By Karen Wessels, co-founder of SnappSales and VA Connect
What do you want to achieve in business in 2018? I know that typically when we start the New Year we think of New Year’s resolutions and more than likely these resolutions fizzle out by the 10th of January. So just how effective are these New Year’s resolutions really?
What if you start the year off with a workable action sales plan? What if this sales plan means that you can scale and grow your business? I want you to know that sales is no longer what it used to be. Nowadays the greatest portion of sales makes up developing strong and valuable relationships. We make deep connections with our prospective clients long before we think of selling to them. We establish ourselves as thought leaders and develop brand awareness, which could take months, before we enter into the sales conversation.
Actionable sales plan
Let’s take a look at a holistic sales action plan that you can implement throughout the year.
Identify & understand your target market
Take data from your sales figures and invoicing details to identify your client audience. In this data check, who are your top performing clients? That is, who uses your services/products most frequently? Which kind of clients closed the easiest? Which industries are they in? Where did your leads come from (take into account social media platforms as well)? All of this will help you in understanding who your clients are and where better to reach them.
Segmenting data for prospecting
Now that you’ve identified your target market, segmenting the data will help you improve your prospecting. Segmenting means you can personalise your outreach to each prospect and targeted content allows you to nurture your prospects to a point of successfully closing the deal. Prospecting is an important part of the sales process, as you need to continuously fill your sales funnel.
Maximise your outreach
Make sure you have accurate data to do your outreach with. This means the right telephone number and email address. When calling your prospective client, keep in mind it could take up to 17 dials to speak with them. Don’t get discouraged! But make it easier for yourself and ensure that have the right contact details to start off with. Sales is a numbers game. It could take 133 emails to set up 2 meetings. Again, don’t get discouraged by these stats, but also make sure that you have the right email address the first time to get the results you are seeking.
In this section we take a look at the kind of sales activities you can do. Remember, sales is not only cold calling - in fact, sales has evolved to be so much more than that. Typically nowadays we start the conversation online through digital marketing and social media, and then it is taken off line to either a face-to-face sales meeting or casual telephone chat.
The face of sales has changed. So let’s take a look at some of the sales activities you can implement from January and continuously drive throughout the year.
Video sales calls
In order to properly qualify a prospective client, I would recommend first doing a video sales call - that is, a digital meeting. You can use apps like Skype or Zoom to conduct great meetings. This gives you the opportunity to prequalify a prospect before going to all the trouble of meeting them in person. If you’re doing international business then these platforms are great for this. You could potentially even close the deal before meeting in person which drives down the cost of acquisition (Cost of acquisition is the cumulative cost of bringing a client on board).
Purpose driven marketing
With everything we do in life and business it should be done with intention, there should be a purpose. For every piece of marketing that you put out, for every sales call that you do, there should be a purpose, not only for you but for your prospective client as well. The moment you can show clients the value you bring, the easier it is for them to want to do business with you. Throw purpose in the mix and you can almost guarantee a more sustainable business relationship.
Sales enablement tools
I want you to get used to using certain tools to maximize your sales efforts. Do research on the best CRM systems and implement your chosen one. Make sure the entire team uses it effectively. A working CRM gives you access to better data, which helps you segment your audience for more targeted outreach.
Use apps like WhatsApp, Zoom and Skype to message, chat and meet with prospective clients and current clients.
Upskill yourself with understanding data better, not only sales data, but website and social media data too. Get a data analysis tool to understand better where your online leads come from, where they spend the most time on your website, where do they drop off, what posts convert the best and so forth. As discussed in Part I, this data is invaluable in understanding your audience better and ensuring that you continue putting out top-of-mind content specifically tailored for your audience.
Content is king. And blogging is a great way to drive leads. However, you need to have a strategy with your blogging. Ensure that your content resonates with your audience, that you always drive value and that you keep your authentic voice in your blogs. Each blog should have a call-to-action (CTA) like asking the visitor to share your content, or to download an e-book, or to complete a contact form for a free consultation.
Bringing it together
In my sales world, this is a snapshot of the sales environment. However, I have striven to bring together the best parts for you to implement and start seeing results almost immediately.
I would love to hear about your sales successes after you’ve implemented this sales plan. Happy selling!
Karen Wessels is the co-founder and COO of VA Connect, a South African virtual assistant platform that provides outsourced administrative support; and is also the co-founder of SnappSales, a company that generates quality sales leads for its clients. Prior to establishing both her companies, Karen spent over 10 years in different sales, marketing & admin support roles. This experience has equipped her with the invaluable skills required to run her two successful business ventures. Follow Karen on her Personal Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+
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