Danny Wong is an entrepreneur, marketer and writer. He works with startups & tech businesses. Find his clips on Entrepreneur, HuffPost, The Next Web, Salesforce.com, and ReadWrite, among others.
A high-pressure sales approach often makes leads and prospects uncomfortable. Potential clients want to be courted without feeling the pressure from a persistent sales pitch.
At a quick glance, it’s easy to make superficial assumptions about the effectiveness of your sales funnel. Without further analysis, the initial conclusions you draw from the data may be misleading because a broad overview of your sales performance is not a true indicator of sales potential. Once you audit your sales behaviors and dissect the data, you may discover smart ways to improve your overall results.
Many salespeople front-load their interactions with prospects. Hundreds of cold calls convert into dozens of meetings and then a handful of sales proposals. Believing they have already crossed the finish line, sales reps send pre-made proposals out with the expectation that they have already secured the prospect's business. Instead, clients lose interest when they receive an impersonal document that simply states cost and deliverables.
To craft the perfect sales proposal, we’ve listed nine features that help salespeople keep prospects engaged, excited, and eager to move forward.
Email marketing is one of the most affordable and effective ways to consistently engage customers and prospects. For every dollar spent on email marketing, brands generate nearly $41 in sales, which outperforms mobile marketing ($10.51 per dollar spent), social media ($12.71), display advertising ($19.72), and search engine marketing ($22.24).
But to ensure their message is read and distributed, brands need to focus on improving three important metrics: open rates, click-through rates, and forwards. Below, we define each metric, highlight its importance, and describe strategies to improve your current stats.
When used to its greatest advantage, content marketing can create a relationship between a company and its customers. With content, salespeople can add value to each client interaction, creating memorable touchpoints that help prospects successfully progress through each stage of the sales cycle. Using case studies, data, gated content, guest blogging, and other forms of content, sales teams gain more control over their sales funnel, and sales can carefully guide customers toward a favourable purchasing decision.
Salespeople serve on your business’s front line. In their active, client-facing role, what they learn from current and potential customers can help make a company better. They often hear brilliant business ideas from the customers they aim to serve. Using their knowledge, sales teams can help their employers build better, more profitable, and popular products.
Lean businesses have an advantage over their larger counterparts: They can move fast and innovate, which affords them a competitive edge in negotiations. With a clever approach to sales and thrifty marketing strategies, they’re empowered to do more with less. Furthermore, with the smarts and willpower to build incredible products on a budget or offer high-impact services with merely a handful of experts, small businesses and startups can be strategic vendors for enterprise clients.
In the highly competitive world of sales, a company’s sales team members can feel disposable, as though all they do is identify leads and close deals. The best sales departments collaborate to create long-term job security and value. When salespeople work together, they more easily identify and share best practices for making a sale. In a system of mutual teaching and learning, every salesperson is an active, integral part of the department.
Managers face a challenge: How do they effectively lead and inspire their sales teams?
Video is taking the world by storm: Cisco predicts that “[global] consumer internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019, up from 64 percent in 2014.” Businesses that have not yet invested in video need to start now to increase brand awareness and engage consumers.
Marketers agree about digital video’s potential: 41 percent of agencies believe online video is as effective as TV. 31 percent are even more confident and feel online video ads perform better than broadcast commercials.
It’s common to talk about moving a prospect through the sales funnel. Yet organizations place incredible pressure on teams to improve their average close rates and shorten the sales cycle. But to do this effectively, sales leaders must ensure enough resources are provided to optimize every step of the sales process.
As a company, do you know how to segment prospects and customers so you can more effectively use the funnel?
In sales, one mantra rings true for both the prospect and the salesperson: Ask the right questions. This teaches sales representatives to prioritize needs discovery. Additionally, it helps salespeople suss out a prospect’s main concerns. Yet, few sales professionals expect their customers to respond with thoughtful inquiry.
When prospective clients evaluate the value of your offerings, they consider how your tools can help them: They want to accomplish more or look better in front of their boss. They need a firm grasp of what they will gain from purchasing your products or recruiting your services to justify the cost. Qualitative benefits may intrigue buyers, but quantitative results help close the deal.
Some suggest it is uncouth to sell to family and friends. Generally, salespeople prefer to provide their goods and services to strangers to ensure a strict separation between their personal and professional lives. However, pre-established relationships are a gold mine for salespeople, and leads are plentiful within your personal, professional, and social networks.
An editorial strategy without distribution disappoints brands and marketers invested in the thoughtful creation and production of quality content.