Sales has never been more difficult. From the way you connect to new sales leads to the near automatic way of closing them, the entire landscape has changed. Failing to keep up will leave you at a distinct disadvantage compared to your competition.
If you were to sell today like you did in the early 1990’s, you’d be eaten alive. There’s a good to fair chance you’d never make a single sale. Technology is there to be taken advantage of so you can focus on a sales person’s core skill – communication.
There are several pillars of sales success which can be broken down into 4 categories:
- Lead Generation
For each, we have a few ideas and tools which will help get that area of your game up to scratch.
A sales person’s biggest issue.
Without leads, you can’t even close a door never mind a sale. A steady stream of new leads coming into your pipeline is absolutely essential and non-negotiable. There are hundreds of methods of lead generation and despite being spoilt for choice, it can be really easy to have paralysis by analysis and simply do nothing.
Start where you’re strongest. If you have been networking on Facebook or LinkedIn and are part of several Groups, give your personal profiles some love and start utilizing the connections you already have.
Whatever you do, the key message is this. Lead generation is vital so play to your strengths.
Lead Generation Tools:
- Facebook Groups
- LinkedIn Communities
Keeping your business organized is going to be the difference between converting a decent percentage of your new leads or having them go almost entirely to waste.
It goes without saying that you need a smart system here which can almost act as your tag team partner. You don’t have time to write down every single detail of every single interaction, but you do need to log activity. So what do you do?
You look at smart CRMs like Salesflare which connects all your systems together, intelligently pulls in information about your leads and makes suggestions about when to follow up and what to say. There’s also Pipedrive, although more established, is considerably less automated.
Use services like Calendly or BookLikeABoss to organize your calendar. No more back and forth finding times and dates that work for both parties. Just send a link to your lead to book directly onto your calendar. Huge amounts of admin, simply eliminated.
It’s possible you’re doing everything yourself if you’re a freelancer but if you have a team then you need them onside too. The tricky part is getting everyone on the same page but without lambasting them with info that means nothing to them.
Tools like Basecamp are incredible at allowing people to dip in and out of parts of projects to get involved where needed. For other situations, you need team collaboration more like a chatroom which is where things like Slack and Chanty come in.
You’ve attracted your leads, followed up, scheduled calls now at some point you have to actually put across a presentation, proposal or contract to finalize the deal.
This is where most people go wrong. You have to understand how big of a moment this actually is, it’s your big ask. It’s called a proposal for a reason.
Microsoft Word is not the answer here. It’s near impossible to make something look good in Word and it takes ages. What you’re looking for here is something that is visually impressive, doesn’t take a long time to create and send and finally, lets your client digitally sign off to wrap up the deal.
Prezi is visually superb for the presentation side of things. DocuSign or Signable are great for getting contracts signed off and Better Proposals does a combination of the two along with analytics about what’s been read and for how long.
- Better Proposals
Use technology to your advantage
You can’t do all the tasks these tools are purposely designed for and still do a great job of actually selling, listening, learning and negotiating. Something will suffer and it’ll likely be your sales figures or bottom line.
You can get one of each of these tools for less than $100/mo. There’s no excuse for not being a better salesperson or entrepreneur when you can get your hands on world class tools for the cost of a couple decent steaks and a bottle of wine.