Products Don’t Sell Themselves
“Our products are so good they sell themselves.” How many times have you heard or thought that? You may be figuring that as long as your prospects and leads know about your offering they will easily see the problem your product or service solves for them and sign up. If you provide it they will come. When that doesn’t happen, you are puzzled as to why.
As a business owner, you have invested a lot of financial capital and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in building a business that can serve its clients well and provide an income stream and consistent growth for you, your family, and your employees. You realize if you don’t do something to change you are putting your entire investment at risk.
Are You Making Effective Sales Efforts?
While it is great to have a solid product that is of the highest quality and that customers have a definite need for, there are very few products that sell themselves outside of retail. No matter how much marketing you do on social websites or with promotions, the fact is that without a systematic, consistent, and effective sales effort you are likely missing more sales opportunities than you are closing.
What are some of the areas you can work on that can benefit your sales? Here are a few of the more common ones.
The 4 P’s—Process, People, Pay, and Performance
- Process: Having a defined sales process. A sales process refers to the steps or stages that move a prospect or a lead from “potential” to being “a customer.” There are usually 5 to 7 stages or steps to go through. Each stage has its own requirements that must be completed before moving to the next stage. This provides consistency in the way your salespeople work through their opportunities and will improve their close rate.
- People: The right salesperson for the right role. Some salespeople are good at getting in doors and opening new accounts (hunters), while others are good at maintaining relationships and a high level of customer service (farmers). You would not want someone who is great as a farmer trying to be a hunter, or a great hunter trying to be a farmer. It’s not just skillset, it’s the individual’s personality and make-up. Put them in the right role and they will succeed.
- Pay: Sales Compensation. Sales commissions aren’t just to reward a salesperson – incentives need to be structured to align with the goals of the business. This could mean a focus on revenue, margin, new accounts, or other aspects of your business goals. Compensate your salespeople based on what is most important to the business. It will drive their focus and behavior and get you the results you want.
- Performance: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Your CRM is a great repository for all information on a client or an opportunity, but it is even more important as a sales management tool because it drives performance. When linked with your sales process, it provides the visibility needed to discuss with your salespeople where they are on all opportunities and what is needed to move it along or close it.
Of course, the 4 P’s require a sound sales strategy aligned with the businesses’ goals, clarity on your value proposition – meaning what’s in it for the customer (what problem are you solving), and having the right sales leadership in place. This is someone who can assess, coach, and develop salespeople to be more successful and valuable to your company.
If you want to learn more about the 4 P’s or discuss your sales leadership requirements, please contact us.
If you want to see how your sales organization stacks up, take our free, online Sales Agility Assessment.