By Robyn Sachs, an EO DC member and president of RMR & Associates
In today’s turbulent economy, the business of sales can prove to be an arduous process that demands constant attention and managerial flexibility. As the CEO of a marketing services firm, I know firsthand how sales success is contingent on the efforts and methods of sales staff. Here are some of the strategies we’ve used to find success, regardless of the economy:
Analyze your sales funnel. We make it a point to periodically analyze our sales funnel to ensure our salespeople are updated on their progress. To check on the success rate of our sales formula, we go through sales records and tally how many proposals were presented, on average, before a sale was made. If this data is sketchy, our sales people haven’t been diligent about record-keeping, and that means they’re unaware of how they’re doing. By putting a simple tracking program in place so each sales person can see and analyze the data, we can see where work needs to be done.
Prioritize your sales leads. Does the lead fit the criteria you’ve established for your organization? If you haven’t set criteria for qualifying leads, analyze the types of leads that have turned into sales in the past. Make a list of their similarities, and pull out the new leads that share these traits. Make these your sales staff’s first priority. I’ve found this approach to be helpful, as it prevents my team from expending all their energy on leads that aren’t particularly viable.
Have an awesome “pre-heat” letter. We make it a point to hire a marketing professional to write a dynamite sales letter, which our sales reps send out weekly. I’ve found this to be an easy way to generate leads. The right letter can speak to the integrity of your organization, emphasize your sales culture and reflect your success rate.
Scour your client database for leads. Current, former and potential clients are all candidates for new sales, but you’ll need to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. In my business, we send out “e-blasts” at least once a month to keep our customers informed of our latest news. These clients may not need our services now, but by keeping our information in front of them, the chances are great that we will be the company they call when they do need marketing services.
At the end of the day, there are no “hidden secrets” when it comes to generating more sales for your business; it just comes down to cold, hard calculations. If you consistently ensure that your marketing and sales efforts are working in tandem, success will surely follow.