Transform appetite for risk into sales savvy

Transform appetite for risk into sales savvy. There are only two ways to grow business revenue. Either a business needs more customers, or it must sell more to its current customers. It’s that simple and there’s no need to complicate matters.

In both those scenarios, there needs to be sales. Not everyone can sell. Ask staff: Who would like to double their salary? Everyone would put up their hand. Then ask: Who would like extra commission that can double their income, or even more, but they would need to hit targets and if they didn’t, their income would be at risk? Those who have the appetite for the latter are salespeople.

However, having the appetite or personality type to sell, doesn’t mean someone knows how to sell. There’s a lot that young people going into sales would need to learn. Different tactics and skills are used to varying degrees of success and it would be wise for young salespeople to work with mentors and invest time in growing their skills.

However, no amount of selling “know-how” will yield the kind of results a business needs in order to grow its revenue unless the sales fundamentals are in place.

Understand the numbers

This is not about targets, it’s about metrics.

At the end of the day, nothing happens until sales happen, and ultimately selling depends on − and can be measured by − the numbers: number of calls salespeople make, number of leads they get, how many leads are converted into opportunities and how many opportunities become closed deals.

Tell the young person to imagine a funnel. It is big and wide at the top and then tapers down until the narrow opening at the other end. One would need to keep pouring a liquid into the wide end of the funnel to ensure something comes out the other end.

Explain to young salespeople that in a similar fashion, they need to be putting in a high volume of calls, continually, in order to keep the sales funnel moving, because if they stop for any amount of time, it will eventually result in a dry patch with no closed deals.

At the end of the day, nothing happens until sales happen, and ultimately selling depends on − and can be measured by − the numbers.

This is a vital understanding: It does not matter whether a young person is using performance marketing funnels, social media campaigns, inbound or outbound, it remains a numbers game: how many leads, how many opportunities, how many deals? Understanding numbers is crucial.

Understand the customer base

Accounts are broken down into three sets of customers:

Retained customers

First, there are customers a business cannot afford to lose. There are a set of activities that need to be completed to retain them. Salespeople must understand at all times how they are performing against these activities. This is all about customer service, and there’s some scope to grow these customers.

Develop customers

These are generally smaller customers with huge potential to grow. If the team focuses on great service and invests time in proposing innovative solutions that help them realise value, it’s likely the account will grow. It is interesting that in many cases while doing this, you are attacking a competitor’s ‘retained customer’ segment, which highlights the need for absolute customer excellence, regardless.

Attract customers

This group is as the name implies: Salespeople must go out and find new customers, land them and move them into the development phase. As with the developed customers, the business will be taking this customer from a competitor or creating a new market or spend stream within the customer.

Traditionally, salespeople were either hunters or farmers. Some went out and found customers and some had a customer base that they nurtured and grew. Today, young salespeople need to be game farmers, they need to hunt and farm.

Sales velocity

This is how fast a deal is moving through the pipeline from the time a seller gets a lead, to the deal being closed. How fast is this happening? What is the opportunity to grow or shrink that deal along the way?

Sales velocity is driven by keeping an eye on and optimising each of the following variables: the number of deals, the value of the deals, the close rate and the average time it takes to close a deal.

If a business focuses on, and demands improvement on, these metrics it will significantly improve its sales velocity. If the velocity is continually improving, there will be more sales more often, and at a greater average deal size.

Naturally, the actual process of selling requires professionalism as a foundation, and then a number of tactics. However, if a business solidifies the concept of “knowing the numbers”, “knowing the customer base” and “sales velocity”, then teaching young people − who have the constitution to sell − the tactics of how to sell will have a greater impact on increasing revenue over the long-term

This article was published on ITWeb on the 30th Jan 2023 – Click here to view it on ITWeb

Reach out to James Hickman if you have any questions on this article.

James is the Sales Director for Digital Transformation.  James is responsible for building long-term strategic client relationships as well as directing the combined sales teams of Altron System Integration, Altron Karabina, and Altron Managed Solutions. In his role, he brings together the unique strengths of our DT business for the benefit of our customers.

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