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A few practical tips for simple ways to sell more, spend less

Searching for simple ways to increase sales and even decrease expenses?  Consider this…

Targeting.  Research has shown that about 20% of inquiries are people that don’t have the budget, the authority or the need to buy the products and services offered by a company in their lead generation campaigns.

What can you do to reduce that – if not replace them with qualified buyers?  The first step is to look at campaign performance and see if you have any activities that attract unqualified buyers – and if there are, stop investing in those activities.  If not, and the unqualified buyers are spread across all activities, consider testing new messaging and offers.

Qualify.  If you still attract unqualified buyers, find a better/faster/cheaper way to qualify those inquiries so you don’t waste more resources on them.

So many businesses take every inquiry (which they call ‘lead’) and dump them right into the CRM which causes your sales team to waste time and miss opportunities.

Sales should sell.  Would you rather have your sales team hit their goals by closing 4 out of 5 leads per day or would you rather have them hit their goals by closing 10 out of 25 leads per day?

Before you answer, let me add a little color to this question.  Notice that the first scenario has a higher close rate and achieved the revenue goal with fewer transactions than the second scenario.  Now, imagine your sales team closed more sales at a higher average order size…would morale be higher?  Would turn-over be reduced?  Would lower turn-over mean lower recruitment and training costs?  Would a sales team with more experience help your business retain customers and turn loyal customers into advocates?

Lead Scoring and Prioritzation.  In order to help the above scenario come to life, sales and marketing needs to sit down and figure out how to score and prioritize inquiries so that sales gets ‘sales ready qualified leads’ and marketing works on ‘qualified leads that are not ready to buy today’.

That’s when your contact strategy (when, how) and content strategy (what) comes into play.  And if it’s properly designed, you are using that time to build trust and better understand the buyer’s needs so that when they are ready to buy, they buy from you.

Increasing order size.  Imagine your sales team only deals with sales ready leads, and your nurturing program does a great job of understanding the buyers needs….the insight helps the sales team better understand what the buyer needs and the extra time they have can be spent on selling rather than taking orders.

Let me try this another way – I call your business and think I need Product A, which is what you featured in your lead generation campaign.  The product costs $100 and has 20% margin.  But because your sales team can spend more time with me, and they know how to ask the right questions, we quickly discover that Product A isn’t what I need…it’s Product C and that costs $500 and has a 25% margin.

Beyond Lead Generation.  Think beyond lead generation and focus on how to turn first time buyers into repeat buyers, repeat buyers into loyal customers and loyal customers into advocates.  Most companies don’t turn a profit on a customer’s first purchase so let’s focus on what customers that buy Product A typically need after that purchase…think Amazon with it’s recommendations.

Referral Process.  Too many businesses lack a process for generating and responding to inquiries…and that typically leads to lost opportunities.  Identify your best, most loyal customers and talk to them about their willingness to refer others – and ask them how they would like that process to work.

Make sure they know who you consider to be your ‘ideal customer’ so they can pre-qualify for you.

Make it fast and easy for them to refer.

Have someone assigned to immediately respond to referrals – and make sure they thank the customer for the referral and keep them posted on progress.  If the referral turns out to be a dud, you can use this as a teaching moment with the customer in order to improve future referrals.  If the referral turns out to be a winner, you want to let the customer know and thank them again.

Questions for you.  So, do you think this post offers some ideas you can explore?  Were there any ‘A ha!’ moments in this post – and if so what were they?  Or is this ‘old news’ – and if it is, can you share your success with my readers? (Love those success stories!)


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