For all of us who have our own businesses, or who have a vested interest in building a successful and prosperous business, increasing sales each year is vital for business growth. It is now the time of year when we review what we have achieved and look ahead to what we want to develop and build. With planning and attention we can figure out what needs improving and how to do it. So here are seven tips to get your sales increasing in 2008:
1. Define your business and sales goals. The only way you are going to get where you need to be is to identify where that is and what it is. Then you need to write it down and communicate it with your management and administration groups and sales team. By committing your goals to writing you are creating a stronger physical focus for yourself. When your team sees the goals written down they take the goals more seriously and believe in your commitment to achieving them. This sets your team onto the same target and improve the success results.
2. Once your business and sales goals are set you are well on track to having the basics of the strategic plan defined. A strategic plan gives direction for all aspects of it and is especially important for having the marketing and advertising messages being consistent throughout the entire business. This empowers the sales team to increase sale income.
3. Set the strategic goals alongside sales goals and share this with the management and sales teams. The vision of the entrepreneur needs to be made into concrete examples for the managers and sales team to take specific actions against so the strategic goals can be met. This will keep everyone working for the same goals and going in the same direction. It helps individuals in the team make daily decisions against a known set of criteria and goals so they can make the right choices.
4. Give everyone in the business who answers phones sales scripts. I have worked with businesses where someone in administration accidentally gets a customer enquiry and have no idea how to appropriately talk with the customer about the business only to harm the customer relationship. With all staff being trained how to talk with customers and direct them to the best person to help them, customers are well cared for and the reputation is enhanced rather than harmed. Sales scripts for the sales team helps individuals get over objections and keeps a consistent marketing message being communicated about them.
5. Know where the money is by tracking and measuring daily actions. If you are not measuring results how can you manage results? You know that if you are not measuring the results from marketing and advertising efforts you are flying blind with knowing where to best spend you budget. The same goes for the sales team. Track so you can measure sales, number of sale leads, customer calls, appointments, meetings and contacts like newsletters, cards and emails.
An email newsletter going out to key segments of your customer database has a greater sales impact than calling one small customer, so assign weightings to efforts and look to have regular actions from across the spectrum in your weekly reports. The repeated small actions of adding customers to the email newsletter database make the sending of newsletters valuable so make sure you count the small actions as well as the big actions.
6. Look after your customers with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and you will increase sales. A good CRM system will let you know really useful information about individual customers as well as reporting on customer segments. It will also empower you to promote a consistent and professional message to your customers with every contact they have with the business so credibility and trust is built. Part of a CRM system is also keeping track of privacy requirements and lets you stay within the law while presenting an ethical business that is valuable to the customer.
Systems are empowering because they make it easier to keep it going in the same direction and promoting a consistent message for both marketing and business values.
7. Review your sales training approach. Has the sales approach been getting you the results that you want? The traditional approach of closing sales is generally aggressive whereas the selling method that wants long term relationships with customers, listens to customer needs carefully so the best solution can be offered and where customers bring business to you can radically increase the profits of the bottom line. Looking at your sales team’s approach, methods and tools can let you achieve changes that increase your sales significantly.
With these 7 foundation tips for increasing sales so from here you can set the ground for exponential growth for 2008.