The obvious marker of success for a sales team is bringing in revenue for the company and hitting goals and targets. That said, there are some strategies you can undertake that will provide your sales team with even great success and provide added value for the entire company. By leveraging your sales team’s relationships with your customers and their experience in your field, you can build the reputation of your company.
Use the Sales Team to Uncover Success Stories
Success stories are a factor in closing business and attracting new customers. When a potential customer can relate to one of your other clients, they can visualize themselves doing business with you and understand the practical implications of doing so. Success stories and case studies are an essential part of your marketing strategy, and salespeople are in the perfect position to collect them.
Sales teams are most often in front of clients, and they hear the positives and the negatives of the clients’ experiences. Sales reps should be trained to dive deeper with their customers, collecting the success stories and finding out why the clients chose to do business with your company, and what keeps them continuing to do so. They need to capture and quantify the results that your client is getting thanks to your product or service. You can find a list of the best questions to ask at www.testimonialdirector.com.
Of course, your sales team is focused on selling and writing success stories might not necessarily be in their job description. Bring a marketing employee or a consultant on board and have the sales team feed her leads as to which customers should be interviewed and what the highlights of their stories are. Make sure the sales team is familiar with these stories so they can relay them either in conversation or in writing to potential customers.
Another reason to outsource this task? Sometimes a third party will reveal different (more honest?) assessment of how the customer really feels.
Present Your Sales Team as Marketplace Experts
Sales is about relationships, and one way to boost your company’s image and reputation is by having your sales team active in blogging, contributing to trade publications, speaking and presenting within your marketplace. Training sales reps in the marketplace and helping them establish expertise can be just as valuable as cold calling skills and negotiating tactics.
Today’s buyers aren’t just seeking to do business with companies they know and like. They’re also looking for marketplace experts that can guide them and add value to their purchase, eventually helping the customer to become more successful. Seek out opportunities for your sales team to speak at conferences where they’re delivering practical presentations based on real marketplace successes. Alternatively, encourage sales reps to participate in webinars—with or without customers—that educate your prospect base.
Get your sales team writing and commenting on industry blogs based around your customer success stories and using products and services to solve problems. Your team doesn’t need to be doing the writing; perhaps someone else on staff is available to ghostwrite for them. At the very least, ensure that sales reps are sending out the articles, positioning themselves as resources, thought leaders and experts to help generate leads.
For sales teams that are used to focusing on cold calling and prospecting, the shift to spending time becoming experts can be counter intuitive. However, by becoming experts, sales reps are looked at not only as successful businesspeople, but also as resources who are laser-focused on helping clients in the market solve problems and make their businesses better. Eventually, they’ll find that more sales will result more easily and leads will be flowing more naturally.
Of course, much of this leverage requires for you to invest in your sales team, whether that’s providing them with writers, taking selling time out to go to a conference or send out a useful article, or providing them with webinar tools. The pay-off is huge!. By establishing them as an expert, you’re expanding your company’s reach and ability to close sales.
Colleen Francis, Sales Expert, is Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions (www.EngageSelling.com). Armed with skills developed from years of experience, Colleen helps clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line. Start improving your results today with Engage’s online Newsletter Sales Flash and a FREE 7 day intensive sales eCourse: www.EngageNewsletter.com.