For many the start of advent is the best time of the year – many workers save up their holiday for Christmas and as soon as they hit December the ‘wind down’ period starts as they happily ready themselves for a long Christmas break.
However for us in sales this can be the most dreaded time in the corporate calendar – the end of year review is upon us when we have to examine how we have fared against yearly targets. Now granted there isn’t much time to make up a huge shortfall, but don’t give up - there are some quick wins you could put in place to ramp up the numbers, plus this is a great time to implement a new sales strategy and selling techniques so that you start 2016 on the right foot.
Here are some tried and tested tips that will give you some festive cheer!
- Don’t be afraid of the data Many sales people are so used to ‘massaging the data’ that they forget it can actually work in their favour. Take time to thoroughly review your 2015 sales data – where were the highs? What was the product and how can you categorise the customers? Use this to hone your future prospecting – plus also start to document the lost sales and objections – knowledge is power; knowing the obstacles means that you can develop ways to overcome them.
- Show your current customers some love Everyone knows that it’s easier to upsell to a current customer than find and sell to a new one; but because the wins tend to be smaller there is always the temptation to focus on new prospects. To discipline yourself try and split your time equally; by being attentive and genuinely interested in current customers you will find that you will hugely enhance your upsell rate and the numbers will soon add up.
- Hold firm on prices When deadlines are looming its all too tempting to give into price cuts to get contract signed so you can boost the numbers. This is a false economy and totally unnecessary – companies don’t want the cheapest solution, they want the best. Plus by agreeing to price cuts you are setting a dangerous precedent for future deals.
- Make friends with a customer services rep The customer services team are a big untapped resource for the salesperson. They have more time and insight with customers and often have information that could be useful, but they don’t pass on. Get friendly and explain what would be useful – making them tea should provide an adequate incentive!
- Learn to say no You’d think that as salespeople we would have the word ‘no’ firmly lodged in their vernacular from being on the receiving end – but alas we are never so quick to give it back! You are in a partnership with customers; your product or service adds value to their company. If a prospect isn’t interested or is giving unrealistic demands in terms of your time and free trials then stringing it along is a false economy; it has to work for both parties.