Sales Archives - TAB Corporate

How to Create a Success-Oriented Sales Culture

success-oriented sales team

Success in sales remains an elusive goal for many companies, partly because the sales process can’t be configured or engineered in a way that guarantees closing a deal with every prospect. Too many variables are involved.

However, building a success-oriented sales culture within the organization can tilt the odds in your favor. The key is paying special attention to sales management in a way that’s positive, instills confidence and rewards sales activity, not just results.

Here are action steps you can take to boost the success rate of your sales team:

Honor the role of salesperson. If you come from a sales background, you know first-hand what a difficult job it can be. Failure and rejection come with the territory and it takes a strong individual to bounce back from these challenges and start fresh all over again.

For this reason, it’s good to “promote how honorable it is to be a sales rep for your company,” notes small business expert Megan Totka. “Put the importance of their position on a pedestal, and highlight how pivotal it is to the success of your business.

Automate repetitive tasks. Salespeople thrive on high energy and welcome the unpredictable nature of their jobs. That’s why they often find repetitive sales-related tasks so draining and demoralizing. It’s up to you to free them up to do what they do best—sales. Wherever possible, employ technology to handle routine customer relationship management tasks (such as sending customized messages to prospects), thus giving your team more latitude to focus on other key responsibilities.

Enforce a consistent sales process. Yes, we all know about rock-star salespeople who “act on a gut feeling” or otherwise go it alone. That’s not the path to a success-oriented culture. Instead, every business should establish a consistent sales process, says sales expert Alana Nicol, with “specific steps that everyone takes so each person knows clearly what it takes to identify, qualify and close an opportunity.”

Train for the results you want. Businesses do the best they can to hire talented salespeople who can get results out of the gate. But for the best results, sales training is the most effective strategy. Such training can emphasize a variety of techniques and attitudes, including how to:

  • Stop talking to the prospect and ask questions instead
  • Position yourself less as an expert and more as a problem-solver
  • Hone your company’s unique selling proposition
  • Focus on sales activity as much as on results

For sales veterans and rookies alike, it’s helpful for the manager and/or CEO to occasionally sit in on phone calls and/or face-to-face meetings with prospects, and offer constructive feedback afterward. Most salespeople welcome such feedback, as long it’s framed in a positive way.

Offer opportunities for learning. Training is one thing, continuous learning something else entirely. As part of honoring your sales team, give them every opportunity to participate in webinars, attend sales conferences and engage in other learning activities that help them hone their skills and network on behalf of the company. When they can collaborate and share new ideas, they’ll come away re-energized and excited about incorporating new strategies into the sales process.

Avoid micromanagement. Perhaps the best way to instill self-confidence in your team is by not micromanaging them. Delegating responsibilities and leaving them alone to do their job is another way of saying you trust in their judgment and abilities, and that you expect them to give their very best with every prospect. Sometimes they’ll succeed and sometimes they’ll fail. It’s up to you to avoid casting blame, but emphasize instead the value of learning from experience and doing better the next time.

By honoring their efforts and giving them the tools and responsibility to succeed, you can build a culture of sales enthusiasm and energy unlike anything you’ve seen before.

Want to learn more about building a successful sales culture? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

 

4 Tips for More Effective B2B Lead Generation

In the perennial search for B2B sales leads, the equation always seems to come down to quantity versus quality. Any campaign that generates a ton of sales leads is well worth the effort, isn’t it? Or is it more effective to analyze and isolate those elements that lead to more qualified sales leads, even if it takes more work and time to come up with those leads?

Whatever the answer, a majority of those engaged in B2B marketing and sales report that “lead generation remains the top challenge” in their companies.

If this holds true for your organization, here are four tips to generate more effective and qualified B2B sales leads:

Keep faith with email campaigns. Sales experts seem to go back and forth about the overall effectiveness of email campaigns to generate leads. But if you haven’t embarked on such a campaign for a while, it may be worth trying again. The following steps can lead to more achievable results:

  • Resurrect an old or neglected existing email list.
  • Assemble a new email list from your social media contacts, particularly those on LinkedIn.
  • Focus on a concise, compelling email message that answers the prospect’s key question, “What’s in it for me?”
  • Closely monitor who clicks on and opens your email message and target them accordingly.

Expand your social media efforts. Speaking of LinkedIn, how much time and effort does your sales team put into making new connections and developing relationships within your target audience? The process demands time and patience, but building a solid relationship paves the way to setting in-person appointments and/or sharing product demos with the right individual in the right organization.

Make a renewed commitment to quality content. Social media, in general, remains a fertile landscape for B2B sales leads. A key component of social media sales strategies is providing content of quality to prospects—as a means of demonstrating your specific industry knowledge and a willingness to share that knowledge with others.

“Content” doesn’t mean written text only, not by any means. Today’s buyers are drawn to images, video, infographics and other interactive content that gives them a kind of “hands-on” feel for what you have to say. As we’ve noted before, however, valuable content comes free of the typical hard sell. Instead, the goal is establishing you and your business as thought leaders who offer the kind of insights and information your prospective customers want in order to succeed in their own endeavors.

Host virtual events. Increasingly, B2B and other businesses are exploring the potential of “virtual event platforms” in the realm of sales and marketing. These carefully planned and orchestrated online events can produce, with the right attention to detail, generate new sales leads. Sales strategist Hurera Sheikh offers these virtual event planning tips:

  • Create a simple, easy-to-navigate registration page and don’t skimp on intriguing content and crisp imagery.
  • During a live event, staff virtual booths and help desks to “maximize the contacts exchanged over the booths.”
  • Leverage high-quality live or pre-recorded webinars to get participants engaged in the event.
  • Offer a seamless online transaction process. If sales opportunities arise during the live event, make sure your PayPal or debit/credit card integration process is fully operational to meet any kind of demand.

By renewing dormant lead-generation tools and exploring new, high-tech options, you can see a spike in B2B sales in 2017 and beyond.

Want more advice on sales and lead generation? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!