Every small business needs a good sales function to grow. It is the function that brings in revenue without which a business would not grow. Ironically, selling is one of the most challenging things that most small businesses struggle with. Luckily, there are several proven sales practices that work for small businesses, irrespective of their product or service offering.
If you run a small business and are struggling to improve your sales, here are five practices that you could apply:
1. Understand The Sales Cycle
To become effective in sales, small businesses should have a good understanding of the sales process. The sales cycle has seven important stages that range from prospecting leads to qualifying prospects and closing deals. Though the stages can appear overwhelming, they become manageable when you understand them and apply them continually as opposed to leaping into the unknown each time you start the process.
When you have an in-depth knowledge of the sales cycle, you can shorten it and make it more targeted. You do not want a sales process that goes on for a long time without closing a deal. To make the selling process effective, focus on making each sales cycle stage efficient. You can do this by adjusting the amount of time you spend in each stage on a case to case basis. The more you practice this, the better you become at reducing your sales process and closing deals faster.
2. Set High Sales Targets
When setting sales targets, you need to be ambitious enough to set high targets. Avoid having targets that are conservative or easy to attain as that does not create a good environment for nurturing your sales team. On the other hand, high targets encourage your team to do more and enable you to offer them the support they need.
Once you have the sales targets, craft a plan with the big picture in mind. The way to do this is to develop schedules for a quarter or a month. Work backwards to break those schedules into weekly and then daily schedules. This helps in giving every person in your sales team a good understanding of what is expected of them on a day-to-day basis.
But this is not all. Once your sales team is clear on what they should deliver, give them the training they need to achieve the results you want. In addition to training them, use formal and informal methods to coach your sales team on a continuous basis. A great way to do this is by holding individual briefing sessions before and after team meetings.
3. Craft A Unique Selling Proposition And A Sales Pitch
A unique selling proposition is a simple statement that highlights what differentiates your business and its product or service offerings from the competition. When done correctly, your selling proposition creates a solid foundation for your sales pitch by positioning your business as a better choice and gives your prospects a reason to choose it over the competition.
On the other hand, a sales pitch comes in handy in day-to-day networking events, cold calls and sales meetings. The thing is, the more you get comfortable sharing who you are and what your company does, the better you become at delivering sales pitches. While putting a sales pitch together will take time, you can use the pitch multiple times once you hack a perfect one.
A sales pitch is a useful tool to have in sales and many other business situations. The more comfortable you are delivering a summary of who you are and what you do, the better you will be able to do it. This applies to sales meetings, cold calls, and everyday networking. When creating a sales pitch, make the content relevant for both pre-sale situations as well as sales situations.
4. Build Sales Resilience
When selling your offerings to prospects, you will encounter sales objections. Even for the most proficient salespeople, experiencing sales objections can be discouraging. The reality is that each sales process is unique. However, taking the time to evaluate those processes will quickly reveal a trend of sales objects that keep recurring.
To overcome this challenge, you will need to build sales resilience. The key to doing this is by finding the right strategies to overcome them in order to close more sales. The best way to do this is to craft a plan that enables you to identify objections with a view of strengthening your arguments so that you can overcome them.
5. Build Your Negotiation Skills
Negotiation is an important part of the sales process. With good negotiation skills, small businesses are able to navigate various business situations and avoid sales objections. They also make customers and prospects feel that they have been heard. Salespeople who build negotiation skills are good at closing sales while those that don’t experience difficulties with deal closure. The key to building negotiation skills is practicing. To nurture the skill, allow them to take on easy tasks first before taking on tougher ones and always have the compromise card in mind.
Whether you are selling services or products, the success of your business depends on how well you can sell. To boost your sales revenue, your sales teams need to develop critical thinking and listening skills to succeed. In addition to this, embracing the five practices discussed above can help your business sell more with ease.