Seven Ways To Drive Sales Consistency, Part 1

In this week's issues of Promotional Consultant Today, we're focusing on the importance of consistency in the workplace.

With sales, consistence is hard to come by. It seems to be feast or famine. Either we see no prospects in the pipeline or we have so many customers to onboard that we can't provide a consistent level of service. Yet, simple changes can often reduce this problem. From the time you generate a lead to the moment you close your sale, you must be rigorous and consistent with your sales processes.

Today, we share these tips for driving consistency in sales from a recent Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) blog post.

1. Be systematic about generating leads. The first step is to ensure that your company systematically generates sufficient leads to keep enough business in the pipeline. Too many entrepreneurs get caught up in daily firefighting and forget to think about future business. You can be consistent by:

  • Setting specific targets for the number of prospects you want in the funnel at any given time;
  • Planning the number of weekly appointments with prospective clients to meet those targets;
  • Using the rest of your time to handle your ongoing sales projects.

2. Know your sales cycle. Your sales cycle is the amount of time that elapses between an initial meeting with a prospective client and the closing of a deal. This can vary greatly from one company to the next. But you need to understand exactly how much time it takes you on average, measured in days, weeks or months. To calculate the length of your sales cycle:

  • Make a list of your 20 most recent closed sales
  • Jot down how long each took
  • Compute the average

3. Know your numbers. Every company needs a minimum number of prospects at any given time just to maintain sales. Look at the number of closed transactions you want every month as well as the average sales cycle. You should also know what proportion of prospects contacted ended up buying. These figures will help you set targets for your company.

Example:

  • Your business aims to sell three items per month;
  • On average, it takes four months from the first contact with a client to closing the sale;
  • One in four prospects contacted by sales staff eventually buys, which means you have a close ratio of 25 percent.

4. Actively seek referrals. A rule of thumb for any business is to get referrals from satisfied clients. One way to avoid the awkward moment of directly asking for a referral is by encouraging clients to talk about their customers and suppliers.

Once you identify a potential client during a conversation, you can say: "Would it be alright if I gave Tom a call and mentioned that we spoke?" Upon reaching that prospect, you might say something like: "My name is John and I was speaking with Robert who thought it would be a good idea for us to get together. How about next Tuesday?"

By using consistency to approach and respond to customers, you have better control over the sales messaging and sales experience.

Learn more sales consistency tips in tomorrow's issue of PCT.

Source: Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has been working with business owners for 75 years to understand their challenges and help them to grow. BDC supports small and medium-sized businesses in all industries and at every stage of growth with funding and advice.

filed under June 2018
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