How to Win More New Customers and Increase Sales to Existing Customersadmin
A guest article from Auricas
As part of Auricas sales and marketing consultancy and sales management training we recommend ACT! to our customers. In addition, we have been using ACT! ourselves for decades. So, here are some insights as to why we believe it’s an essential part of any sales development process today.
Based on approaching 40 years’ experience of helping companies produce measurable improvements in sales performance and on-going research into best – and worst – sales practice, it would be fair to say that few know the challenges associated with sales as well as we do. So, let’s look at some of the issues from two perspectives – the Sales Director/Manager and the Sales Person.
Essentially what’s required is accurate, up-to-date information about sales activity, sales results and sales pipeline per sales person. However, speaking frankly, rarely is this readily available when we ask to see it as part of a typical sales development process. This often leads us to think that there isn’t much clarity about what’s actually going on compared to what should be going on. By comparison, we know of Sales Directors/Managers who use weekly sales meetings or require weekly sales reports which take up hours of potential selling time to establish the required information which they subsequently enter into spreadsheets for analysis.
ACT! can resolve both problems providing this critical information in literally one or two clicks! This alone will save hours of wasted management and sales time! Most importantly, it moves you from collating the information to being able to analyse it more effectively and then driving “coaching conversations”. For example:
- How many hours is a sales person “putting themselves in danger of selling something”?
- Is a sales person taking the easy option of email rather than picking up the phone and arranging meetings?
- Is a sales person writing to many quotes/proposals without doing a proper needs analysis? (Writing quotes/proposals is more comfortable than making calls so may also be masking a lack of confidence or skill)
- Is the sales person talking to who’s necessary rather than who’s comfortable? (Low conversion ratio)
- Is the sales person making to many “comfort” calls to existing customers and not enough to prosects?
- What about metrics such as: The number of customer/prosect contacts and the last date of contact? The number of customers? The number of sales? The value of sales? The type of sales? The profit per sale? Etc
Spot-checks can take place at any time of the day, evening or weekend. Reports with exactly the information you need can be set up quickly, if not already available – again, these are available in just one or two clicks.
In summary, based on our analysis of sales performance over decades, we can share with you that sales success has far more to do with sales activity than ability. ACT! will identify sales activity in detail which, coupled with our sales development training will help your sales people do enough of the right things likely to lead to sales. We can also help sales people to increase their professional, consultative sales skills to the point where they can actively influence the outcomes of sales conversations; they become order makers not just order takers.
It may not be true for everyone but we don’t think it will come as much surprise if we say that sales people in general are pretty poor at sales administration. In our experience, the primary reason for this is that many companies make the process of record keeping so complicated and time consuming that sales people either don’t do it at all, just do the basics or develop their own system! Often sales people will tell us that “the company system doesn’t work properly”. Sometimes, just finding a customer’s history, for example, can take hours.
Conversely, it may be that a company doesn’t have a common, approved CRM system at all that everyone is required to use. Being creative by nature, sales people will then attempt to find the quickest way of doing the least required.
Without exception, both scenarios, create a situation where only “live and likely” sales opportunities are being tracked and even the details of most of those are in someone’s head. Once the opportunity dies or gets closed, much is forgotten. Follow up calls are missed and customer contact/service visits don’t happen (just check the last date that each customer was visited and you’ll see we’re right).
So, what’s required is a simple CRM system that’s quick, easy and simple to understand – and that’s ACT! Of course, what sales people don’t initially realise is that ACT! completely removes any excuses for not having accurate and up- to-date information about sales activity, sales results or pipeline!
In summary, in terms of both winning new customers and increasing sales with existing customers, ACT! is enormously valuable. Most prospects, for example, may well be interested but are not ready to buy yet when you contact them. It may be that your prospects are simply not aware of you or maybe forget you when the time comes to buy. ACT! will help you schedule the regular sales and marketing activity necessary and ensure contact happens on time thus increasing the likelihood of success – and making life easier for the sales person. Equally, building depth and width to your ABM (Account Based Marketing) strategy has been proven to produce results; this can be scheduled using ACT!
Regards existing customers, complacency is one of the quickest ways to lose a customer considering every working hour of every working day, your competitors are trying to tempt them away. ACT! will quickly reveal last visit dates and help you set a schedule of reminders to communicate with your customers and add value more regularly. You can also set up a Last Updated field which is quick and easy to update each time contact is made and which reveals any outdated records.
The biggest benefit for a sales person though is from the Task List as it does all the thinking for you in terms of providing a weekly/monthly TO DO list which drives the most effective use of sales time.
Be clear though that having accurate, up-to-date sales information is only part of the sales improvement process. Auricas brings to the table expertise and experience in not just identifying what needs to improve but in revealing why someone might be under-performing. Most importantly though, it provides sales people with the tips and coaching they need on how to improve.
If you would like more information about our bespoke, 1:1 sales management coaching or our bespoke coaching to increase sales performance, please contact Auricas