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Boosting your Prospecting Success

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Are your telephone sales prospecting techniques working?  What is your ratio of outbound prospecting calls to actual decision maker conversations?  And when you fail to reach a decision maker and instead leave a voicemail, how many call backs do you get?

Indeed, salespeople need phone skills training and great sales prospecting techniques that immediately get decision makers on the phone.  While effective cold call approaches are rare, our unpublished sales prospecting techniques typically have a first-call success rate of 50-80%.  Regardless of the initial sales prospecting approach, it is often necessary to leave voicemails and generate decision-maker call backs.

   

Sales Prospecting Techniques

1 – Persistence can help, but don’t become pushy.  A method we teach in our phone skills training involves “polite persistence” and building relationships with support people.  The bottom line:  You’re more likely to get a call back if the decision maker sees that you’re respectful and committed to getting a hold of her.

 

2 – Find sales prospecting techniques that work well for you.  For instance, good voicemail techniques include: showing you’ve done some homework and understanding critical business issues,  dropping names of appropriate companies you’ve worked with and making it easy to reach you at a later time (e.g. via a direct cell phone number)

 

3 – Do something different!  We’ve seen salespeople send express mailers, email innovative e-cards and use outside champions to gain decision maker attention.  The key is to stand out from the crowd and to attract positive attention.

 

4 – Get marketing support.  For instance, adding prospects you contact to your firm’s e-newsletter or product announcement list can help create name recognition and improve the chances you will get through on the next call.  And a consistent, long-term strategy of reaching decision makers via marketing methods is a proven method for boosting sales results.

 

5 – Gain focus.  Set up a specific time block from sales prospecting, and get rid of all distractions.  Salespeople do their best work when they are focused, thinking and motivated.

 

6 – Enhance your prospect database.  For instance, adding decision maker names and email addresses to your CRM system helps ensure you reach more decision makers and get more call backs.

 

7 – Get coached.  Ask your sales manager or a colleague who is successful at cold calling and generating decision maker calls to help you.  Learning from someone who has succeeded is much quicker than inventing sales methods and sales prospecting techniques yourself.   A solid phone skills training or sales prospecting course could quickly accelerate your results.

 

 

All Rights Reserved.  The Sales Alliance Inc.  San Diego, CA

 

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Strategic Sales Skills Pay Off

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Symptoms of an inferior Strategic Sales Plan and Approach

  • Missing information, which if discovered earlier in the sales cycle, would either improve your closing odds or disqualify the opportunity?
  • Difficulty gaining access to the ultimate decision makers?
  • Stalls after proposals and quotes are submitted
  • An increase in negotiation attempts
  • Heightened competitive activity within the key account
  • No established team selling approach or strategic sales plan for key accounts

If you do experience any of these issues, a well-planned and executed key account selling approach combined with top-notch strategic sales skills, can be of enormous benefit.  Steps in this strategic sales approach should include:

 

1 – DEVELOP A TEAM PLAN:  Involve everyone who has regular account contact in developing key account selling strategies,  methods for improving key account intelligence, decision maker approaches, action plans and milestones.  Sales improvements will begin occurring as salespeople, customer service reps, technical people and managers follow a common strategy,  present a united front and convey a common message.  A streamlined account strategy and planning process is an important tool for team selling success.

2 – GAIN A SPONSOR:  Truly successful salespeople develop, within each of their target accounts,  “champions” who provide inside information,  advice and direction.  With this extra intelligence on competition, budgets, buying processes and decision makers, these strategic sales professionals  craft winning  key account  sales strategies.  The bottom line is that having inside champions, along with well-crafted, well-executed, strategic sales approaches, is likely to improve your sales results.

3 – UNDERSTAND THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS:  Learn how prior decisions were made, what criteria were used and who the “blockers” are that can thwart decision-maker access.  If decisions are made by committee, make sure you know who is on the committee and what their hot buttons are when implementing your key account selling strategy.

4 – UNDERSTAND THEIR MARKET:  Your key accounts are impacted by the state of their marketplace.  Are they in a growing or shrinking market?  How does their financial performance compare with that of their competitors?  What are their key concerns and how will these issues affect their interest in and ability to buy your product or service?

5 – PINPOINT THE RELATIVE BENEFITS:  While your product or service may provide a big benefit (e.g. a return on investment of 150%), all benefits are relative.  Focused mainly on their own products, salespeople often fail to look at their proposals through the eyes of their client.  Clients may in fact have opportunities to invest their limited budget dollars in other projects that yield higher rates of return.  Indeed, a strategic sales approach, where financial justification questions are prominent, can help boost major account success rates.

 

In short, major accounts that see a solid financial benefit from your products, services and solutions are both more likely to buy and will make a purchase more quickly.  With our strategic sales skills training class, you’ll gain a highly-successful process for key account selling!

 

All Rights Reserved.  The Sales Alliance Inc.  San Diego, CA

 

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Sales Training Programs | Sales Courses