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Several Strategies to Stop Sucking at Sales

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Several Strategies to Stop Sucking at Sales

With the soaring emergence of digital advancement, it is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire, convert and nurture leads. From MQL’s to SQL’s to loyal customers, it seems as if prospects are finding more illusive tactics to slip through the hands of experienced marketers and salesmen, without even knowing it. It is our job, as salesmen, to devise progressively intelligent sales systems that do the heavy lifting for us. Let’s take a look at Several Strategies to Stop Sucking at Sales!

Review, Review, Review

I can rest assured that I am not the only one who gets SO excited about new strategies, that I forget to analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of my previous efforts. When integrating streamlined sales strategies with your current efforts, you need to make sure you are constantly re-evaluating and pruning your sales system. Start by asking questions like:

  • What type of customer did the majority of my sales come from?
  • Which sales took less effort, and why?
  • Should I re-evaluate my PTA, STA and TTA?
  • Where are people getting stuck in the sales process?

When you begin to answer these questions, you will be surprised to see how much of your new sales strategy is already being formed. Reviewing your past sales tactics, strategies and efforts will allow you to see a clear vision of what your future sales will look like.

Add Value

Too many establishments are trying to solve every customer pain point, with every type of product or service they can possibly think of. When you spread your services, your business begins acting as a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none!’ You need to be less worried about how you can serve a broad audience in a good way, and be more focused on how you can serve a highly targeted audience in a phenomenal way. Become known for few things, and from there, you can evolve into many.

Pick Up Loose Ends

There is a difference between knowing about something and actually applying it effectively to your strategy. Here is what I mean: You all know about analyzing competitors and the effectiveness of it, so I don’t need to preach to the choir. However, how many of us consistently make efforts to see what our competition is doing in regards to sales growth? Beyond that, how many of us then take that information and make adjustments to our sales strategies?

  • Where are your competitors clients coming from?
  • How are they acquiring those clients?
  • Are they nurturing their clients, or do they have dissatisfied clients?
  • Are you swooping in to save the day if they have unsatisfied customers?

Let me give you a great example! We (Flight Media,) host all of our sites and client sites with GoDaddy. A reputable source for domain registration and hosting. Lately, we have experienced a lot of server downtime with GoDaddy, so I decided to tweet them for support (logical right?) Almost immediately, another reputable source for domain registration and hosting, Media Temple, mentioned me in a tweet, followed by a discussion about offering solution at a discounted price for our troubles. We are now ready to make the transition of our sites, all of our current client sites and our future client sites to Media Temple. All because they closely watch their competition. Disclaimer: Do not spend the majority of your effort analyzing competition and picking off the low hanging fruit. While this is crucial to your strategy, don’t let it consume your sales focus.

Set Goals and Milestones

Does your sales growth vision look a little something like this? Sales goals for this week: Make more sales than last week. Sales goals for this quarter: Make more sales than last quarter. Sales goals for this year: Pull in more revenue than last year. Of course that is an extreme exaggeration (for most,) however, it seems that most clients I come in contact with, no matter the industry, have little or no sales goals and strategies. They just want more! That is all fun in games to only want more, but how much is 'more' exactly? What does 'more' look like? How are you going to get from current sales to ‘more' sales? When you set specific goals and milestones, you are not only envisioning growth, you are pursuing it. You may also want to note that sales goals and milestones don’t necessarily have to be a growth in numbers, it could be a shift of sales focus. For example, Flight Media has a goal to shift 70-85%+ of our sales, in quarter 1, completely from outbound to inbound marketing. We have strategically devised a plan that will insure we get from where we are now, to the end goal. Regardless of what your goals and milestones are, be sure to not only document them, but also clearly communicate them with your entire team. Everyone should play a role and carry their own responsibilities in reaching those goals and milestones.

Reshape your PTA, STA and TTA

Have you ever heard of this expression?: "You don’t decide who your customer is, they do.” Well, if you haven’t, now you have, which brings me to my next point. You may think that your desired PTA is a certain ethnic group, with a certain age range, income, family size, job, and social behaviors. Then, when you are reviewing your sales, you realize that your primary customer looks nothing like you thought. Continually redefine your [tooltip text="ideal customer" gravity="nw"]A definition of those who want and have the ability and authority to purchase the unique offerings of a business.[/tooltip], and don’t get upset when they aren’t who you thought they are! Just be glad you discovered it :-)

Team up with Marketing

It seems like a no brainer right? Supposedly, the marketing team provides the qualified leads, and the sales team converts them. Yet, so many people get this process all mixed up and then want to blame the other department for not increasing sales. Hubspot calls this process of joining together sales and marketing, smarketing. With smarketing, you look at real life data that automatically creates a system to acquire, convert and nurture. The system works a little like this: The marketing team needs to have a clear vision of their role in smarketing and how that affects the inbound marketing. Specific to that, they need to generate a certain amount of targeted traffic via content and social marketing. With that traffic, they then need to have optimized conversion content, visual marketing, sales copy and CTA’s that convert and segment a specific percentage of that generated traffic. This system allows them to know that if they generate X amount of targeted traffic, X amount of them will turn into qualified leads. That is where the sales team comes in. From there, the sales team should know the specific percentage of converted sales they need to hit their goals. Your system may look different and even more detailed than this when you replace marketing and sales with smarketing, however, the idea is to create a system bred for hitting goals and milestones.

Go Nuts with Landing Pages

When it comes to landing pages, how many should you have and for what purposes? Hubspot says this about the subject, "While most companies don't see an increase in leads when increasing their total number of landing pages from 1-5 to 6-10, companies do see a 55% increase in leads when increasing their number of landing pages from 10 to 15.” - you can read the full article here. The bottom line with landing pages, no matter how many of them you have, is that they need to be optimized to convert leads and sales. Neil Patel (founder of KISSmetrics,) uses this wonderful acronym to explain what convert means: C = Clear Call to Action O = Offer N = Narrow Focus V = VIA: Very Important Attributes E = Effective Headline R = Resolution-Savvy Layout T = Tidy Visuals S = Social Proof

Conclusion: Focus on building relationships not sales

This is a concept that we love to ‘preach’ at Flight Media. If you have read our blogs before, you have heard us say this more than once: "People buy you, not your products or services.” Time and time again, new clients make it clear to us that, while they are looking for results, the are more so looking for someone to develop a long term relationship with, for the better sake of their business. Don’t get so caught up in the words clients and customers, that you forget they are human beings. They want to know you aren’t just taking their money, giving them mediocre results and going about your own business. This is the nurturing part of sales that allows the continuum process of selling good products and services. Focus on building relationships, and the sales will follow. 

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Josh Coffy

Josh has an exhaustive understanding of technology and a creative marketing approach that drives client results. In his free time, Josh does CrossFit and travels with his wife.