A concept that has worked wonders for the UK’s Olympic medal haul could hold the key to improving your sales performance in our near nil growth economy.
Apply the concept of the ‘Aggregation of Incremental Gains’: making small improvements to every stage of a whole process. Take a step back and look at your whole sales operation, identify ten areas that could perform better and envisage what a one per cent improvement in each of them would do to your bottom line.
As a business strategist with decades of experience in advising family businesses and owner managers across Yorkshire and further afield, I believe the following steps could yield real gold in your sales campaign:
1. Reboot your CRM programme
Call in your CRM provider and ask them to review how you are using their programme and make suggestions on how you could achieve a ten per cent improvement in sales.
Use the quieter summer months to gather more information about your customers, their buying behaviour and purchasing preferences. One domestic heating oil distributor spent the summer contacting every customer to find out how they managed their home heating; how and when they made decisions about purchasing heating oil; when was the best day for them to take delivery; and how they felt about various purchase and supply plans on offer. There was no attempt to sell – just an agreement about when the telemarketer should call back to discuss the first order of the winter. Using this extra data the company increased sales by over 7%, improved gross margin by more than 1% and reduced transport costs by 2% – all of which fell to the bottom line.
3. Get Google Adwords certified
Sign up your IT or social media person to the Google AdWords Certification Program . It’s a globally recognised stamp of approval which showcases knowledge of the latest AdWords tools and best practice techniques and will enable you to effectively manage AdWords campaigns and strategy, improving the quantity and quality of those sales leads who click through to your site.
4. Check your keywords and phrases
The Google AdWords Certification Program hones in on this. Making time to delve more deeply into your Google Analytics will highlight which words and phrases are working best for you, how visitors find your site and the level of competition for these phrases. Evidence shows that a few small tweaks in key phrases can significantly improve the quantity and quality of sales leads.
5. Is everyone following the script?
Or are they left to do their own thing? Are your telesales people covering all points of the script, asking the right questions, getting the right information, handling the objections effectively and always asking for the order more than once, or are they just focused on hitting their call targets? Take time out to listen in on calls and discover where techniques can be improved.
There’ll be more gold in the next five steps – don’t miss my next post for the chance to make an Olympic difference to your bottom line.