5 Must have sales tools critical to successful selling
February 14, 2013 No comments
You wouldn’t go into battle unarmed and you never see a doctor without a stethoscope? So then why would you send sales people into customers without the tools and materials that they need to be successful? Far too many organizations focus on hiring the right sales team, which is really important but what is equally important is that they have the tools necessary to sell and close efficiently making the best use of their time. Taking for granted that they have the basics which I consider to be business cards, a smartphone, a computer and the company website. There’s simply no excuse for not having a website. These three can make or break your sales targets:
- Commission Plan & Target – Steven Covey was right in the 7 steps, put first things first. If your sales team doesn’t have an incentive plan they don’t really know what you consider is important. Targets are hard wired into sales people’s DNA. You get the kind of performance that you create an incentive around, which doesn’t mean that you have to create an incentive for everything, but you do need an incentive plan to provide some direction.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – This to me is the single most important sales tool. Keep track of all of your contacts and the contact you’ve had with them, measure your deals, and measure performance against target. Keep track of all correspondence in one place. CRM is the gauge of your performance.
- Company Brochure – Certainly your sales team can articulate the basics of what you have to offer, however, a brochure, collateral material or leave behind is critical to your sales team’s success. Most buyers forget most of what you say by the time you leave. A brochure serves as a colourful and pesky reminder of your offering and early conversation. The trick is to create a brochure that speaks to your value proposition the way that your best sales people would. It can serve as a training aid for new team members as well.
- Proposal Template – Once you finally get a client really and truly interested in a solution, you’ve assessed their needs, you’ve qualified the opportunity and determined why they simply cannot survive without your product or service you have to put it all in writing. The problem is, this can be quite a time-consuming event, robbing sale people of much needed client facing time. Worse if your team aren’t natural writers it makes executing a proposal document even more difficult. The truth of the matter is, outside of the positioning to that specific client, your proposals should be pretty standard. Proposals should include the same information about the product or service and why they should choose you. The information that differs is the positioning, configuration and price. Create a template for those things that are repeatable so that minimal time is used re-writing what has already been created. It also provides the opportunity to put your best foot forward.
- Linkedin Page – Admittedly I was one of the last people to see the merits of LinkedIn. I think it’s just not intuitive to me, so I didn’t take to it. Moreover I don’t like how most people use it as yet another opportunity to spam others. However, LinkedIn is invaluable to understand who your “six degrees of separation” are. If you’re in the Caribbean it’s less than two. If you’re polite and have a well-developed page, you can have your LinkedIn connections introduce you to potential customers. See where they’ve worked and what they consider their value proposition. When selling to a customer, a scan of their LinkedIn can tell you what their personal wins are. How quickly they’ve escalated through the organization and what their career aspirations might be. Be the person that helps them to get there with your solution.
If you have all of the above then I’ll say you’re golden, on to the next sale for you. If not, contact us, let’s see if we can help.