Is your corporate goal to drive sales growth? How do you know which sales strategy is most likely to work for your specific business? According to Mike Schultz, President of RAIN Group, a global leader in sales training and performance improvement, look for commonalities and trends that other business owners are using to advance their goals. Then follow the proven strategies that have been backed by data.
Here are five strategies backed by data from surveys, benchmark reports, and research to help you grow sales.
Embrace Value-based Selling
To fully embrace value-based selling, you must understand it. Josh Kaufman, author of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, explains it this way: “Value-Based Selling is the process of understanding and reinforcing the reasons why your offer is valuable to the purchaser. Through Value-Based Selling, you increase the likelihood of a transaction as well as the price the purchaser is willing to pay. Always sell based on the value your offer provides, not the cost.”
Value-based selling is a massive shift from transaction-based selling. Until a few years ago, customer relationships were enough to sustain and grow through transaction-based sales. The product or service attracted buyers, the seller fostered relationships, orders came in when the buyer initiated a purchase.
Today, the sales climate is different. It’s more difficult than ever for brands, products, and services to differentiate themselves in the market because competition is fierce, and copycats are quick to replicate product and service innovations.
Logical thinking would lead you to believe that this new climate would drive down prices, allowing the lowest-priced provider to win more sales. However, data shows the opposite is true. It’s not the provider with the lowest price who’s winning the sale rather the one who demonstrates the greatest value.
Value-based selling is a great opportunity for the sellers to educate their buyers, and the sales winners are the ones who bring new ideas and perspectives to their buyers.
Invest in Effective Sales-skills Training
According to recent research, only 17 percent of companies consider their current sales training effective. They depend heavily on expensive, seasoned sales professionals.
Top-performing sales companies are twice as likely to provide effective training. This training results in higher win rates, the ability to charge premium prices, and a better likelihood of achieving sales goals.
To be a top performer, your team must master essential sales skills that will enable them to consistently find and win new business, and they must understand how to sell the value of your product or service. The results pay dividends for companies willing to invest in effective sales training.
Grow Existing Accounts
It’s an age-old question. Which brings more revenue, new customers or current ones? Both are important for business, but there is mounting statistical evidence that show customer retention drives the most revenue.
According to BIAKelsey Advisory, sixty-one percent of small businesses report that more than half of their revenue comes from repeat customers. Marketing Tech Blog notes that loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first-purchase customers.
However, a profitable business cannot become complacent – relying only on its existing customer base. Depending on the product or service, annually businesses lose existing customers at a rate of 15% to 30%. Your sales team must focus on retention of existing buyers while pursuing new ones to replace those lost to attrition.
It’s more important than ever to go after new clients/buyers to grow your existing account pool and to offset attrition.
Develop Sales Managers
The Sales Manager’s role is crucial. They must help sellers be as effective as possible. However, many sales manager are too busy recruiting, hiring, analyzing sales forecasts, and setting quotas to spend time with the sales staff. Sales managers should be helping win deals and keeping their teams focused.
Often, when sales managers do have the time to spend with their staff, they lack the skills needed to effectively coach and develop sellers. A recent survey by RAIN Group showed that 66 percent of companies believed that their sales managers didn’t have the skills needed to manage and coach the sellers.
Your sales managers must be equipped to motivate your sellers, hold sellers accountable, help sellers build sales and account plans, and coach them to win important deals. If they’re not doing those things, you’re likely leaving opportunities on the table to grow your pipeline, increase your win rate, and grow sales. Make sure your sales managers are focused on the right things.
Set Goals and Build Action Plans
If you’re serious about growing B2B sales, you need to define what that growth is. What number are you targeting? What are the targets for individual sellers? For account managers? What percentage of them do you expect to hit target, exceed target, and fall short of target? How will you hit your target? How will you monitor your progress?
Sales leaders and individual contributors need to be clear on these milestones and how they will be reached. Develop goals and action plans (organizational and individual) with yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly goals and actions. You can create and monitor your progress using a goal-setting worksheet. On an individual level, your sales managers can use this plan to coach sellers and hold them accountable.
You don’t need to focus on all five of these strategies at once to grow your sales. Pick one that aligns with your organization’s goals and concentrate on mastering one before you move on to the next. Incorporating just one of these is sure to improve your sales results and make a difference in your company’s overall success.
As your sales grow, you’re likely to encounter needs for greater cash flow or working capital to meet demands. Let Allied Financial Corporation be your financial partner. We can ensure you have the funds you need, when you need them. Contact us today to learn more.