Simple Sales Tracking Blog

Where Do The Dollars Come From?

When considering this question many of us think of activities such as marketing and advertising, operations, lead management – the list goes on.

The fact is that only one activity brings money into any business and that is sales, unless of course you are a non-profit organization.

There is an old saying “Nobody gets paid until a sale is made”

You can have the best products in the world but unless someone is actively selling these you will go out of business.

If we can agree that sales are one of the most important activities in our business then the next question to consider is “are our salespeople making the most of the opportunities that are out there?”

Sadly the answer to this question in the majority of cases is “No”.

Here is some data from a study conducted with the Fortune 500 companies in the States, which found –

98% of salespeople do not have a consistent methodology for their presentation
95% talk too much
93% volunteer a price decrease without being asked
86% ask the wrong questions
87% of sales inquiries are never followed up – not even once
90% depend almost totally on leads from marketing efforts

What this information points to is a lack of sales skills training for the sales teams.

According to ASTD research conducted in 2008 – 48% of salespeople learn selling through trial and error. How many prospects do these people waste while learning?

Many of the people I train have been in sales for years and have basically learnt through this method.

The most common issue I see with the trial and error training methodology is a lack of confidence in the salespeople.

The next most common group I come across are the salespeople that did a sales course ten or so years ago and are still using the old style selling techniques.

Sales like any other business activity should be systemised.

When selling becomes a process your salespeople will become more confident, your sales closing ratio will increase and your cost of sales will decrease.

The cost of making a face to face sales call can range from $90 – $500 depending on the location and time.

What many of us fail to take into account when working out these costs are the hidden cost such as technical support, administration support, on-going training – the list goes on.

Using $150/hour as an example let’s look at what goes into making a sale

Preparation and getting the appointment 1 hour
Face to Face presentation (including travel) 2 hours
Preparing Proposal 2 hours
Follow-up appointment to present/discuss proposal 1.5 hours
Miscellaneous – phoning, research etc 1.5 hours
Total 8 Hours

The equation is 8 hours x 150 = $1200

This is assuming that you make the sale however there are very few companies in the world who have a 100% closing ratio. Most companies average 35%. This relates to proactive selling (you approach the prospect) as opposed to reactive selling (the prospects approach you)

We will look further at developing sales teams in the next article.

Quote of the Week:

From Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Company, who once was asked by a wholesaler why he invested so much in training his people, when ultimately they might leave.

His reply –

“What if I didn’t train them, and they stayed?”

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Sales Impact Group.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, Uncategorized, , , ,

The Best Way to Increase Your Sales Using Twitter

twitter-chicken-eggUsing Twitter as a sales tool is nothing new.  (Neither is experiencing when this is done well or badly)

As in any sales activity, the best way to sell your product or service is to focus on the customer and what they’re searching for.  Usually you’d go through a process to determine this, but with Twitter we can skip straight to the solution!

There are a plethora of tweets being posted every minute. Many of them might be about what that person had for breakfast, but in amongst these sorts of posts are a gold mine of messages where people are reaching out looking for help.  They might be directly asking for ideas or suggestions or how to solve a problem – or they might just be complaining.

In those situations, that person is already primed for a solution to be presented to them.

When you reply to their request, you’re responding to a discussion they already started themselves.  This is an example of Twitter being used well as a sales tool.

The question is – how do you find the people that are looking for the products and services that you can offer them.

One option is to use the twitter search function. You can search, in real-time, about what people are tweeting about at that moment.  This will work – but it is time consuming and to do this repetitively would become onerous.

The best option is to use a tool that tracks any tweets that are posted that match a keyword from your industry. It could be your product or service name, company name, or even industry or competitor names.

Simple Sales Tracking comes standard with just such a capability. Not only that but in addition to catching desired conversations, you’ll also be able to:

  • Filter out repetitive or useless tweets or users
  • Convert Twitter users to Leads with a single click.

Although Twitter can be used to increase sales in other ways, using other methods as well – this is one of the best and easiest of them.

If you’re struggling to gain traction with Twitter or looking for a way to use Twitter for business – this is the low hanging fruit that anyone can grab.

To read more about the Twitter  – Social CRM integration in Simple Sales Tracking have a look at this blog post or at the website.

Filed under: How To's, Uncategorized, , , , ,

How Effective Is Your Networking?

Everyone talks about networking to improve business; however I find it to be an overused word and underused strategy by many of the salespeople and business owners I meet at so called “networking events”.

Many people think of networking as going to a business event in search of business opportunities however it is much more than this.  It’s a very cost effective way of doing business through referred leads if it is managed correctly.

The “Barrons Business Guide” Dictionary of Business Terms defines networking as –
“making use of professional contacts”

You can break network into two words – “net” and “work”.
Your “net” is made up of the people and businesses you interconnect with
Your “work” is the building and maintenance of your net.

To be effective in your networking you need to have systems.

A “system” is defined as “organization of functionally interactive units for the achievement of a common goal”

Some systems for networking would include –

  1. A clear strategy for each event/meeting
  2. A clear profile of the type of prospects you are looking for.  Many salespeople don’t have a clear picture of this and tend to say they are interested in anyone and are then condemned to spend their time with the wrong prospects
  3. Lists of prospects you may want introductions to – be specific
  4. An “elevator speech” or “value statement”
  5. List of questions to ask new contacts
  6. Follow-up contact systems

Let’s look at some of the “sins of networking”.

1. Attending the wrong events –

When I first got into sales I attended every event that was going and eagerly gave away as many of my business cards as I could as I had read somewhere you should give away 5 cards each day.   I now believe there are three uses for business cards –

  • Free lunch (lucky draw)
  • Possible leads – networking events (dubious)
  • Get the other persons card (No.1 reason)

2. Talking Too Much –

Let’s face it we love talking about ourselves and our businesses and I know I’m no different to anybody else.  I think it was Mark Twain who said “a bore is someone who opens their mouth and puts both feats in it”
Another favorite – “a closed mouth gathers no foot”

Many of us are so busy “waiting to talk” that we are barely listening to the other person.  Something I strive to do in these situations is “to be more interested than interesting” which brings me to sin no. 3.

3. Not asking enough questions –

More importantly-  enough of the right questions.
The most effective way to build trust and rapport is to ask good questions that connect with who you are having a conversation with.
A question I am often asked is – “what if they don’t ask what we do”?
The law of reciprocity usually kicks in and eventually they will ask, but at the end of the day if nothing else you’ve learnt a lot about them and their business.

I will continue with more “sins of networking” in my next article, in the meantime keep your sinning to a minimum!!

Quote:

Internalize the Golden Rule of sales that says –

“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to,
those people they know, like and trust.”
                                                                                                          Bob Burg

 

Brett Burgess is a Sales Trainer and Programme Developer for Sales Impact Group.

Filed under: Sales Techniques and Strategy, Uncategorized, , , ,

New Getting Started Videos Added

With the upcoming release, we’ve updated the Getting Started Videos.

Filed under: How To's, New Features, Uncategorized, , , , ,

Social CRM

Conversations are happening about you, your products and services and your industry all over the internet.

Chances are you’re already getting a glimpse of that via Google Alerts and Twitter.

These discussions are important and can not only give you a glimpse into popular opinion, but perhaps most importantly, can tie in well to the way you track and manage your customer relationships and sales pipeline.

We’re about to make that a lot easier with Simple Sales Tracking.  Whether you’re new or experienced with Twitter, our new Social CRM capabilities will help you leverage new ways of making connections with new and existing customers and discussions about your industry.

Here’s what we have in mind.

Twitter

  • Monitor & Respond to Tweets about your industry, company or competitor.
  • Engage Twitter users for initial sales and follow-on customer support.
  • Automatically create new Leads based on a Tweet or Conversation.
  • Share Knowledge with others on Twitter.

 

Web Alerts

Web Alerts are updates of the latest relevant search results(News, Blogs, Web, Videos, Groups), based on your choice of query or topic, captured and reported to you in real-time.

If you’ve used Google Alerts, the capability is similar, with the added benefits of filtering, blocking, and a much higher degree of refining results. Alerts are either emailed to you or provided via an RSS Feed.

Use Web Alerts to:

  • Monitor any mentions or discussion of your company or brand on the Internet.
  • Follow a developing news story.
  • Keep current on a competitor or industry.
  • Keep tabs on any keywords or phrases.

Filed under: Company News, Integrations, New Features, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

About

Simple Sales Tracking is web-based sales CRM software for the tracking, analysis and forecasting of individual and team sales pipeline and contacts.

Built with simplicity at its core, focus is kept on key sales tasks, while eliminating unnecessary ones, helping to ensure buy-in of the entire sales team.
Go to SimpleSalesTracking.com

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