April 9, 2013 by stevenmacdonald
2012 is long behind us and your sales budgets for 2013 have now been set. It’s not easy to reach sales targets. The most common reasons for not reaching goals are failure in planning and action. Here are five ways to help you reach your sales budgets this year.
1. Develop and implement a sales strategy
A compelling sales strategy consists of a sales process and a set of metrics that reinforces the process. The sales process needs to be consistent and clearly communicated so that each team member involved knows exactly what is expected of them.
Common sales goals must be established that are achievable and that can be measured. Roles and responsibilities need to be documented so that management and sales teams can evaluate performance throughout the year and provide the necessary feedback.
2. Communicate your product value
In 2012, a survey on LinkedIn found that Communicating Product Value was one of biggest challenges for B2B sales teams.
By getting your sales teams to successfully communicate the product value, buyers are more likely to engage in conversation around their needs, as opposed to sales teams communicating benefits and features. When sales and marketing teams are aligned in communicating product value, inbound leads that are generated are more likely to convert.
3. Create an internal sales culture
The most successful companies have corporate cultures that respect and value the sales teams. Sales cultures do not evolve by nature and must be encouraged by senior management. Sales teams should adopt the same customer centric approach that top management embraces.
Cross-department communication between sales and marketing will also help support a more sales-focused organization. Having a sales evangelist within the marketing team can help spread greater awareness of customer concerns and client feedback.
4. Know your competition
It is no longer enough to have a good product. Competition is plentiful and should be considered. Identify the top 5 competitors your sales team encounter within their territory and collect as much information as possible about your competition. Start off by analyzing:
- Is the company national or local?
- How long has the company been in business?
- What are its strengths?
- What is its USP?
- What products or services does the company offer?
- What products or services make your business the best choice?
Knowing your competition helps define sales targets and an appropriate sales plan. Focus on your clients’ needs and create value. By understanding the competition, you will be able to identify what makes your company different.
5. Sell to existing customers
According to research by Lattice Engines, 79% of sales leaders cited new customer acquisition as the most difficult challenge of 2011. It costs about 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to generate new business from an existing customer.
A company that has already bought from you is much easier to sell to and is a great opportunity that requires much less effort than the usual sales pitch. Keep in touch with long-time customers on a regular basis (3-6 months). By staying in touch, you remain top of mind and reduce the likelihood of the customer leaving. Rockefeller Corporation found that 68% of customers leave because they think that you do not care about them.
Ensuring your sales success
A clear sales strategy, a sales-oriented culture and knowing your competition are crucial to increasing sales and ensuring your company grows at a healthy and profitable rate. Evaluate your performance and request feedback from senior management as it’s the sales teams that determine whether or not a company succeeds or fails.
Are your sales targets being met in 2013? Share your thoughts and comments below.
About Steven: Steven Macdonald has been working with online marketing since 2005. Experienced in online gaming and travel, Steven is currently working on global SEO with SuperOffice CRM and regularly contributes to the Tribes blog.