How to Recover from Last Year’s Stagnant Sales Performance - RDI Corporation - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
If your company is planning to grow in the future, then your sales performance needs to increase with every passing year. However, many companies face a common challenge: their sales revenue remains the same year over year. Why? It’s most likely because their current sales strategy works — but just because it works doesn’t mean that it can produce improved results for next year’s goals.
To increase your sales revenue in 2016, consider adding the following sales tactics into your department’s strategy to help your team reach numbers they’ve never attained before.
1. Boost your cross-selling and upselling with current customers.
Make sure your sales reps aren’t missing any cross-sell or upsell opportunities with current customers. Business data experts at Hoovers point out: “By cross-selling and up-selling to those already on your client roster, companies can sell more products and services, reduce the cost of sales, enhance customer loyalty and drive revenue.” In fact, it can cost up to four times as much to secure a new customer as it does to sell to an existing customer. So, take advantage of the good relationships you already have in place with existing customers to sell them additional products and services that would be of benefit to them.
2. Get serious about delivering a great customer experience.
Make sure your sales reps and support staff are delivering a great customer experience to your current customers each time they interact. Keep in mind that the customer experience is a comprehensive experience that covers all points of interaction between your company and your customers. As Craig Borowski of Software Advice writes, these interactions “include pre- and post-sale interactions, and can be either direct — e.g., when a customer calls a company’s service department — or indirect, such as when a customer reads a social media post about another person’s interaction with the company.”
Keeping your branding and messaging consistent — and positive — across all touch points will go a long way in giving your customers a great experience. In addition, be sure that any team that has contact with customers has guidelines for communication that ensure every interaction is a productive, positive one. That may require breaking down silos between various departments within your company. However, it’s worth the work to gain a loyal, appreciative customer base.
3. Anticipate the needs of your existing customers.
Wowing your customers doesn’t stop when they sign your contract on the dotted line. Instead, your sales and support teams need to make sure they’re impressing your customers each and every day. Make sure you are anticipating your existing customers’ future needs so you don’t lose them to your competitors who are one step ahead.
Communication expert Carmine Gallo of Forbes claims that just listening to your customers isn’t enough, since oftentimes they don’t even know what the best solution is for their needs. Gallo writes: “Your customers will only tell you what they think they need, but how you meet their unexpressed needs makes all the difference.” Work closely with your support team to better understand the challenges your customers face on a daily basis so you and your product team can craft solutions to meet those needs.
4. Continually innovate with new products and services.
To keep current in your industry and to keep up with your customers’ needs, make sure you are continually developing new, innovative products and services — or updating your current ones — that are relevant to your target customers. If you’re a smaller company, having to continually churn out new solutions can seem like a daunting task that burns up a lot of time and resources. But, as the innovation experts at Winmark Business Solutions write, “The good news is that small companies are usually more nimble and responsive than large companies. They can do things faster, at less cost, and less risk than larger competitors.”
5. Track and measure your opportunities, wins and losses.
Make sure you’re using your CRM system to fully understand your opportunities and the ratio of wins and losses your sales agents are securing. Lisa Poulsen of BusinessBee says: “You can use a CRM tool to get more visibility into your client base, ponder the tactics needed for long-term profitability, and formulate better plans that impel your staff to break new operational ground.”
What’s more, explains Poulsen, your CRM system “can provide you valuable intelligence about long-term sales trends, helping you adjust the existing corporate sales strategy and results tactics.” Work with your software vendor to ensure that you and your staff understand and are utilizing all of the features of your CRM so you can better track and manage sales performance.
6. Tap into referral marketing.
Another important way that your sales teams can take advantage of your existing customers is through referrals. Reported by the Alternative Board, a Sandler Sales Institute study found that, of all types of prospecting activities, 80% of personal referrals turn into new business — far more successful than any other type of sales prospecting.
The Alternative Board says that referrals are better than other types of sales prospecting for four main reasons:
- Transferred trust. Your current customer provides their validation of your company to another company, therefore instilling near-automatic trust in your company by the referred company.
- Quicker sales cycle. When the referred company inherently trusts your company thanks to the referral, the sales cycle will be shortened considerably.
- Less price sensitivity. The referred company will be more focused on the benefits of your products or services, and less on the cost, since they already know you’re a trusted organization.
- Customized offering. Your sales team can work with your current customer who made the referral to gather inside information on the referral so that they can tailor their sales pitch and solutions offering to their specific needs and challenges.
7. Expand your client portfolio into new markets.
When you’re looking for sales growth opportunities, don’t forget about marketing to untapped markets. Karl Stark and Bill Stewart of Inc. define the following five-step process for entering new markets:
- Define the market. Before you ever begin marketing to or targeting new markets or customer types, make sure you clearly define whom you’re going after. Outline the demographics, location and common interests or needs of the target market.
- Perform a market analysis. A critical second step, performing an in-depth market analysis means fully understand the customers you’re attempting to reach, as well as would-be competitors who are already selling in the space.
- Assess your internal capabilities. Make sure you have the internal resources in place to market, sell and support the new markets. If you are unsure, consider bringing in an industry expert as a consultant.
- Prioritize and select the markets. You can’t reach every market you want to reach in one fowl swoop. Instead, Stark and Stewart suggest asking yourself the following types of questions to narrow down your scope: “Are there gaps in this marketplace that we can fill (and do so better than our competitors)? What value do we deliver to this market and how much are they willing to pay for it?”
- Develop your market entry options. Once you’ve decided on the new markets you want to target, now is the time to define how you’ll enter those markets. Develop a detailed business plan, your case for investment and your implementation work plan.
Make 2016 Your Best Sales Year Yet
Use these effective sales management techniques to help get your revenue growth back on track. Really get to know your current customers so you can anticipate their future needs and offer them the solutions to fill those needs — before they turn to a competitor for support. By delivering a great experience to your current customers, they’re more likely to send referrals your way. Make sure you’re effectively using your CRM to understand how your sales agents are performing in terms of opportunities, wins and losses — a key aspect of managing sales performance. Finally, expanding your sales efforts into new markets can help drive additional revenue for this year, and beyond.
Publish Date: March 3, 2016 5:00 AM
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