3 Things About Your Sales Process Your Boss Wants You to Know
At some point in your career, you may have had a CEO or CMO that was fairly hands off. After all was said and done, this person only cared about the bottom line. The process was up to you. For better or worse, those days are gone. It’s far more likely that your boss understands the sales process and knows what it takes to be more efficient and more successful. Your boss is looking for specific tactic and techniques. It’s really quite simple and straightforward:
· Are you targeting the right prospects?
· Are sales people approaching prospects the right way?
· Do you have an analytics process in place to measure and improve the sales process?
So are you prepared to answer these questions about your sales process? Do you even understand why these things are important?
Targeting the Right Prospects
While business is on the decline for many major beer brands, craft breweries continue to grow. Although they only comprise roughly six percent of the total beer market, the popularity of craft beers is making more money every day. Why? Craft beer has niche market appeal. Though craft beer doesn’t have the same mass appeal as many mild American pilsners, it is extremely well-loved by its fans. This is a great example of how niche markets can actually be much more competitive than those with mass appeal.
Mass appeal products are dinosaurs which are rapidly becoming extinct. By trying to target too broad of an audience, you end up not meeting anyone’s needs. The best advice for targeting the right prospects is to find your niche(s). Identify how your product fulfills a need or solves a problem for a specific type of audience. Focus on what your company does really well and specialize.
Approaching Prospects the Right Way
Social media fulfills certain psychological needs. Maybe you haven’t thought much about it, but it’s something you probably suspected or realized subconsciously. Humans have a strong desire to share and be a part of a larger community. Actively participating in social media has been shown to increase feelings of belonging and connectedness.
Of course this is no substitute for real life, but it is now part of the way many people meet these needs. Consider how you can take advantage of this psychological need. In other words, how can you add more social value? If you can help people feel more connected and help them share, social selling will follow.
In addition to increasing our sense of belonging, social media has also given us the gift of digital altruism. Many brands have seen incredible results when leveraging digital altruism and social selling. What does this look like? Let’s take the example of Tyson’s Hunger Relief program. Through this program, Tyson has acquired donations and contributed to the value of the community and by leveraging the power of social media. Tyson utilized its Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to raise funds and raise awareness. So what does this have to do with sales? Digital altruism reflects positively on the company and it also creates genuine engagement and interaction. In other words, it helps create more than “fans”; it creates brand evangelists.
Analytics for Measuring and Improving Sales
Between 2008 and 2010, Accenture research found that many companies were using judgment as opposed to analytics when making business decisions. If you aren’t taking advantage of analytics, you aren’t in control of the sales process and you are losing out on valuable insights. Your analytics implementation must have metrics and measurement in order to track and improve sales. Your company should use these metrics to quantify broad sales objectives into more specific and measurable objectives.
Your established metrics for each project will demonstrate the benefit of analytics implementation and will motivate cross-functional teams as your project progresses. Measurement should always be part of the sales implementation process. Are you getting the expected value and ROI from your analytics investment? Defined measurement will also help manage the analytics adoption. Don’t start any analytics project without setting clear measurements and metrics to track the performance and the success of the project. Sales and marketing teams should also pay special attention to forward-looking metrics, Predictive analytics can help you understand many important factors such as: sales prioritization, weak prospects, customer acquisition costs, and purchasing behavior.
Pop quiz hot shot! It could be in the middle of a presentation, at a client meeting, or maybe even a random Monday morning, but it will happen. Your boss will ask you about your sales process. Don’t be caught off guard!