This Expert's Corner Article on '3 key factors for improving sales' is brought to you by Catherine Park, of BackOffice PRO, your business process outsourcing partner.
3 Key Factors For Improving Sales
As an entrepreneur, you have a great deal of experience in all aspects of running your business. You’re driven, have a compelling vision and are not afraid to work harder than the average person. Now allow me to pour some proverbial cold water on you.
If you can’t sell your products or services, none of that matters
This is the single, most valuable advice I have ever received. The ability to sell means everything in business. If you can’t sell, then you are most certainly going to fail. Before you panic though, selling is not as daunting a task as your competition would have you believe.
Finding what works for generating sales at your company is the key to unlocking the full potential of your business. In the past, small business owners were at a major disadvantage but today, small businesses account for 54% of all sales made in the U.S.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy for sales, but there are several factors that are required in order to increase sales.
Metrics Are Essential to Success
This is perhaps the most important part of the sales formula. The ability to measure success is the key to unlocking what works for your business.
Sales activity produces a lot of useful information. Unfortunately, I see so many small businesses ignore this information when they should be tracking it. Certain metrics will help you evaluate activity and boost the efficiency of your marketing strategy.
For instance, a lot of companies track lead generation metrics, but not many will track the quality of leads delivered. The latter is far more important. 100 quality leads are far more valuable than 1,000 poor leads.
Knowing which of your sales efforts is generating quality sales is essential. The simple truth is that…
You cannot improve what you are not measuring.
What's driving traffic to your website? Is it your amazing blog posts being shared on Facebook? Is it your pay-per-click ads? You simply have no way of knowing until you start tracking your sales metrics.
High-Volume Sales Funnels
Imagine a payroll software company that's trying to sell an amazing piece of software. They wouldn’t start off by pitching that software to someone who has never heard of it. They would start by earning the trust of a potential customer.
- Give the person a reason to visit their website
- Offer value on the website so the user will keep coming back
- Get the user to sign up to an email list
- Once the consumer makes it through all of those stages, then they are ready to be given a pitch to buy the product
This process is known as a sales funnel. As a small business owner, your website is going to act as your own sales funnel. Your initial visitors are not going to buy anything from you the first time they visit your website.
It’s likely that they are just looking for information. So, you must provide that information while giving them a reason to come back. This is usually done by offering something of value for free in exchange for the visitor’s contact information.
In short, a sales funnel should turn visitors into prospects; turn prospects into leads; turn leads into customers, and finally turn customers into returning customers.
Training is a Key Ingredient to Sales
Training is an often underutilized factor in the sales process. As a small business owner, you might feel that training is unnecessary because you're able to keep an eye on everything. That's a mistake. Think of training as an investment in your business. To make the right investment, you'll need to identify your unique training needs.
Here's a look at the three areas of training:
Induction Training: New prospects must be trained in the use of your company's products, as well as target markets and policies. This type of training includes all outsourcing providers who deal with sales and marketing.
Skills Training: Sales representatives must be capable of building relationships with customers.
Market Training: Finally, sales members must understand the factors that differentiate your products/services from your competition.
Selling is the driving force of business. Do you have a proper sales process in place? Any thoughts that you would like to add? If so, then leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you!