to be pressured into making a purchase, they want to buy into your product and your company on their own terms. The internet has changed how consumers make buying decisions, and buyers now want to be in charge of the purchasing process.
Instead of interrupting customers with annoying sales calls, rely on the following three guidelines to build a better sales strategy:
1Start With Inbound Marketing
The guiding principle behind any successful inbound marketing program is to provide value first and sell second.
If customers understand the value that your company is offering, they’ll be far more likely to do business with you.
HubSpot helped pioneer this approach, and now companies like Sapper Consulting are taking it to the next level where they combine precise targeting and unique, creative email content with the insights — generated by big data to help companies get B2B leads and secure high-quality meetings with decision makers.
A successful inbound marketing campaign is based on a specifically defined audience or a set of customer personas. Companies like HubSpot and Sapper help people target content directly to your personas and establish a voice that resonates with them. According to a study by marketing company Captora, 61 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from companies that use custom content to reach them. Clearly, knowing your audience is key.
2Don’t be afraid of public speaking
The popularity of TED Talks and similar forums is evidence of the fact that people want to hear what experts have to say, either in person or over video. But even if you don’t consider yourself an expert yet, public speaking can help you achieve that status.
By speaking at industry-relevant meetings and events, you can start developing brand recognition and a unique perspective on topics related to your business. Plus, you can repurpose speeches as content to use in your future inbound marketing efforts.
A well-delivered speech can be one of the most effective ways to generate sales because you’ll often have prospects in the room when you’re speaking. Grab their attention during your speech, and you’ll likely be handing out business cards afterward.
3Keep an eye on ROI
Content marketing is only effective if you actually use your content. In 2013, SiriusDecisions reported that somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of B2B content goes completely unused. That’s a problem. It shows that many companies are essentially throwing away time and money and calling it content marketing.
Instead of wasting precious resources on your content marketing efforts, clearly define the business objective you hope to achieve with each piece of content you create — beyond page views and click-through rates.
Work to understand the ROI you’re getting out of each piece of content. Quantify your customers’ pain points and create a sales strategy around the solution to those pain points.
Thought leadership and content campaigns will also help you engage with consumers and get a better sense of how your content is contributing to sales. Then, repurpose high-performing content and update content that becomes dated to continue attracting new leads.
Likewise, you should keep content that demonstrates your company’s capabilities and other valuable knowledge gated so that you’re not giving away intellectual property — such as industry analysis, buying guides and RFP templates — for free.
Cold calling is a time-honored practice, and it’s likely not going away anytime soon.
But with these tactics, you’ll have much more success acquiring new customers and gain a big advantage over competitors still glued to their phones.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
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