Every sales leader looks for ways to increase sales results… even when sales are going in the right direction, we all want to get to target sooner, with higher margins, bigger wins, and better clients.
And, every sales leader wants protection from the inevitable sales slump, when sales are scarce, prospects hibernate and no-one wants to take your call.
But a common fatal flaw is in looking for that….
One Great Big Sales Improvement Idea
That one golden nugget that flips the sales performance from trending south to soaring heavenwards, all in the hope of hitting the sales bullseye!
Creating an instant sales automatic dispenser.
You know how often that happens?
So it happens sometimes?
I’ve worked with a B2B sales team who saw their sales conversion close rate go from 1:25 to 1:7.
All in a matter of weeks by changing one single thing.
How did we move the sales conversion rate from 1:25 to 1:7….?
Quite simply, we niched their product and only sold into 5 very tight vertical markets…with a heavily bespoke, value heavy sales pitch that was a straight fit for the targets.
We selected vertical markets that were big enough to sustain them in business, with a common issue that my clients solution, a highly commoditised solution, could eliminate, proven using great case studies, first class yet conservative ROI demonstrations and a very specific set of sign up criteria – that was X3 HIGHER than they typical average order value…
Another B2B sales function got their average order value from less than £750 to over £3k.a
Again in little over a quarter.
All because we restructured the sales pitch, we also launched a new pricing model, with a simple reframing of the sales value proposition.
So, there are ways to dramatically increase sales results in a very short space of time.
Miracles do happen.
But they don’t happen often enough, so here’s a helping hand….
I’ve segmented the ways so you can pick and mix the ways to increase sales in your business…
Ways to Increase Sales
Remember: not all of these are going to give you a massive sea change in your sales results, what we’re looking for is 100 ways, or maybe 25 ways that give you an ongoing incremental increase in sales results.
Finally – consistency pays – run these for a month and see how you get on…you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Ways to Increase Sales: Staff Motivation #1
- Get the sales team to share their last three major sales successes.
What they were, how they happened and what was the result.
What part they played in making it happen.
Get them to share, reflect and conclude what made the deal happen and what made it a good deal.
You’d be surprised how much value comes from such an exercise for the individual sharing and the rest of the team…it might just help another sales exec unlock a stubborn sales deal.
You’ll have soooo much institutional wisdom, knowledge, insight and skill in your team…sharing that about, whilst positively re-affirming success is a double win.
And the people who don’t have much to share?
Guess they’ll learn a lot from the team, and they’ll do their best to match and contribute at a higher level.
Internal communication is a real killer for great sales performance, especially in a complex sales environment when sales pitches are nuanced. Melding common thinking across the business/prospect interface can turn on the slightest of insights, success stories, experience and exposure…so get sharing
Ways to Increase Sales: Up the Focus on Sales Success #2
- Be open about the sales results in the team, and where the gaps are
Ok, you might not want a league table on the wall or a bell to ring when someone gets a win…but you do want to let sales people know where they are, where they are compared to everyone else, and where they need to be, and finally let them see that you’ve a plan to help them get there, fast. This is one of the fastest ways to increase sales.
- Get coaching
Another sure fire way to get sales activity up, results too. Forget about closing sales yourself – help your team to close sales and you’re got a fully automated and effective sales engine. Be the guy that jumps in to help them rescue a sale that’s not going to plan. Listen in on their calls, attend their client meetings. Share your wisdom, your insights, your experience and get the sales guys fast tracked.
Sales coaching is the number one sales turnaround tool…get coaching.
- Have a daily sales huddle
Get the sales team to commit to what they’ll be delivering by the close of that day…you’ll be surprised at how effective this is at raising motivation, bringing sales focus to the team, and getting them to concentrate on the stuff that moves the sales dial today.
Ways to Increase Sales: Unlock the Sales Process #3
- Look at the sales pipeline, look at the metrics at each phase – both the going in to a sales stage and coming out of a sales stage, and then review where most of the deal are sticking. Then get your managers or team leaders to develop a tailored sales training / sales coaching session to unblock the sticking points….and manage / monitor the results at each stage in the sales process.
- Review what each sales person is great at, some might be first class lead generators, some great at closing, others super at pushing deals through the pipeline, ask each of the subject matter experts to share their skills and act as a reference point for their peers.
- Push performance self reflection back into the team – build a sense of personal accountability.
- Look at how to make the sales process shorter, take out everything that doesn’t add value to the customer. It could be anything from offering prices at the first meeting instead of leaving and sending an email quote. Or sending am email the day before to confirm a meeting/demo (pls don’t do this – it’s a disaster!). When you really get intimate with the sales process you’ll see what elements are causing friction in the closing.
Ways to Increase Sales: Pricing and Offers #4
- Offer a discount for business signed up on the day. This is a contentious hot potato so needs to be framed so as not to seem desperate. Pricing is a powerful motivator and sometimes attractive pricing with a strict time frame can work, but be aware, it can sometime box the sales person into a corner if not used effectively and with elegance
- Make sure you are selling benefits and not features. People buy benefits. They buy because it will make their lives, easier, better. They’ll buy because it’s the right thing to do, makes them more money, frees up time, takes away stress, makes them smarter, makes people think they’re smarter and a million and one other things. Connect with the buyers motivations before you start the sales process.
- Do you have a strong sales ROI? A strong and transparent pricing and return on investment model for your prospect to see what their spend is versus the value they will see? No? Get that fixed. Seriously – a strong ROI model, a handful of case studies, a big guarantee and a time boxed offer will greatly reduce the nervousness around buying and greatly increase the rate of deal through the pipeline.
- Build some flexibility into the pricing model – discounts are bad when offered too easily and too foten BUT discounts in exchange for hot referrals, valuable introductions, volume sales, extended contracts, multi-buys are all quite good really…
Ways to Increase Sales: Sales Staff Activity #5
- Have a set period for crazy busty new business development. It might be every Monday from 9 – 12, it could be every day from 10 – 12 and 2 – 4. You pick, but during this process, it’s about converting Contacts to Conversations, whether that’s picking off highly profiled and researched LinkedIn contacts, or working through association/trade lists.
- Work only with those sales prospects that fit the Perfect Prospect Profile. The aim is to engage new prospects, further qualify and position appropriately in the sales pipeline. Most importantly, its about quality of conversations and directed new business sales activity with prospects that are more likely to convert than not convert.
- Keep admin tasks down to a minimum in core selling hours – try to standardise as much of the sales admin as possible….think about asking your team to black time out to do admin – which means keeping an up to date to do list but can dramatically add to your selling time.
- This only works if the sales team has a crystal clear view of their Perfect Prospect Profile which has been clearly defined. Because when you know your PPP you’ll also know their language, their pains, their needs, their motivators and how they can be hooked into the sales funnel. If time is tight, and results are needed fast then drill down on ONLY working with your PPP.
- Find your Winning Zone and stay there. This is the space where you are invincible and can wipe out any competitor attack on your prospect. This is your winning space and where you should spend the bulk of your time. If you know your Perfect Prospect Profile, then this is presumable where your biggest/strongest competitive advantage is? You do know what your Competitive Advantage is don’t you? Check this out – How to Create Your Business and Sales Competitive Advantage
Plus: when you’re thinking about sales activity…
- Know exactly why any PPP should buy from you. Precisely why they should buy From YOU. Don’t be vague. Be absolutely crystal clear about what you bring to the party and why you’re the best firm to supply them.
- You’ve got to up the cold calling – whether that’s starting cold calling or doubling the number of daily dials. There is no easy way around this one. Just do it. It’s the fastest way to take control of the sales pipeline, build some sales savvy and get the build a highly qualified, high quality sales pipeline.
Ways to Increase Sales: Speak With Your Existing Customers #6
- Ask for referrals and follow up quickly, ask for introductions by name
- Ask for social media testimonials.
- Look at your contacts contacts within LinkedIn…is there anyone you’d like an introduction to?
- Leave testimonials for past clients on LinkedIn
- Who bought from you this time last year, two years ago – get in contact
- Look for people you used to sell to but they moved companies – check them out and pick up the phone
- Find the industry sectors where your top 5 clients come from and contact the top 20 firms in that sector.
- Run a webinar for existing customers about a current hot topic, stimulates conversation, gives you a reason to make a call and offers huge value to your customers.
- Bundle some existing products/services, look at cross sell opportunities. Who is currently buying a product/service from you where you also provide an add on/up graded solution? Talk to them.
- Can you launch a loyalty based program based on volume sales?
- Can you build a review/health check solution around what you sell?
- What other problems do your current buyers have, problems that you can solve with your products/services/expertise?
- Who can you partner with, who is smart and talking to the same prospects as you are, who could refer you?
Ways to Increase Sales: Sales Messages #7
- Are your sales presentations heavy, clunky and all about you? Ditch them and start again.
Good sales presentations are all about the prospect, their problems, their needs, their need for a solution that works and your experience in delivering such a solution.
Is your sales presentation geared towards educating, enlightening and entertaining?
- Does your sales presentation have hot triggers to influence and persuade?
Does your sales presentation use reframes to drive curiosity, fear, need?
Is your sales presentation overly complex? Do you know what that does to your prospect’s brain? Almost total and immediate shut down…
Does your sales presentation talk to their emotional brain or their intellectual brain? Do you know which brain makes the decision to buy?
- Do you ask your prospect, at the end of the pitch, the four questions that will establish how effective your pitch has been, namely?
What’s the most important think you’ll take away from this meeting?
What will you tell your team about this presentation?
What objections do you think your team will come up with?
And what will your response be?
- Share stuff your prospects don’t know. Help them solve a problem, help them understand how the rest of their industry is tackling this challenge. Give them the success stories and the horror stories – stuff that only you know that’s really valuable to your prospect! Educate, entertain, enlighten.
Ways to Increase Sales: Time Management #8
- Ditch prospects that don’t respond to your out reach…leave them fallow, disposition them into some email scheme, let then stay dark…but don’t chase.
- Spend time engaging only with prospects that see your value, are open minded, understand the need to discuss and discover.
When you’re looking for ways to increase sales, be ruthless with dead weight in your sales pipeline.
- Qualify hard and fast at all stages in the sales cycle.
Any sales call at any point in the sales cycle will need to be a sales advancement call. Calling to check in is no longer allowed. Calling to see if they are ready to make a decision is. If you insist on bumping a poorly qualified sales prospect to a call back in 3 months time, you’d better have a really good reason for doing that. Other wise, all you’re doing is churning rubbish.
Ways to Increase Sales: Talk to Marketing #9
- Is marketing targeting the same perfect prospect profile as you are?
- Are there any activities they could perform with their current email cadence to flush out prospects with a specific problem, in order to generate a call list for you?
- What other lists do marketing have?
- Who else in the business can generate leads for you? Could customer services staff ask incoming callers one extra question? Could the service engineers ask two extra questions whilst they are onsite? How about the maintenance teams? Delivery drivers?
Summary: Ways to Increase Sales
Whether you’re a sales person, a sales leader, a sales manager or a business owner – make sure you enjoy selling.
You can introduce variety and inner competitiveness into you role by continually fine tuning what you know works and testing and measuring new selling techniques. It pays to be on the look out for ways to increase sales without forgetting the basics.
You can get some insight on ways to increase sales here – free insights every week on Sales Improvement – The Advanced Business Achiever
Plus, if you don’y enjoy selling your prospect won’t enjoy buying from you.
It’s simple, it’s true and it’s a fact!
When the business is looking for ways to increase sales, then everyone is a lead generator.
yes. everyone is a lead generator.
Everyone is a problem solver….
Sales is a team effort, it’s a business wide effort.
Every interaction with the customer or prospect from cold call to credit control. From delivery driver to customer service. From help desk to the company Christmas card is an opportunity to connect and to sell.
Want to make it easier? Check this out The Top 10 Rules Rich Cold Callers Know and You Don’t!
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When all is done, you can make achieving those sales targets super tough or super easy…
There are lots of ways to increase sales.
If you’d like to know more about the work we’ve done with failing sales functions, sales teams who want to out perform their competitors and delight their customers, and how we work with ambitious sales leaders to drive sales performance – just get us on the phone and let’s have a chat.
Here are just 9 ways to increase sales, which one will you try first to get your sales results from grim to glorious?
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