Sales tools look different these days. The ads and promotional sales materials flying around out there about how to do lead generation and sales effectively is endless. I’ve read about so many new apps for social media this morning already that I feel for those who don’t focus every day, every minute on this. It can be time consuming and overwhelming if you haven't been keeping up with the changes in the space. As a small business owner, how could you realistically? I mean, you have a service business to run, you hire people for the operational matters and now you have to think about sales! Let's face it. It’s hard being in charge but someone has to do it. How many times have we heard this? An early Sunday morning that starts at 6:30am soon becomes a Sunday morning at 10am. I say “What the heck did I accomplish in the last 3.5 hours. I read a lot of articles and now my head is spinning. Where should I begin?” Before you get depressed and disappointed for reading too much and not paying attention to the dog or kids, take note that you’ve been educating yourself. It’s a good thing.
Rome wasn't built in a day but your company needs to be. So how do you actually decide what is useful and what is not?
I won't say there is no easy formula because there are basics you can put in place. Here they are:
- Who is selling for you?
- Who is lead generating for you?
- Do they all understand what you do? Really, have you listened and watched them give a presentation of your services?
- They don’t have to explain the business exactly as you would but you do need to get a sense that they get what you do.
- Ok, so let’s assume they have that together. Do they have a fast way to reach people with an email introduction? Yes, emails are still the first and best way to make an introduction. Do they have a good contact database? Don't say to yourself that it's what you hired them for because you are then chasing your tail. I can go back to my previous blogs about the farmer and the hunter but no time for that now. Sales people are not all hunters comfortable with finding potential customers so get a great database of your potential customers and ensure someone is tilling it daily! Then, get the email campaigns going daily so that potential prospects will set up an intro call with sales.
- Is your operational staff friendly, helpful and leaving their egos at the door when speaking with salespeople? Ensure you insist on a friendly helpful environment within your company. This will help your sales person get answers to questions your customers are asking.
- Have you allowed the sales person freedom to ask whatever they want of operations? Ensure everyone knows you are interested in everyone giving time, in the normal course of their day, to supporting sales. Your closest connection to new customers, your sales person) needs to formulate answers so they are comfortable explaining this to the potential customer. Open the doors and break down walls!
- So the sales call went well, the feedback was great, the customer asked good questions and your sales rep sent answers back. Now what?
- Now it’s time that you start doing what you do best. Ask questions, give ideas, help as much as you can to coach your team, both operations and sales, to getting new business closed.
- We have to remind ourselves that as business owners we want to allow our people to be as successful as we want them to be. If you don’t have time to ask consistently how’s it going, or if you don’t have time to know what customers are interested in, you risk that leads will start falling through the cracks. Start doing this weekly now; it’s never too late to start doing this. You might even turn a lot of heads.
- If you really don’t have time or interest to talk to sales people, then hire someone who is experienced to do so and isn’t afraid of change. Look around, maybe someone you know who cares about your business will take this on. Ensure the person you hire understands the lead gen/sales process. If not, feel free to schedule a call with me. Always happy to part with experiences I have had that might work for you.