Business owners and sales managers constantly look for ways to grow their pipeline and close more sales. Sales people work hard every day to meet their targets. Here is one tip to help you close the gap between the budget and the bottom line.
My sales team have just completed a 10 week plan to close more deals. The plan was based on a book called Smart Selling on the Phone and Online by Josiane Feigon. I want to share with you the single most valuable tip, in my opinion, from that book.
Focus on the first meeting
If you need more business, like all businesses do, my basic tip today is: Focus on what matters – the first meeting.
For a new customer to sign their first deal, they need to first engage in various ways with your company. Research indicates that between 12 and 16 interactions are needed. These encounters could be by Google searches, a recommendation, a seminar, social media or other ways.
Then at one point in the sales process, you need to meet the prospect, and every sales process includes this first important meeting. It can be short. It can be on the phone, face to face, on the net, via a conference call, or a web meeting. This meeting is important; it is the breaking point where you need to inspire the prospect to move on towards a deal, or get ready to disengage under the motto “Bad news early is good news”.
In SuperOffice we measure our sales people on how many such meetings they complete every month. In my team, we have defined the meeting in our CRM system as an activity called P1 – First phone meeting. Of course you need to connect this to a goal – each sales person’s goal is to have 20 P1-meetings every month. In order to get some fun and hype around this activity, we arrange “Crazy Calling Days” every Tuesday. Believe me, it works for us.
We see that if a sales person reaches the goal of 20 first phone meetings over the month, the probability is high that he will reach his sales targets as well. Using a “dynamic selection” in our CRM system, we can easily see the right number of meetings at any given time.
After the meeting it is always a good idea to send a short and to-the-point summary. Make sure your summary includes the benefits and value that differentiates you from your competitors and gives a good reason to proceed in the sales process with your company.
This way, if you see that you are behind your goal, you can start focusing how to get more prospects. If you have done 20 P1s or more, but are still missing your revenue targets, focus on closing rate and quality of your sales skills.
If you’re looking for inspiration and new ways grow your sales pipeline, schedule a free trial with us. We’ll be happy take 15-30 minutes to discuss your situation and give you some tips on how you can get more sales from your own team.