As winter makes way for potential new growth, you and your team might be looking towards bigger and better ways to meet your sales quotas. Instead, take a step back and refresh your team with some basic skills that will give them a solid sales foundation. In this week’s roundup we review productivity, sales, and management articles that will remind you of those tried-and-true tactics that keep customers coming back year after year.
Sales Strategy (The Bitter Business)
Business mentor Brian O’Connell takes a minute to reflect on the efficacy of your sales strategy. He suggests that this is the time to ask some key questions like, “Have I recently taken the opportunity to ask who my customers are? Have we standardized our sales processes?” He also says that it’s critical to gather data regarding your customer acquisition costs and the length of time it takes to move a customer through the sales cycle.
The 8 Most Evil HR Policies (LinkedIn Business)
The message of Liz Ryan’s article is to make sure you aren’t treating your entire team of talented and creative employees as if they were the one bad employee you wish you hadn’t hired. You need to evaluate your policies to determine if they are designed to support wonderful, hardworking, and creative team members who are spending their lives helping you to succeed. She also comments on HR tools like sick time, bereavement and scheduling, as these can all have tremendous effects on productivity and overall success.
Tips for Managing Generation Z Employees in the Workplace (Huffington Post)
Among your staff you will likely find a growing number of employees who were born after 1995. This youngest generation in the workforce now, or Generation Z, has particular needs to be aware of when managing your staff. Margaret Jacoby provides critical insight into their strengths and opportunities. If properly trained, this group of highly motivated, entrepreneurial workers can continue to be an increasingly important part of your business.
The 7 Key Results Areas of Sales Success (Brian Tracy)
Sales star Brian Tracy highlights what every sales manager and sales pro needs to remember this year: that sales success comes down to just a few key areas of focus. Tracy suggests that increasing just 10% in areas such as presentation persuasiveness, needs identification, and relationship selling can lead to double or triple your current income this year. He also suggests that confidence is key to improvement, and working just a little on each of the seven areas can mean increased management opportunities.
John Lisimba asks, “What kind of value we are really producing for our customers?” He suggests that content marketing is the new era of marketing – one that is helpful instead of pushy. Lisimba also says that content marketing may not be applicable to all product types. Still, it is always a good idea to take another look through your customers eyes to reevaluate the value that you are providing and integrate content if you see there is a gap.
Increasing Productivity in the Workplace (GigaBook)
Meghan Flavin explains how sharpening your sales flow and internal processes can increase productivity. Still, the human element of your business is vital, and you need to care for your employees as much as your prospects. In this article, Flavin lays out a checklist of opportunities where you can show your staff that you trust them and value their well being. As that trust is built, your staff will increase their productivity and loyalty.
3 Powerful Sales Strategies to Drive Up Your Income Now! (Allison Maslan)
To refocus your selling strategy, make sure you are selling! Block aside at least three hours a day to make sure you are doing the work of selling. Alison’s first step in her three point plan is to identify the work that needs to be done and schedule it to get your team on the same page. Make sure your work is getting documented so you have good data coming in regarding what works and what doesn’t. Alison’s second step is to have a nurture plan. She reminds us that most deals aren’t closed after the first pitch. With that simple knowledge, have you built a plan to keep reaching out to your potential customers? Her final point is to make sure you have a plan to close your sales. Don’t go to the appointment without a clear plan and a clear objective. She has found a few simple but powerful tools to make sure you have a gameplan that is working, and if not, that you are getting good enough metrics to identify where you can make changes to your plan.
Useful Tips to Become a Successful Sales Manager (Jonathon Tichich)
Business management consultant Jonathon Tichich gives a 5-minute breakdown of simple things you can do to ensure your success as a new sales manager. He includes setting the right goals, staying focused, and never forgetting your own personal development. Tichich also suggests measuring the metrics that are key to your individual operation, but never forgetting that the happier you are in your job, the better you are going to be at it.
Core Small Business Skills – Financial Management (NHAT NET)
A study of failed Australian small businesses determined that 90% of those failures related to key management shortcomings. The major flaws? Inappropriate pricing and financial distancing. Managers who don’t have a clear idea of their financial picture and how realistic their pricing is, often charge too much or too little, undermining their sales teams’ performances.
Office Productivity: Comparing Virtual and Serviced Environments (Small Biz Triage)
Work-from-home positions are on the rise, and have been shown to improve employee morale. James Tipson further develops this idea by noting that in addition to increased productivity, flexible work arrangements can have tangible benefits to your bottom line. Managers and CEOs who are interested in reduced costs of rent, upkeep, and overhead should read this quick article to get a feel for how remote workers function in a sales environment.
What do you think?
The modern business environment is so fast paced that it can be easy to forget that you have a team of people who are spending a great deal of their lives and personal time to help your business succeed. This spring, give back to the ones who give you their all. Invest a little time in refreshing your sales team on the basics of keeping your business running smoothly. From financial goals to a clarified sales strategy, clean your sales shop for a successful year.
Do you have any spring rituals to keep your employees fresh? Tell us your stories in the comments.