As a small business owner, you may have a small sales team that needs to work efficiently in order to be successful. Therefore, it's crucial that you strive to improve your team's productivity. By reducing the amount of time it takes for your salespeople to close sales, you can increase your company's overall revenue and profitability. Here are some strategies to help you achieve strategic selling for small businesses.
1. Provide the Necessary Training
As is the case with any professional, salespeople benefit from ongoing training. You can look for training opportunities through local Small Business Administration workshops or professional organizations such as the National Association of Sales Professionals. Be sure to include ongoing training on your own company's products and services to help salespeople effectively teach customers about the solutions you offer.
2. Create a Lead Nurturing Program
Lead nurturing refers to using automated customer relationship management (CRM) systems to send messages to prospects. Once leads enter the sales pipeline, a lead nurturing sequence continues the prospect's ongoing education. Companies that thrive at lead nurturing are often able to generate more leads at a lower cost.
3. Optimize for Mobile
New technology can enhance the sales process in many ways. For example, mobile technology, which runs off of cloud-based platforms, can help sales teams become more productive by allowing them to input data and receive payments while they're at an in-person customer appointment. New mobile CRM systems can convert smartphones into hand-held computer terminals that can process orders, payments and more.
4. Delegate the Unessential
Take the initiative to determine how much time your sales team spends on clerical tasks. If you're unhappy with the results you find, you should consider delegating some of this work to an administrative assistant or a temp during busy seasons. You can also consider automating your systems to reduce paperwork. Overall, it's important for you to ensure that your salespeople devote most of their time to selling rather than administrative tasks.
5. Empower Your Team
You may also want to establish discount and credit structures throughout the company so that your salespeople don't have to get approval for every decision they make on the go. By doing so, you can empower your team to take action in the field. Perhaps you can allow your salespeople to handle simple customer problems themselves while at on-site meetings so that they can demonstrate your company's responsiveness and continue their sales conversations without interruption.
6. Use Data-Driven Management
Data-driven management can also lead to strategic selling for small businesses. You can use data from your sales pipeline, such as leads and closures, to provide quantitative performance feedback and benchmarks for your sales team. You can then offer attractive incentives based on achievements and evidence of improvement. But remember that it's not always about money: You can also motivate your sales team by offering flextime, additional vacation days and other types of benefits.
By following these steps, you can help your sales team become more productive, which can in turn translate to higher revenues that will fuel growth.