Sales is the lifeblood of any small business. Without sales, you have no customers — and without customers, you have no revenue. In 2015, small businesses will face a host of challenges, from evolving technology to informed consumers with sophisticated expectations.
In order to help businesses prepare for this evolving sales landscape, we consulted our network of sales experts and leaders to get their best tips for 2015, and we've narrowed them down to 10 amazing insights for small businesses. Enjoy!
1. Know Your Priorities
When you delegate a task, always give a due date and a relative priority, in relation to the things already on the task list.
Author, speaker, productivity expert
2. Work Smarter
At its core, CRM is a decision-making tool. Don’t just use it to track progress against goals, use it to make better decisions about how to spend your time.
Author, speaker, sales management expert
3. Be Mobile
Simply put, allowing your remote salespeople to perform the same processing and computing tasks on the road as they do from their office with a mobile CRM helps them work smarter.
Founder and CEO, The TAS Group
4. Call Your Best Leads First
All leads aren’t created equal, so, in practice, you should only be responding quickly to the best leads. Sales teams should partner with marketing on a regular basis to identify their most valuable customer profiles, then identify a solution that will push the best leads at the top of the lead response queue.
5. Know What's Next
Make sure you get a “defined next step” scheduled on the calendar before you leave any call or meeting with your client/ prospect.
6. Keep a Lean Pipeline
You’d think that a healthy sales pipeline is one that’s full of leads. Research suggests otherwise: lean pipelines generated 48% more revenue than fat ones. The key to a healthy pipeline: disqualify bad leads early, freeing up time to dig deeper with good leads.
Executive Editor, Rapid Learning Institute
7. Seize the Inbound
Sales teams know inbound calls are gold. When people make the effort to call, they’re highly motivated and far along in the buyer journey. The most important thing your company can do is make the most of these opportunities.
8. Invest in Your Data
Invest in the future and have a plan to improve your data collection and quality. A year from now, you will reap the benefits with fresh insights.
9. Don't Set Unnecessary Deadlines
Don’t tell the prospect/client when you will get them a certain deliverable and put unnecessary deadlines on yourself. Always ask the client when they need it by.
10. Be Objective
Always look for evidence. When presented with comments like “Joe Smith really likes us,” or “We have strong, compelling events,” you should always respond with questions like “How do we know?” Be clear about the evidence of customer action that helps support those assertions.
Founder and CEO, The TAS Group
Want more tips? We've got 130 for you, from having an "efficiency meeting" to "living in your CRM." Download our free e-book to see them all!