If your business does not achieve these lofty heights, spend some time focusing on the consequences of missing target.
Entrepreneurs sometimes set wildly optimistic sales targets, with unexpected consequences. Where targets are not reached an aura of negativity will usually permeate the company.
There is typically finger pointing with sales people and marketers coming under fire. In turn they blame product performance, pricing, customer service and management.
We recommend: How To Set Sales Targets
If low sales are stated as the reason for reduced bonuses for staff, ordinary workers may see sales people as responsible for their loss.
The worst type of financial managers use this opportunity to talk about the risks to jobs. The entire atmosphere becomes toxic and morale plunges.
Identify the causes
If targets are frequently not met you need to act. Look for the root causes without going on a witch hunt; if you are only trying to allocate blame, all you will get is finger pointing and defensiveness, which will mask the real causes. Listen to sales people, customers and others and find joint solutions.
The problem may lie outside the sales team, it may even be your management style or forecast optimism. Be honest about assessing the company’s delivered quality, product competitiveness and customer service. Fix the problems.
If one section of the company fails for no real reason while others succeed, you will have to take remedial action with training, performance management and ultimately replacement. Don’t be public about how staff are being watched.
Some businesses deliberately set high targets, believing that sales teams stretching for almost impossible targets will achieve more even if they do not reach the target. If you practice this technique make sure anyone affected understands what you are doing, that the sales team agrees and that all understand what constitutes success or failure. Better still, set good stretch targets and avoid the complications.
There are businesses that serenely make target year after year. Does that mean they are great marketers or that they are simply setting their sights too low? Although exceeding target sounds like a good idea, your stockholding, production, deliveries and administration will all be squeezed because this volume was not planned. Commission and bonus schemes will include extra amounts to reward overachievement.
It is wonderful if you pay this bonus for exceptional work for a couple of super achievers, but if an overachievement bonus becomes expected for ordinary work, the incentive will be lost.
Sadly, some targets are deliberately set low to guarantee managers and sales staff bonuses even for poor performance. Do not fall into this trap; routine overachievement is as bad as routine underperformance.
Speaking of targets, do you set logical ones? Many targets are simply an increase on last year; or worse, a calculation based on what is needed to cover expenses and make profit. If you do this, stop right now.
We recommend: The Secret to Sales
How much the market will buy of your products and services in the next year has nothing at all to do with your costs or profits, and probably little to do with what happened last year.
Put some thought and information into the target. Take your product, team and competitive strengths into account. Some teams and companies will achieve returns far above those of their competitors’ even though they do not have a significant technology or services level advantage. They may be better managed, more experienced or better trained.
Empower Your Team To Make More Sales
The answer is not simple. However Leadify’s CEO, Grant Fleming shares several strategies that can help.
Much like the business cliché that your company is only as strong as its people, in marketing, behind every successful marketing campaign there is an empowered team. But how do you help your team increase their sales?
The answer is not simple. However Leadify’s CEO, Grant Fleming shares several strategies that can help:
1. Become clever at dealing with data
It is essential that teams have the right platform at their disposal to reach the agreed-to goals. Teams also need to become more adept at dealing with data to learn about their customers. Teams should segment data, send marketing messages and receive instant feedback to learn from. They should also optimise their messages and dig into the demographics of their audience.
2. Curate your audience
The above enables teams to curate, and continuously engage with their audience. One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is focusing their communication to a base, instead of cultivating an audience through learning from insights and feedback. This doesn’t foster an incentive to learn anything from one week or one campaign to the next. Teams end up sending out an email/SMS blast one week after another, with the same results.
3. Market more smartly
Rather than marketing ‘harder’, teams should be marketing smarter. There are a few ways to do this. Given teams have the appropriate automated marketing tools at their disposal, they can automate certain repetitive activities so that they continue to learn while the system executes.
Teams are also best served by breaking down their goals into measurable insights and build logical marketing lists (data lists) rather than lumping everything into one list. Often, splitting data by its original source works well, but so does sectioning lists according to category.
Consider using “Remarketing” for the direct marketing space too. This is similar to AdWords marketing, where teams ‘slice and dice’ their data, and insights about engaged audiences are retargeted using the platform.
The other options is “Long Run” campaigns. Here a campaign is live over a longer period of time, essentially establishing a level of cadence for direct marketing efforts.
4. Do lean marketing
To empower your team, adopt a lean marketing process. This sees teams marketing in small batches, sending e.g. 2000 SMSs, reviewing the results, then another 2000, and then tweaking the marketing message if needed.
By sending five different marketing messages, your marketing teams will be able to whittle down to the top two that returned the best results, and then scale them up.
This, rather than just sending a million SMSs (for example) to your entire database, is a lean marketing approach that can help your team incrementally improve their efforts for an optimal return.
5. Value testing and metrics
Both testing and metrics are critical to helping your marketing team become more successful, with A/B testing in particular critical for learning.
When you tweak campaigns, resist the urge to make larger changes; these make it difficult to measure results. Rather do small-batch testing, even if it is just from your newsletters. Try and bleed the marketing messages out over a logical timeframe – don’t just blast out to the entire list in one go.
Regarding metrics, concentrate not only on the number of messages sent, but clicks and click-through rates as well as conversions, even if the latter happens down the line. Understanding these metrics across demographics is equally important, as this allows you to curate audiences that you can personalise marketing to.
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.
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