This month in the UK, we’re officially out of the recession, according to The Guardian newspaper, which still contrives to somehow make the story sound negative! Funny how coming out of the recession hasn’t got nearly as much media coverage as when we went into it, isn’t it?
The savvy salespeople and companies right now are getting ready to take advantage of the upturn. Are you really fully prepared and ready?
If not, don’t worry, here are some tips on how to get yourself in the best position and maximise the opportunities that will come your way……
Sales Tip No 1 – Write A Sales Plan
If you’re a salesperson, you need to have a written sales plan of how you’re going to exceed your sales target. Notice I said exceed, not achieve there. That was a little nudge! If you’re a sales manager, you need to have a written sales plan. If you’re a sales director, you need to have a written sales plan. If you’re a business owner, you need to have a written sales plan. Anyone notice a pattern here?!!
There is NO excuse for not having a written sales plan. The most common one I hear when I mention this to people are oh but Andy, I don’t have the time to write a sales plan. Wrong. You don’t have the time NOT to write a sales plan!
The second most common one I hear is oh but Andy, I don’t need a sales plan. I can sell my product or service to pretty much anybody. Wrong again! You probably need a sales plan more than anyone else to be better targeted in your business development and lead generation efforts!
Sales Tip No 2 – Focus, Focus, Focus
Now you’ve got your written sales plan, the next step is to make sure you’re focused! Focusing has been forced on a lot of people as the recession hit, with many companies noticing a drop-off in incoming enquiries and sales leads.
This forced their sales team to concentrate harder on those opportunities, and focus more on each opportunity individually – and how they were going to get it to convert into business. If the market is starting to pick up for you and your team, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of taking those enquiries for granted – as some companies had done before the recession really hit them.
And if you’re starting to get lots more enquiries, your sales plan will help you focus on the best opportunities, and the ones you and your team are most likely to convert!
Sales Tip No 3 – Work To Your Strengths
This is an important point, and one that’s often missed. One important thing here is to be aware of (and manage) your energy levels. Back when I was a sales manager, I had one rep that truly was a ‘morning’ person – jumping around at 8.30 in the morning, yet when 3pm came he was almost asleep!
He’d tried a number of things to solve this problem – what he ate and drank, exercise and even how much sleep he got – and nothing seemed to have an effect!
We then decided to play to his strengths, and re-arranged his diary to take advantage of his energy levels. We made his new business activity (cold calls, new business appointments etc) in the morning, and existing client calls and paperwork in the afternoon. Month on month his sales went up fifty percent! Amazing.
If you’re a manager or a director, are you playing to the strengths of your team? Are you asking account management staff or sales admin staff to do new business sales roles? Are you asking marketing staff to make cold calls? Think about what the best use of your resources is right now……
So, until next month, the best of luck with your sales!