To the question “What will you do to Double Sales in 2010?”,
we received many ideas and insightful comments!
Here are a few examples –
“The trick to double sales lies in ‘Laws of Attraction’. Though we can’t stop calling on and reaching out to prospects and clients, we must double our efforts on creating the value that attracts them to us.”
“The thing that I believe will increase sales the most in 2010 is implementing more creative ways to sell and “connect” with decision-makers of ones product/service. – Social Media, Blogging, anything to “connect” and Attract” with decision-makers – I think that will help increase sales the most.”
“All kidding aside, that is the secret…More conversations = More Appointments = More Opportunities = More Deals. I live it every day, and I never speak with less than 20 people in a day. Amaxingly (believe it or not), it only takes 2-3 hours of my time.”
To my highly trained and perhaps somewhat jaded eye, the common theme here is those who are planning to double sales significantly in 2010 are looking for faster and better ways to generate more quality prospects. Essentially, our car needs more high performance fuel to go farther next year.
In my experience as a sales manager and coach, most sales people point to the need for more leads first when asked what you can do to help them.
In order to actually achieve breakthrough growth in sales, I believe a broader perspective is helpful. Staying with our auto analogy, the defining elements of how far and how fast we can go include not just the fuel (leads), but also engine (the sales process) and the road (the market).
What if we take a step back and look at all the choices and alternatives we have in choosing the fuel,the engine and the road we take? The likelihood of double sales or radically improving sales performance increases if we’re willing to adjust all these elements so that they are all tuned to work perfectly with the others.
If I’m on a dirt road through rough terrain, I might be best served with a powerful 4×4 machine and deisel fuel.
If my market is chemical refineries and the decision maker is typically the production supervisor, then I’ll want to start spending time at the bowling alley near the plant and drinking beer at Gilly’s (forgive me, I live in Houston).
For the average sales person, sales manager or VP of Sales, we may not be able make changes to the market we’re targeting or even the way we sell to the market. Another reason we tend to focus on leads is its what we have the most control over.
However, we all have some measure of control over the entire selling process and can adjust in valuable ways, whether officially endorsed or not.
We’ve put together this list of important, substantive adjustments to our lead generation and selling processes that don’t generally require board approval or cost much money. In other words, there’s no reason not to do it! The payoff can be double sales this year!
The Road (Who You Sell To)
Get to the decision maker. I know you already know that one but, how well do you practice it? How often do you find your self spending hours and hours with information gatherers, influencers and end users in hopes that they’ll put you in front of the decision maker eventually? Stop it. When presented with the supporting cast, start with questions about what the decision making process is, if the budget has been approved and when you’re going to get to meet the big cheese. Don’t answer their questions unless you’re getting answers to yours.
Find the right decision maker. Start with decision makers that have a big budget. Don’t follow the path of least resistance and spend your time chasing the easy ones, the ones you can get to easily. Do the research and figure out who’s got the potential to make your quarter or your year and go after them.
The Engine (How You Sell)
Learn first, deliver last. Doing presentations and preparing proposals can be the most time consuming things you do. If you’re not sure you’re talking to someone that’s going to like what you show them and will spend the money required, then don’t spend your time. Focus on setting the table through strong qualifying and asking great questions to get commitment that if you do the presentation and it meets the requirements they’ve shared, they’re going to move forward. Essentially, you want to re-order the sequence of the things you do for each prospect so that the most time consuming and costly are reserved for the sure things. For a more in depth discussion of how to sell more by presenting less, read our free ebook, “Double Your Sales in 2010“.
The Fuel (How You Connect With People to Sell To)
Ensure you have more than enough leads and be sure they’re the highest possible quality.
In some businesses, its easy to know who your prospects are. You can join the national association of whatever and get all their names. In that case, your challenge is to block off enough time each day to make meaningful progress in connecting with them. In these cases, I definitely recommend leveraging LinkedIn and other more industry specific sites to get connected.
If your universe of potential prospects is very large and your challenge is to figure out which ones are in need of your solution today, then I suggest putting a very basic “Attraction Marketing” program together. It can be simple:
- Call, mail or email them and offer them something of intrinsic value to someone in that role for free. Ask for their permission to offer them similar things in the future.
- Send them additional offers. Design some of them so that anyone interested in them can be consider to be interested in buying a product or service like yours. A “Buying Guide” for your product or service is a simple example of this.
- Those who take advantage of this second offer are your sales prospects. Go to work.
For more discussion of how to leverage email and attraction marketing to generate quality prospects, read our free ebook, “Email Marketing – The Only Bailout Your Business Needs”
Being sure you have an ample supply of quality fuel (leads) is crucial. If you fail here, everything else in the overall process will be more difficult too. For this reason, its imperative that you get organized.
If picking up the phone and cold calling people is your plan to generate leads, then you need to allot time in your day to make it happen. You also need to be sure you’re as productive as possible during that time.
If emailing or mailing offers to leads is your plan, you’ll need to invest some time in creating the content of your campaign and then invest in an email marketing system to automate the delivery of the pieces in your campaign.
You’re going to need a contact management system or CRM and an email marketing system. Think of it this way… You’re going to do twice as much this year without cloning yourself. If you want to get any sleep, you’re going to need to automate things.
When selecting a CRM, contact management system or email marketing system, keep it simple. You need to be able to easily tailor the CRM around your business and your customers. It won’t help you double your sales in 2010 if you’ll need to spend 4 months selecting and implementing the system.
Write down what you need the CRM system to do for you. Not what you’d like. What it MUST do. Then go in search of it and don’t let yourself get enamored of shiny gadgets. Get what you need, nothing more. Be sure you’ve chosen a vendor who can help you get it set up and churning for you quickly.
I hope that you’re seeing your road, your car and your fuel more clearly. This not easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. It is however completely do-able! If you’ve got questions about some of the decisions you must make to double sales yourself, join us on December 23, 2009, for our webinar, entitled “Building Your 2010 Sales Machine“.