Small Business Owners, are your sales efforts supporting YOUR Business’s Goals? If not, you’ll appreciate our guest blogger’s wisdom-sharing.
Dave Wallace is a Brilliant Practicing ExpertTM. Dave’s also a contributing author in the book: Brilliant Breakthroughs for the Small Business Owner: Fresh Perspectives on Profitability, People, Productivity and Finding Peace in Your Business. Go to this special link: http://bit.ly/BrilliantBizBook to learn how to get your 100 Tips for Small Business Owner Success Checklist AND a free e-book copy on Nov. 8 & 9, 2017.
UPDATE STATEMENT: Want to purchase 2017 Book of the Brilliant Breakthroughs for the Small Business Owner – Vol 1? Click on this link: getbook.at/BrilliantBizBook2017
Ready to learn from a sales pro? Good!
Please note: Even though Dave is talking about Business to Business sales, the same is true for Business (you) to Consumer. People sell to people. People make purchasing decisions – not businesses.
Getting More Out of Your Sales Efforts
Are you a small business owner wishing to get more bang for your buck when it comes to your sales efforts? My guess is the answer is YES! I’ve yet to meet a business leader that isn’t. The good news is there are over 1.7 million books on Amazon that are sales related. The bad news is there are over 1.7 million friggin’ books about sales on Amazon!
Where do you start? We’ve all been told that our sales efforts will be more successful if we follow a process.
Great, let’s Google “sales process” and pick one. Oops, 22 million hits! Damn, this is a pain. No help! Hang tight. I’d like to share just one idea to get you started – without you having to wade through millions of options to get to the one that is best for you.
Business to Business sales in the 21st century is much more complex than ever. Why? For one thing, the easy availability of data allows your buyers to get more than enough information about possible solutions without ever speaking to a selling organization. So much so that, according to research by CEB (now offered by Gartner), buyers are 57% along their buying journey before they even engage a seller.
This means they have preconceived notions about the right solution for them. Incorrectly perceiving: how much it will cost, how long it will take to implement, and how fast they can start getting results. All this before they even speak with you.
Yet, we know from the famous Paradox of Choice Jam Experiment from 2000 that more information is not always helpful. So how do you deal with this added complexity?
Optimizing YOUR Sales Efforts
STEP 1: Figure out who you should be selling to
“Who you should be selling to” is your fundamental step.
There is lots of talk about finding your ideal customer. Why is this so important? We know from data from organizations like ClearSlide, CSO Insights, Accenture, and others that reveal between 70% and 85% of the opportunities in your pipeline will never close.
Most of those won’t be lost to your competition, they will be lost to “no decision.” These opportunities will never close – no matter how great your story is and how great your sales approach is.
So, you need to figure out the profile of those companies who actually buy from you. You need to examine your recent successes and losses and discover the commonalities. When you take a non-emotional look at this information, a profile will emerge.
Then, categorize this information into specific attributes. There are many you can use – I like to see at least five and no more than seven.
Next, set up a scoring mechanism and actually score your target customers. Now you have a mechanism to determine who you should be selling to and who it is that is not going to buy from you. This is important because there’s no sense in even approaching your non-buyers.
Armed with a new profile of who you should be selling to, you start to eliminate some of the noise surrounding your sales efforts.
If you target companies that fit your profile, you’ll increase your average sale size, decrease your sales cycle, and you’ll increase your pipeline close rate. In other words, you’ll increase revenue.
It takes a bit more than just figuring out who you should be selling to, but this is your essential first step.
In the future we’ll look at two additional fundamental steps:
Figuring out why your customers buy from you
Creating stories based on why your customer buy from you to attract new customers
Maggie’s Note: Followers, in many aspects this information isn’t new to you. We’ve discussed this frequently over the years. However, it’s a different perspective how to start tightening down YOUR Sales Efforts. Please take heed in Dave’s sharing and start working on this part of YOUR Business’s Performance. Click here to learn more about Dave’s Business. Want to learn more about Dave as an author and how he wrote about how Sales Suck in Solitude?
THANKS FOR ALLOWING ME TO HELP YOU IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS!
Brilliant Breakthroughs, Inc.
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