You’re looking for strategies to boost sales. But you don’t know where to start. You know that more revenue means greater growth, but you don’t want to invest in the wrong areas. This article outlines some simple sales secrets that should help.
When you improve sales techniques, your business grows.
It seems like such a simple formula. But so many businesses struggle to get their sales processes right. They constantly try new ideas to increase sales, but end up with nothing to show for it.
It’s not as easy as telling people about your product. There are several sales secrets to success that you may have missed. Some of these relate to how you train your staff, whereas others relate to your approach. The common thread is that they can all help you to double your sales when used correctly.
Here are five sales secrets that you should use right now.
Secret #1 – Focused Training Sessions
On the surface, long training sessions seem like a good idea. You dedicate an entire day, or more, to training your salespeople. The assumption is that this keeps them in the right mindset. They’re constantly working with sales-related materials. As a result, they can’t get distracted by anything else.
It’s a sound enough theory. But it doesn’t work in practice. Long training sessions have a demotivating effect on your salespeople. Moreover, they don’t produce results. The Sales Performance International proved this with one of their studies. It examined how well salespeople retained information from long training sessions. The results were astonishing:
Figure 1 – https://www.yesware.com/blog/sales-training/
In just one month, your trainees forget 80% of the information you teach them. After one year, they retain less than 5% of it.
Clearly, long-winded training sessions don’t provide the answer. They’re unfocused and lose the attention of the participants.
Instead, limit your training sessions to about 15 minutes. This ensures that participants pay attention throughout the session. Moreover, it forces you to focus your sessions on a single subject. This increased focus helps with retention. This means your people can put more of your strategies to improve sales productivity into action.
Internationally-renowned sales coach Tony Robbins also agrees with this. He’s a huge proponent of properly training your employees.
As he puts it: “Different products call for different approaches. Even if a potential sales partner or rep has a winning track record, you still need to train them in the art of selling your products and services effectively.”
He makes another point here too. An experienced salesperson still needs good training. A solid track record with another company doesn’t mean they’ll instantly perform well for you. They still need to learn about what makes your organisation unique.
Here’s the takeaway. Construct training sessions that invigorate and motivate your staff. Make them relevant to what your staff needs to know to improve sales techniques. And don’t overload your people with information.
Secret #2 – Educate Your Customers
A hard push isn’t always going to achieve a sale. In fact, many of potential customers will lose interest if you place too much pressure on them.
This has led to the evolution of the educational approach to sales. You can see it all over social media. Somebody may post an educational article on LinkedIn in an effort to establish themselves as an industry authority. This article links back to the author’s business. Anybody who reads it and finds it useful now associates its content with the business. In time, this can lead to improved sales.
But how do you put this educational technique into action? In particular, how can telephone marketers use this as one of their best strategies to improve sales productivity?
Here’s a four-step educational marketing plan:
Step 1 – Create a list of potential customers. Focus primarily on those that you believe will result in the highest revenue should you achieve a sale.
Step 2 – Call everybody on the list. Ask each potential customer a couple of questions about their current service. Base the questions on what you know about your industry. For example, if you install phone systems, ask the customer about their current system and how long they’ve had it. The answers should give you a good idea about whether or not the service provides what the customer needs.
Step 3 – Whittle down your list following these initial phone calls. Retain the details of any customer you believe has a legitimate need for your services.
Step 4 – Phone the customers on your new shortlist. The key here is that you don’t go for the hard sell. Instead, offer the customer some educational materials related to your service. For example, a phone provider could offer a whitepaper. This would explain the various ways that people lose money on their phone systems. Ideally, the educational material will highlight an issue the customer experiences. Let the customer know that you’re there to help if they want to make a change. Again, do not go for a hard sell.
Why is this one of the key strategies to boost sales?
You’re putting the power in your customers’ hands. You provide them with the information, but they make the decision about whether to inquire about your services. Assuming you’ve educated them well enough, you’ll find that many more people will want to find out more.
Secret #3 – Be Passionate
World class business consultant Tony Robbins points to passion as a crucial part of sales. If you don’t have passion for what you do, the attempts you make to improve sales techniques won’t matter. Customers will always see that you don’t care about the product or service.
Robbins keeps it simple when he says: “Lack of emotion causes lack of progress and lack of motivation.”
This is a two-fold piece of advice. Firstly, salespeople who lack passion can’t ignite passion in potential customers. People will see that you don’t care about the product. As a result, they’ll see little reason to care about it either. You may follow a script or say all of the right things. However, what you say doesn’t matter if there’s no passion behind it.
Secondly, sales managers who lack passion can’t inspire their teams. It’s a similar issue. If your team knows that you don’t care about the product, they won’t put the effort in. You’re their example. One of the key sales secrets to success is to show love for what you do. A manager who does this engages their team and motivates them to try as hard as possible.
Secret #4 – Share Successes
You’ve probably heard business coaches talk about the importance of engagement. But you may not know what this means in respect to increasing sales productivity and performance.
Engaged employees achieve better results. The statistics bear this out.
A National Business Research Institute study examined how engagement affects sales performance. It found that engaged salespeople contribute to higher customer satisfaction. It estimated that employee engagement affects satisfaction in between 40% and 80% of cases.
Furthermore, it showed that even a 1% increase in engagement could help you double your sales.
This brings us to the sales secret. Employees feel engaged when they believe that you care about them.
On the basic level, this means learning more about what motivates them. You can use this information to create incentive schemes and assign relevant work.
But your salespeople also want to feel appreciated in their work. They want pats on their backs when they achieve quotas or come up with new ideas. In fact, most people don’t just work for their pay alone. They want recognition for what they achieve in their work.
There are several ways that you can celebrate successes and keep your people engaged. Group meetings in which you highlight these success help. So too do mentions in company newsletter. Even something as simple as a thank-you goes a long way to keeping a salesperson engaged.
Engaged people have more motivation to succeed. This motivation is one of the best ways to improve sales performance.
Secret #5 – Have a Unique Vision
Your people want to feel as though their work has a purpose. They want to know that the company’s vision aligns with their own.
What they don’t want is to work for a copycat company. They’ll be able to tell if your company’s vision extends no further than emulating somebody else’s success.
As a result, you need a unique vision that sets your company apart. Your vision doesn’t just define the company’s goal. It tells people why this goal matters and what you’re going to do in order to achieve it.
Tony Robbins points to organisational vision as being key to the success of any sales-oriented business. He says: “Create a vision and never let the environment, other people’s beliefs, or the limits of what has been done in the past shape your decisions.”
This quote emphasises the importance of making your vision unique. Moreover, it highlights the importance of having belief in your vision. If you lack belief, you’ll more readily allow outside influences to alter your vision.
An effective vision tells your people where you want to be. It gives them something tangible to aim for. Of course, you’ll have many smaller goals along the way. But the overarching vision shows everybody what they’ll achieve if they keep pushing. This motivates your team, making your vision one of the key strategies to boost sales.
The Final Word
As you can see, improving sales isn’t all about using different techniques. It often relates to how you interact with potential customers and how you treat your teams.
We recommend that you do the following:
- Have a vision that applies only to your company and that appeals to your people.
- Create succinct and focused training sessions.
- Share the successes of everybody in your sales team.
- Educate your customers, rather than pushing your product onto them.
- Have and inspire passion for your business and its services.
If you combine these secrets, you create a foundation that allows your salespeople to flourish.
Of course, the CUB Network is also here to help. At CUB our ambition is to unite those who are changing the world through their businesses. We support these people by building a private community of Australia’s next titans of industry. And we bring these titans together to accelerate the achievement of each other’s ambitions.
If you wish to be considered for membership, please feel free to request a club introduction on our membership page: www.cub.club/membership.