Everyone wants more sales; sometimes the way we think about our sales pipelines is a little flawed, though. People tend to assume that if they want more sales, they need more leads. Sometimes that’s true, and sometimes, less leads can get you more sales.
How does that work?
When you increase your efficiency by even a little bit at multiple points in your sales cycle, you’ll have a large increase in your overall sales. The four metrics you want to concentrate on are:
- The quality of sales leads
- The time to develop a lead
- The number of leads that you close
- The average value of each sale
Let’s say you improve each of these metrics by 20%. That would double your sales! So how do you improve in these four areas? Here are some tips for each one.
1. Get 20% more qualified leads.
A high-quality lead is a prospect that your sales team can easily turn into a customer. In order to improve lead quality, your sales and marketing teams need to work together to define, and redefine, the profile of a qualified lead. The sales team should periodically provide the marketing team with information on who’s buying, along with details like their demographics, job titles and industries, etc. Once the profile is defined, the marketing team should generate and nurture leads among people who fit that profile.
2. Decrease the time needed to develop a lead.
Even among your qualified leads, a certain percentage won’t need what you’re offering or won’t have the money to buy it. The more quickly you identify the dead-end leads, the quicker you can eliminate them and spend time on your others. To do this, ask your prospects questions in your initial conversations instead of trying to sell them something. Your goal with your questions is to identify whether they have a need and have the budget. If they don’t have either, you can’ politely end the relationship and move on.
3. Increase your conversion rate.
Once you’ve qualified your lead and you know they have a need and the right budget, you know they’ll buy from you … or a competitor. Increasing your conversion rate is now just a matter of outselling the competition. Make sure you keep in regular contact with your decision-makers so long periods of time don’t pass where it becomes hard to know what’s going on or what’s changed in their minds. You can also ask your contacts who else is calling on them; many times they’ll tell you.
Also, Research your prospect’s business and your competitors strengths and weaknesses so you can point out where you’re stronger. Don’t disparage the competition, though, as that will just make you look bad.
4. Increase the average value of a sale.
It might take someone a little longer to close a huge deal, but the time is usually not proportional to the amount of the sale. For example, closing a $20,000 deal won’t take you 10 times the amount of time as a $2,000 deal. So, the more money you can make on each sales opportunity, the more you’ll make overall. You need to spend enough time on each account to uncover the full opportunity that’s there. It’s not about upping the price or eliminating discounts; it’s about figuring out how you can serve the customer better, which naturally increases the sale.
Sales Arbiter works with sales teams to help them improve in all of these areas; we even work one-on-one with your salespeople to develop the areas where they’re weakest. Contact us to learn more about how our methods have tripled overall sales.