It’s been shown that by the time you make contact with a prospect, they’re already at least 50-70 percent of the way through the buying process. That means customers are more informed than ever, and businesses and reps need to be increasingly savvy about the way in which they sell.
To increase sales volume, GlenGarry Glen Ross trained sales reps to “always be closing,” Tommy Boy taught reps everywhere that relating to people on a human level closes deals, and Pam Beasley of The Office showed us that determination and ambition goes far.
There are hundreds of famous tips to increase sales volume, and below are a few of the most meaningful ways to close more deals.
1. Focus Your Pitch on Benefits, Not Features
It can be tempting to start a conversation with all the things your product is capable of doing. After all, you’re proud of the product you represent and you can’t wait to talk about it.
However, if you shift the focus of the conversation to the ways in which the buyer’s life will improve by using your product, and you speak to them as a person and not them as a buyer you can increase sales volume. Try talking about how the product is a solution for a problem that your prospect has instead of starting with features first.
2. Align with Marketing to Improve Communications
The Sales Marketing divide exists at many companies, but the most successful companies work on relationship building between the two departments so that they can work together to build and utilize powerful campaigns. Sales is on the front lines and knows what the customer cares about.
Marketing is in tune with the ways that information can be delivered to prospects to increase the likelihood of a deal closing. If you work together, ask for collateral, assistance with emails, and support when you need it. This increased effort in alignment with Marketing can quickly boost sales volume.
3. Set Stretch Goals to Motivate and Inspire Performance
Goals are an interesting thing- set them too high and they’re discouraging enough to work against you. Set them too low and you’ll end up slacking and not living up to your full potential. Stretch goals are the goals that challenge, motivate, and inspire you without seeming impossible to meet.
Let’s say you usually make twenty calls a day, try to make 30 calls a day for one week. Hitting a stretch goal like that can improve your morale as an employee, and can increase sales without you making any major changes to your day.
4. Be Honest with Yourself and Play to Your Strengths
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. The first step is being able to acknowledge that there are things you are better at, and areas where you need improvement. If you’re always closing deals in person, but have a difficult time making initial phone calls, then it’s time to shadow a colleague who possesses the skills you wish to have.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help. In addition, reaching out to an executive for guidance can be a welcomed and necessary action to close more deals.
5. Increase Productivity with Better Time Management
Procrastination can happen to the best of us, but if you really want to boost sales volume, then you have to be able to use your time as wisely as possible. Make a checklist when you arrive at the office and figure out how many calls you want to make and to whom. Then stick to it.
Everyone needs a break now and again to keep their sanity during the day, but if you schedule these breaks and keep them the length you’ve allotted in your schedule you have a much better chance of accomplishing your goals for the day, and of increasing sales in the long run.
6. Add a SPIF to Spark Competition
If you’re a sales manager, adding a SPIF (special performance incentive fund) can light a fire under complacent reps. Even if the prize is something small like tickets to a sporting event or a nice bottle of wine, such rewards can quickly bring out the competitive nature in your sales reps.
7. Treat Customers Like Friends for Better Relationships
Think of the ways in which you’ve built friendships in your personal life, and then apply some of those tactics to relationship building with prospects. Be a good listener and remember to bring up issues and ideas that were discussed in the first call in the third or fourth call as well. This shows that you care about them on a personal level and aren’t just reciting a script, but having a continuing dialogue that’s benefiting them.
8. Reward Customers to Encourage Word-of-mouth
At Xactly, we have a customer reward program called FOX, Friends of Xactly. When customers engage with us, share content, and join the conversation they receive points towards prizes like iPads and gift cards.
It’s a great way to get to know your customers better and to continue a good relationship with them past the point of the deal closing. Hopefully, they pass on a good word to their friends and co-workers about your brand.
9. Know Your Company's Key Differentiators
Today’s market is competitive with multiple companies providing similar services. In order to stand out and make your customer pay attention it’s a good idea to lead with how your product is different from the rest.
What will it do for the prospective customer that your competition can’t do? Even if it’s a small differentiating factor, being able to articulately describe your difference can help seal the deal.
10. Take Advantage of Customer Case Studies
You can talk until you’re blue in the face about product components, but when you can provide a concrete example of a well-known brand that is successfully using your product and has solved a business problem by doing so it’s incredibly compelling to a potential buyer.
11. Automate Incentive Compensation
This might not be the first step that pops into your head when you think about how to improve sales, but it should be. When your reps are able to estimate how much they are going to make, trust that they are being paid correctly, and are always paid on time without having to track down Sales Ops or Finance, sales are certain to improve.
12. Shorten Time Between a Closed Deal and Payment
How soon after the ink is dry on a new contract does your rep get paid? If the answer is longer than a month, your incentives aren’t as powerful as you think. Ideally, two weeks after a deal is closed your rep should have their bonus check in hand.
That’s because the closer to the good performance the sales person receives their payment, the more closely the incentive is tied to the behavior. This leads to repeat performances, which are a win-win.
13. Use Social Selling
Today’s sales reps are incredibly busy. It’s unlikely they have the time to rely on traditional nurturing campaigns for all of their leads. To ensure your pipeline is always full, you can use a social selling platform to network, sell, find leads, and of course boost sales.
14. Analyze Your Data
A wealth of knowledge is waiting for you – and it’s right under your nose. Your own sales data holds the answers to what you need to do to improve your numbers, and the specific levers you can move to do just that.
Analyze your historical data, and you’ll soon discover trends that can help you increase profits and motivate reps. Xactly Insights™ can help you mine this data, and allow you to make meaningful decisions based on your specific company goals.
15. Unleash Motivation and Potential
The way you encourage one rep shouldn’t be the same way that you encourage all of your reps. Each person is different and is motivated by different things. If you’re a sales leader, it’s up to you to discern the best tactics that work for the individuals on your team.
One sales person might be motivated to perform better if you give them more flex time off, while another member of your team might appreciate a bonus. It’s up to you to figure out the most opportune way to motivate your sales reps.
16. Visit Prospects Onsite
While this may not be appropriate for every situation, towards the end of the sales cycle it can be extremely meaningful to visit your prospect on site. This can increase sales volume because in-person meetings are naturally more personal than a phone-call and allow your prospective client to get to know you on a deeper level. This increases their likelihood of buying from you because it shows that you truly care and have their back.
17. Utilize Marketing Content
The Marketing team at your company is likely working hard on the creation of valuable content like datasheets, guides, and customer testimonials. You may very well be using some of this content already, but you may not have familiarized yourself with the breadth or depth of the content that’s available for you to use and send to prospects.
Doing so can help improve sales, because sending along these materials doesn’t put excessive pressure on your potential buyer but still keeps your company and product top of mind.
A final suggestion for increasing sales volume is to make sure that you have an automated sales performance management solution that can motivate you or your reps to sell more and sell smarter.