Sales techniques: how to optimize to sell more
Sometimes you don't need to work harder, just work better Sales managers tend to use two levers to increase sales: Increase the amount of commercial effort by expanding the team through the integration of new members; They increase the quality of the effort made by updating and training staff.
However, there is a third way that is, too often, underestimated and not taken: the optimization of the commercial effort, focusing on what is most convenient for the business.
Sales people who learn to identify the most profitable customers, businesses, and products are better able to manage their time and effort. You don't always need to work harder, sometimes you just need to work smarter.
Through six questions, of increasing complexity, we try to photograph the commercial situation and identify the corrections to be made to obtain a more profitable allocation of commercial efforts.
# 1- Does the sales team know what is a priority for the company?
To optimize their work, sales people need to know from the start which customers, products and markets are priority. Only in this way can they manage their time profitably and efficiently. The best way to make sure your staff are ready is to have the right information and goals sharing.
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Refresher courses, performance marketing and sales objectives reinforce communication, while metrics measure performance. The evaluation of the results is an incentive for the sales staff.
For example, if you want to give prominence to the sale of a specific product line, it might be useful to identify specific metrics that help evaluate the returns according to that goal. In this way, the team and management will always have control over the trend and it will be possible to check if the sales force is actually concentrating their efforts to achieve the specific objective.
# 2- Does the sales force have all the necessary data and tools?
The sales force is more likely to invest their time in priority activities for the company if they have information and tools that are useful and facilitate their work.
L 'data analysis is needed to bring out aspects that "the naked eye" would not otherwise be visible. For example, the study of customer profiles can highlight the existence of clusters of users with very high potential, but who are not performing as expected.
By evaluating similar situations experienced over time and the solutions undertaken, we arrive at the definition of the most suitable sales strategies in the specific context.
To do this, however, it is necessary that the information be passed smoothly and completely to the sales force and that the tools available to them are suitable for carrying out meaningful analyzes.
# 3- Does the sales team have the necessary skills?
When the sales force neglects priorities due to insufficient skills or competences, training is required.
Poor team skills and knowledge can hinder the achievement of set goals. Identifying specific gaps is essential, in order to be able to remedy it with targeted courses and training. Salespeople need to be able to fully master the subject, otherwise their efforts won't translate into sales.
The members of the sales team with the right preparation also manage to have the motivation and the necessary self-confidence to face the negotiations.
# 4- Is the sales team motivated enough?
People work better and with greater dedication when they perceive the results of their work and when their commitment is recognized.
The awards can be of various kinds: career advancement, personal satisfaction, remuneration, production awards or, even, a combination of all the above.
Very often, to increase the motivation of staff to sell better and, therefore, to sell more, it passes from a simple revision of the incentive plan or from a change in the criteria for defining the incentives themselves.
# 5- Are responsibilities handled correctly?
Absolute attention must be paid to the level of pressure that the members of the sales team are subjected to.
Too many responsibilities reduce performance and cause chaos, with the risk of wasting valuable time on non-priority tasks. Furthermore, it was also confirmed by a study published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology that the human being is not designed to be multitasking. Instead of increasing productivity, the opposite is often the case.
It is preferable to study a different division of tasks, duties and responsibilities to allow the sales force to focus on the actual priorities and objectives to be achieved. The possibility of expanding the team by supporting new specialists should also be considered, allowing members to dedicate the right time and effort to various activities.
# 6- Do the sales people have the right qualities?
Even though, as previously mentioned, coaching can develop certain skills in salespeople, it must still be said that there are innate qualities that cannot be taught.
The tenacity, the dexterity in dealing with even the most complex situations or the ability to persuade are qualities that a good salesman naturally possesses and that can make a difference in the performance of their work. It is therefore desirable to pay close attention to the personnel selection phase.
When it comes to sales force, preferring “natural” sellers to experts in the sector is one of the practices followed by many companies. Skills can be transmitted thanks to targeted training courses, personal attitudes cannot.
The six questions presented and the related answers, which every sales manager should be able to provide, are helpful in checking the status of the sales team and highlight any critical issues and gaps on which to focus in order to optimize the work of the sales team.