5 Tips to Increase Sales

It’s a dog eat dog world out in the sales industry today. Even if you’ve been in the business for years, the tips and tricks that might have worked then are no longer applicable. With 10 more businesses popping up in the time it takes you to give your first sales pitch, you (and your company) cannot afford to fall behind.

1. Ask questions

increase salesThis goes hand-in-hand with item 2 about selling to a need rather than a feature. First, ask questions to determine what your prospect is looking for. This may also help you understand your product just isn’t for them (which would waste time, also on this list).

Understanding the issues they’re facing also improves your pitch. You can identify the items that are the biggest challenge and sell to those issues.

2. Quit describing the product; sell to your customers’ needs

You’re not going to sell anything if you spend your days describing to potential customers information they could easily gather on your website. Since everyone has a smartphone these days, all they have to do is pull up your product page and they know more in a minute than you will tell them in 20. Instead, emphasize how this product or service will meet their needs.

Sure, if you’re selling software features help decide between products, but first lay the groundwork for the how the product solves the need.

3. Don’t waste time — yours or your prospects’

Do your homework. Know the type of company, the type of person you’re talking to, and ensure you understand the issues.

How can you conduct this homework: on social media. LinkedIn is a great way to review who you’re meeting with, what their title is, and more. You can eve find out a little about them. It also involves asking those questions in the meeting. But don’t forget to tell your prospect that’s the goal of the meeting, otherwise it could come as a shock. Approaching it as ensuring you address their particular needs is best and then spend time going over those features first.

Set goals and benchmarks that you want to reach each day, week and month and make sure to stay on track. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself falling behind before you even realize it. Social selling is a big part of that — it sometimes will even make someone call you.

4. Don’t forget content and a smile

Your marketing team can give you insight into how to address specific issues your prospect wants to solve. Most likely, they have content around solving it, both with the product and service and with some thought leadership. Arm yourself with this information and know how to get it during the meeting. It could even warm a cold prospect.

Even if you’ll never see your prospect, it’s important to feel good. When you feel good, you smile. When you smile, you’re outlook is brighter and people can often hear a smile in your voice. In fact, it’s a top tip for candidates to respond with a smile. It almost always comes across.

5. Use some sort of video (video or webinars)

Seeing your prospect will help you get the sale. Ideally, it’ll be a product you can see a prospect’s face and still share info or documents as well as demo. Some products like FoxDen are even impromptu meaning you can fire up a meeting right away.

Some products like webinars enable demos and can even integrate with your marketing automation and CRM system like Salesforce. That’ll save you time from re-entering information. It’ll also save from making errors that might eat into sales.

What’s the way you increase sales?

Don’t see a tip? What kind of tips do you have?

Engage Participants Even Online

Training sometimes needs some revamping. Nothing needs revisiting more than employee training programs, including onboarding. It’s important to keep workers interested and, frankly, awake. As an employee, there’s nothing worse than having your busy work day interrupted to sit through a boring, non-interactive training session with an instructor who clearly doesn’t want to be there.

The difficulty is that employee training and continuing education credits (CPEs) are frequently required in most industry settings. Yet, instead of requiring your workers to sit through hours of boring PowerPoint slides, why not take their learning online? Here are a couple of ways webcasting will help you engage your workers online and put the fun back in your training sessions:

Webcasts are great for big groups

Do you have to train dozens of employees each week? Are you consistently onboarding new employees or holding monthly training programs? Webcasts are perfect for big groups and for companies that must frequently train groups of workers.

training onlineInstead of worrying about reserving your conference room, working around’ employees’ schedules and having participants miss classes, why not just hold a webcast? This way, they can get engaged from the comfort of their own home. You can make them available live or on-demand, making training sessions far more flexible for your students.

They also work great for less extroverted workers as well, as they may feel more comfortable asking questions over their computer than in a large classroom full of other employees.

Webcasts allow you to add FUN, interactive elements

One of the best advantages of using webcasting for employee training sessions is that you can add interactive elements, such as polls, chats, Q&As and social collaboration tools. This way, employees can get engaged in meaningful ways that best suit their current comfort level.

These elements work best with younger generations that may have grown up with smartphones, video tools and other interactive media. Not only will they feel at home, but they will know you are going out of your way to make their training engaging, which shows that you value their time and commitment.

Find out more about webcasting and how it can provide your trainers information about CPE credits.

Learn More About Webcasts

Appeal to Different Learning Styles

Just as no two snowflakes are alike, no two learners in your training sessions will be the same either. They’ll enter your classroom, webinar or webcast possessing differing levels and varieties of work experience, personal outlooks and job enthusiasm. Not only this, but they’ll also approach the material through the lens of their various learning styles.

Which learning styles

Generally speaking, trainers try to appeal to three kinds of learning:

  • Kinesthetic
  • Auditory
  • Visual

So why should you care about your students’ different learning styles? Will it really make a difference in their ability to soak up the information? Yes! Most experts agree that gearing your lessons toward these diverse learning styles will certainly help your students.

Here are a few ways how you can appeal to each of these unique learners in your training sessions.

Visual learners

You can never have too many photos, graphics, charts and other visually stimulating images for these learners. Essentially, the more videos you show, the more slides you have, and the more attachments or in-room documents you provide, the better these students will be. While they may be great note takers and engaged learners when presented with highly visual or descriptive examples, they may find it difficult to listen for long periods of time. So keep the images coming to keep them engaged.

Auditory learners

training to different learning typesThese students are the best traditional learners who benefit from simply listening to the content presented to them. While this is great for those in a normal employee training session in the workplace, if you will be training through webcasts or webinars, make sure there is plenty of audio content to keep them interested. Otherwise, they may mentally check out during your session.

Don’t forget to ask questions. Auditory learners don’t just benefit from your voice or the presenter’s, they can listen to anyone with good ideas.

Kinesthetic learners

These participants are your hands-on, fully involved learners. As such, they present the biggest challenge. Try to incorporate sections within your courses that allow learners to perform concrete tasks as they are learning the material. This way, they can solidify what they are learning.

What are some concrete things they can do? Type! Ask for questions during webinars and webcasts. In the traditional classroom, ask them to complete an exercise. Other ideas online include polls, asking people to share stories or ideas that reinforce the information presented, or submit their own examples.

The perfect training: a combination of all three

By including graphics, some parts where you’re just talking, and active exercises — asking for ideas, providing polls, or requesting they share information — your training will appeal to everyone. That means attendees will walk away with something.

Bear in mind, too, that attention spans are dwindling. People are only really paying attention every 23 seconds or less. These days, trainers have to compete with not just laptop email, but buzzing mobile devices. Many trainers these days inject those polls and information more often to get people focused. Otherwise, your kinesthetic learners are most likely to check out.

More than that, ensuring you’re meeting all three learning types ensures your course or session is meeting its objective with your audience learning the information needed.

IT Uses Microservices to Increase Performance

Imagine yourself back in school for a moment – the lockers, cafeteria, gym class and more. Remember when you were assigned a topic, did you immediately tackle researching, writing and editing the paper in one day? Or did you separate your tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces?

Maybe you did your research one day, wrote the first half of the paper on the next, concluded the paper the day after that and finally edited it after all the rest of the work was completed? Doesn’t this sound far less overwhelming than trying to cram all the work into one day? This is the same outlook most IT professionals have when designing and operating what is known as microservices at their company.

It’s not just writing papers. Cleaning your house, loading the dishwasher, cooking — most everything is better when breaking down tasks into smaller manageable parts.

What are microservices?

Essentially, the process of creating microservices involves IT professionals dividing a full-scale app or platform into smaller, easier to digest units or solutions, according to Customer Think. While developed and maintained separately from the rest of the solution, the pieces communicate and work with each other to achieve a unified goal.

itUnlike a monolithic, traditional software architecture, where even the most inconsequential modifications may mean that the entire system must be rebuilt, IT professionals can adjust each individual, microservice component without having to burden or slow down the entire monolith.

How can they support my business?

Many major companies use microservices to take their big problems and divide them into more manageable challenges. For example, Netflix and Amazon separate their “user reviews” into another app from their “add to cart” software, Business Insider reported. Meanwhile, PayPal turned its “make a payment” button into a little app that is monitored and continuously improved on by a small internal team.

Microservices can support your business by offering flexibility, scalability and resiliency. As an IT professional, you will also be able to enhance, modify and test various components without having to impact other services. Overall, microservices allow you to choose technology that is right for your particular operations and functionality.

Empathy Improves Sales

Sometimes salespeople get a bad rap. It’s a little too easy to imagine Jordan Belfort on the main floor of Stratton Oakmont yelling to money-grubbing cold callers, “Pick up the phone and start dialing!” Those tactics, and their subsequent failure, leave a lot to be desired.

We’ve all had pushy salespeople, whether getting a new car or buying software. It just doesn’t feel good. That’s not how ReadyTalk Sales works.

For companies interested in outstanding customer service, meaningful relationships, and sustainable practices, there are better strategies. Empathizing with potential clients and establishing connections with them is not only more ethical, it provides better results. Those better results are all about making prospects — potential customers — happy, while selling great products.

Salespeople are partners

Don’t take the approach of being a salesperson, take the approach of a consultant, someone who genuinely cares what the client is trying to achieve. An effective sale starts by building trust with the customer. If you can build rapport and ask the right questions, and the client can share information with you, you can better provide the right solution. Everyone walks away happy.

Listen, understand and ask the right questions

Imagine you have a client that has asked for advice. You know the best solution for them, the one that will save them the most money and allow them to get the best value. But they’re too worried about the up front sticker price, and would prefer a less committed option — even if it might end up more expensive. You could cut your losses and walk away.

Or you could ask some questions. Find out why they’re uncomfortable, and work to build a rapport so the client can trust you. You might notice a solution that didn’t exist before, because you didn’t have the relationship it needed to be built upon. Sometimes a small change in a solution can go a long way in converting a maybe to definitely, and that customization let’s the buyer know they’re in good hands.

You get a sale, the buyer gets what they need. Listening, understanding, and putting in the effort to make it work: that’s what being a salesperson is all about.Customer marketing

Listen and work to implement good ideas

On some occasions you’ll get the opportunity to find out more about a client’s personal life. You’re not the best of friends, but you keep up with the important aspects, and enjoy the fact that your relationship is more than purely transactional. These are the perfect candidates to offer feedback about new products. They already provide good business, they might provide more if they like the product, and they’re comfortable enough to tell you the truth.

In some cases the feedback will prove useful, and if you’re lucky enough to work with a responsive product team, you may be able to push the client a prototype that addresses their “must-haves.”

Not only is it valuable information, but the “improved” product increases the chances to expand a potential revenue stream, and reinforces the idea that you care about the client’s business.

Understand sometimes the prospect should use another solution

Clients are going to leave. It’s a sad fact we all must face. But a departure doesn’t necessarily mean a failure, especially if done tactfully.

Your organization’s product won’t always be the right solution for the customer. When you see that, be upfront about it. It’s unethical to trap someone into a contract if you know it won’t work, but more than that, it burns all bridges to later business.

Your organization might develop a solution that does solve that customer’s needs, but the customer won’t work with you if you’ve deceived them in the past. The proactive approach will let you sleep better at night and help you convert a lead to a sale down the road.

What goes around comes around

It’s all about listening and understanding. You can’t change people’s needs, you can only do your best to ask questions and understand exactly what they need. To be a great salesperson, it’s about empathy — to think less about the “win” and more about what’s right for your prospect and customer.