by Kevin Faber, founder of Silver Summit Capital
Sales is often a numbers game. The more prospective customers you are able to reach out to and the more efficiently you are able to move each customer through your sales funnel, the more sales you will be able to make even with many sales failing to fall through.
To sell more efficiently, you will need to take a look at your sales workflow for ways that it can be improved.
Develop A Fixed Sales Process.
The majority of companies do not have a fixed sales process. As a result, how a company executes a sale comes down to the individual style of the sales representative and the sales representative’s memory. If there is no fixed sales process, how can a company know if the sales process is more effective than any other process? How can you ensure that new sales representatives will not lose sales as a result of rookie mistakes?
Start Using A Calendar.
Begin using a calendar if you aren’t already. It is helpful to immediately know what you will need to be doing as you start off your day. Also, use automated reminder software you can remember all of the important details such as that meeting you were supposed to have with a client.
Chart Out Your Sales Process.
Lay out your current sales process as a flowchart. Doing so will allow you to understand how an average sale is completed and where your business is suffering from a bottleneck. Each time an arrow is drawn from one point in the sales process to another, that arrow represents a conversion point. Then, track each time a client made his or her way out of each particular conversion point.
For instance, you may notice that most customers will make it through most of your sales funnel until you reach the point where the customer is provided with the price, which leads to a sudden drop-off in the number of conversions. This could indicate that the price or some other aspect of that part of the sales funnel is turning away potential conversions. Regardless, brainstorm improvements that can be made to this process that will increase the number of conversions.
One area to streamline is prospecting. Determine how many prospects from various sources have lead to conversions. For instance, how many cold calls have lead to conversions vs. direct marketing sales letters? If there is a method that is overwhelmingly more effective in converting customers, it would make sense to spend more time using that approach and less time using approaches that lead to fewer conversions.
Have The Appropriate Tools.
Make sure that you are using tools that can keep your company highly efficient. For instance, there are many free extensions such as Signals email tracking that can make email prospecting more efficient. Also, look at all of the tools you are currently using and determine whether there are more efficient tools that you can replace them with.
If you frequently receive prospects through email, you must look for ways to streamline how you work through your pile of emails. Organize your email into folders and immediately place emails in the appropriate folders so you can more quickly find emails.
Know How Your Customers Find You.
Get to know your customers. Understand the process that your customers are most likely to take to purchase a product in your industry. Are they more likely to search online or thumb through a phone book? One way to find out is to conduct surveys of your existing customers and inquire where they learned about your company. By knowing where your customers are coming from, you will better know where you direct your prospecting efforts.
Kevin Faber has been in the commercial finance and banking industry for most of his professional life. He graduated at UC Davis with a B.A. in Business/Managerial Economics. His experience in credit analysis, finance, and management led him to be the founder of Silver Summit Capital. He enjoys working in the financing industry and building connections with industry leaders.