Is it important for a company to work on its sales?
It depends on who you ask.
All companies need to sell, of course, but many believe that their product is so good that it sells itself.
Surely that’s what Blockbuster thought, a game and movie rental shop that opened in 1985 in Texas and in less than 20 years, by 2004 had grown to 90,000 shops and 60,000 employees around the world.
However, in 2013 it closed its last shop. Blockbuster disappeared.
It stopped selling.
Companies like Netflix for movies or Steam for games ate up all its sales.
That’s why it doesn’t matter if you have an incredible product, an unattainable competitive advantage, an established brand or simply, fear of getting involved in sales…
You have to work on your sales.
And this article is the best starting point you have to do it.
What is sales?
Sales is an activity carried out by all companies to encourage their potential customers to buy their products or services.
In short, it is the process by which the company gets someone potentially interested in the company’s products to know them, to value them and to end up doing so.
This process is probably the most important in any business:
A business needs income. And to have an income, it needs to sell.
There is not much turning of the page, sales are the heart of any business.
And this does not look like it will change any time soon: since the invention of barter, long before the advent of currency, sales are a central part of community life.
If it has been for several thousand years, it is unlikely to cease to be so in the near future.
How do sales work?
For you to make a sale you need to contact someone with a problem that solves your product, who is willing to pay the price you charge for it and carry out the transaction.
The sales process is therefore very simple and always consists of these 4 steps:
- You find a potential customer with a need that you can cover with your product.
- You make sure that this potential client knows the solution you offer to his problem.
- You convince the client that your solution is the most suitable to cover their need.
- The sale itself takes place: you exchange money for a product or a service.
These steps are so invariable that many salespeople around the world have developed theoretical frameworks or methodologies around them.
From the mythical AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) to the SPIR method (Situation, Problem, Involvement and Resolution) and many others.
How to increase your sales?
Now that you understand the fundamentals of selling, the following question is a must:
How can I sell more?
If you ask that question Google will bombard you with articles with endless lists of sales techniques, ways to make promotions and lower prices or the latest psychological trick they think they’ve discovered at a lost university in the American Midwest.
Let me make a spoiler for you: to increase your sales you don’t need that, you need only 1 thing:
More specifically, a strategy to improve little by little in each of the steps that you have to take to make the sale happen and that we have seen before.
The only strategy you need to improve your sales
To improve in any area of your business you need a method. Sales are no exception.
To design a sales strategy that works you will have to attack 4 areas:
- The design of your sales funnel.
- The capture of leads.
- The conversion of leads.
- The customer loyalty.
The design of your sales funnel
There is a situation that is repeated on every computer in the world connected to the Internet time and time again. I am 100% sure that this has also happened to you on more than one occasion:
Surfing the net you enter an online shop and some of the things you see catch your attention, so you click to see it more in depth. You can even try different colours and sizes or put them in the cart to see the shipping costs.
But that’s it. That’s all there is to it.
Just as you arrived, you leave without buying anything, and surely this is one of those hundreds of websites that you have seen once, by chance, and never enter again…
However, you enter Facebook or browse other websites and see everywhere the shop you were in or even the product you were looking at.
The situation couldn’t be more familiar, could it?
Well, let me tell you something: you have just entered a sales funnel.
Well, in your company you have to organize, also a sales funnel.
A recurring system that takes potential customers from point A (they don’t know you) to point B (they have bought from you).
The capture of Leads
Lead capture is the first phase of any sales funnel.
The idea is simple: it is a method of obtaining leads that could potentially be interested in your products.
There are many ways to carry out lead generation:
- Through traditional marketing.
- With online marketing campaigns.
- By buying company databases.
- Through recommendations from your current clients.
- By making cold door calls and visits.
You should select a method, measure its results, professionalize it and get the most out of it.
The conversion of Leads
Once you have contacted the lead during the previous phase, you should be able to advance it to the purchase.
As with recruitment, there are many ways to do this:
- Through phone calls.
- With video calls.
- In person with face-to-face meetings.
- With webinars.
- Through emails.
In this case you should also stick to one method, maximum two, and give them a go until you get the most out of them.
Many companies believe that the sale is over when the customer makes the purchase, but they are wrong.
The sale should never end and, from the moment the customer has made his first purchase, we should activate our after-sales services.
If your good work as a salesperson does not convince you to bet on this area, the numbers will.
According to numerous studies, the price of retaining a client is on average 10 times lower than the price of acquiring a new client.
That’s why you should establish a strategy to retain and make your current customers as loyal as possible.
With a CRM all these processes become much easier
Keeping track of a sales funnel when you have 10 or 20 leads is easy. With an Excel, a little organization and work, you have it solved.
However, when you have 30 or 40 leads it is already very difficult. And with more, it is simply impossible.
You also need to fine-tune the sales techniques you employ.
If the strategy is the skeleton of a solid sales plan, the techniques are the muscles that make the rest move with energy.
There are many sales techniques, from psychological to automation, but as in any discipline, the ideal is to start with the basics. The main ones are:
- Unique sales proposal.
- Sales arguments.
- Pricing strategy.
Unique sales proposal
The Unique Selling Preposition (USP) is one of the most effective and misunderstood marketing techniques available.
Contrary to what is usually done, the idea behind a unique selling proposition is to find a single reason why your product is the best solution for a particular potential customer and make all the messages revolve around it.
Apple or Nike are typical examples of having made such intensive use of their unique selling proposition that they turned it into their company’s claim in the end.
Sales scripts are one of the most powerful tools available to commercials and also one of the most underrated.
It is a standardised speech that each salesperson uses when making a call or having a contact with a client.
The great advantage of using the same sales pitch is that it allows you to improve your messages little by little, thus improving the overall effectiveness of your speech.
Every salesperson should have a sales pitch and work on improving it.
Selling price may seem more of a product department than a sales department, but this is only half the truth.
Why is that?
Simply because in many cases, the price is the best (or even the only) indication of value and quality we have of a product.
If you don’t know the market, which smartphone do you think will be of better quality, a 300€ or a 700€ one?
This is so evident in physical products, it also applies to digital products or services, so you should keep an eye on this area of the business from the sales department as well.
With a CRM and these sales strategies, you can boost your results
Tracking all your leads without a CRM is a bad idea, but applying these sales strategies without this tool is also a waste of time and money.
To do it professionally your best option is Efficy.
Do you want to see how it works?
Try Efficy CRM
The most complete CRM