Being an effective salesperson means you have to strike a delicate balance between cultivating an excellent relationship with your existing clients, and going out to generate new business. Looking after your existing client base is absolutely a critical part of sales success - but the only way to keep growing is to actively seek out new opportunities.
So, what are the best ways to improve your sales productivity?
1. Understand Your Potential Buyers
An extremely effective way of boosting your sales is to truly understand who your target audience is. You can do this by mapping out a 'buyer persona', trying to fully understand the wants, needs and pain points of your ideal customer, and how best you can meet them.
2. Map The Customer Acquisition Process
There is no 'one size fits all' approach to sales. It's an incredibly flexible, dynamic process, as you constantly seek to adapt to the changing demands of the marketplace. The more complex the product or service you are selling, the greater the variance and complexity of negotiations, and the more holistic your approach to the sale must be.
The key to boosting productivity here is to avoid rigid, step by step instructions. That's far too inflexible an approach to work effectively. Instead, map your system according to the reality of the situation, focusing on key pain points and funnels, and building responses around those indicators. This is a much better way to create a series of 'mini-processes', adaptable to the situation and highly repeatable, that can be deployed as and when necessary.
3. Reduce The Focus On 'Efficiency Indicators'
The growth of CRM tools was initially hailed as an enormously positive trend in the sales industry, and in many ways it was. However, there is an enormous abundance of KPIs, processes, functions and workplace tools salespeople have to contend with these days - and rather than increasing sales, they could in fact be killing them. By focusing too much on data points rather than meaningful interactions, attention has been shifted away from the actual sale of a good or service, and more towards behaving in the most 'efficient' way possible.
Complex and confusing systems should be an absolute no go. Businesses should instead focus on simplicity, speed and accuracy. A single, accurate, constantly updated database is much better than a constantly growing catalogue of 'efficiency tools' which sales reps have to learn to navigate, rather than doing their job and prospecting.