If you’ve already got a good sales strategy in place, then the advice contained in this guide will help you to take it to the next level.
We collaborated on this guide with Passle’s SVP of sales, David Kirk, an expert on sales by small businesses, and no stranger to the challenges of selling a brand new product to a market that had never seen something like it before.
These are David’s 15 essential factors, used by the Passle team, to ensure great customer relationships and impressive sales results.
Quality contact time is really important. Whether it’s actually face-to-face, by Skype or phone, or otherwise, quality human interaction time is a compelling and vital piece of the sales jigsaw for many businesses today.
“Make sure you’re spending that time with the right targets, of course,” David points out quickly. “Time is a currency in business so guard it well and spend it wisely. However, once you've identified a positive fit and business need, do spend time interacting with clients who fit this target group – doing this at their offices can be particularly insightful and will give you a great feel for who they are, the personalities involved (including in the decision-making process) and what they’re really likely to need.
“We have a great setup at our company, so we also invite clients to our building and we’ll often introduce other members of the team to them strategically too, so they get a good sense of us, as well.”
Both new targets and existing customers appreciate context: seeing measurably, how they can benefit from what it is that you have to offer. ‘Feed’ this appreciation by sharing information, data and/or content with them.
“Often a very successful approach is to share examples of how well other similar clients have done, when using what it is you offer,” David says knowledgeably. “It can create a sense of fear of missing out, and a stronger compulsion to investigate further, or even to buy, what you’re selling.” He says. “Add this to some credible stats on where the client’s pain points lie and what the opportunities are – which quickly shows them how you understand their business and market, and you should have a fair command of their attention. It doesn’t mean your sales job is done, but it does provide a solid foundation for next steps.”
Passle’s team will often publish content on the market dynamics and challenges of their target customers, often looking to engage their targets via a knowledge-enriching readership relationship, some time before an actual sales approach is made.
3. Log your interactions and meeting notes
The admin side of sales is definitely the less exciting part of the job. But it’s no less crucial, as anyone on the Passle team knows well.
“We all make the time to record our meeting notes”, David states. “Clearly it’s a useful record for when you make that next phone call: ensuring it’s clear to everyone relevant on our team who is involved in a deal, whether we encountered any surprises, what licensing terms might have been discussed, etc.
“But meeting notes serve more than just that one purpose”, he emphasises. “Making the record also provides an opportunity to reflect on a meeting and also to revisit it again, at a different time, maybe when you a higher capacity to think creatively or dispassionately about the opportunity and/or its value to the business.”
The Passle team also aim to make their notes a trigger source of new content ideas and marketing efforts. A lot of good ideas can come from conversations with customers after all.
A final tip from David is that if you attended a meeting with another member of your team, try if you can to sit together and write up the notes. It can give you a great chance to reflect on a meeting together, exchange initial ideas, efficiently agree follow up actions and ensure that you both accurately took away the same facts and impressions.
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