- The most important aspect of sales is a strong sales strategy that you can continuously improve on.
- As a sales team manager, you should build a culture of motivation and emotional intelligence. Build relationships with your sales reps, and provide coaching and encouragement to be an effective team leader.
- Make sure you have an action plan in place before something goes wrong so you can quickly address issues that arise.
Even though the sales process is an essential part of every business, it’s no secret that it is challenging. It requires perseverance, strategy and an understanding of human psychology, and it changes often as your business grows.
But it can be difficult to know how or what to change to increase your sales, other than making more calls or finding more leads. Business News Daily spoke to sales experts to get their best tips on how to improve the sales process.
Tips for sales managers
1. Develop a sales strategy.
If you are a new business owner or sales manager, the first and most important thing you must do to determine how you can improve sales is to develop a sales strategy. A sales strategy, as opposed to a marketing or product strategy, is focused entirely on selling a product or service to your target market.
A good sales plan determines how you will acquire new customers, how you will create or expand relationships with prospective customers and how you will continue to sell your product or service to existing customers.
When creating your strategy, you should …
- Define your target audience and craft an ideal customer profile or buyer personas
- Decide your method of lead generation
- Create revenue goals
- Define your target conversion rates
- Determine your business’s positioning in your market
- Do a SWOT analysis
To fully build out your sales strategy, you should also have a good understanding of your sales funnel, which is a term used to describe your buying process.
A sales funnel has two main stages. You’ll typically start with marketing strategies during the initial “awareness” stage, where you introduce your products or services to potential customers – or raise awareness about your business – and build relationships with leads.
Once you have generated strong leads, you’ll move into the middle or sales stage, where you put your sales strategy into play and highlight your differentiators from competitors to successfully sell your product.
Your sales strategy serves as a roadmap for your sales team, guiding them through any future changes you make, so it is vital that you are thorough and pay attention to every detail.
If you already have a strategy in place and your sales performance is not where it should be, it may be time to make some changes.
2. Have a plan prepared in case something goes wrong.
When you create your initial sales strategy, also create a plan that details what actions you will take if something goes wrong, like losing a key sales rep or not meeting your sales goal. Your contingent plan should denote who will be notified of the problem and how, as well as what steps you and your team can take to fix the problem and, in some cases, avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
When your team encounters an obstacle, you turn to your action plan and know exactly what must be done to fix the problem rather than wasting time developing a new plan to improve sales performance.