Here are some quick sales tips that may prove helpful in bringing 2015 to a strong close.
- Personalize your dialogues — Too many sales professionals send impersonal e-mails and leave “canned” voice mails- I know, because I’m on the receiving end. There’s a tool called the Internet, with the World Wide Web and social media sites, offering a wealth of information regarding the contacts you’re trying to reach. Prior to any dialogue, phone or e-mail, take the time to check LinkedIn and Twitter to find out who they are, their interests, and what they’re tweeting about. Then, use this personal information in your dialogues. I know how great marketing automation systems can be, but they tend to generate generic responses. When you make dialogues personal, you can expect to see a change in response rates.
- Read, read, read, and read — In our great age of content-based marketing, organizations are producing an abundance of relevant articles, white papers, research studies, briefs, and blogs on key subjects. Search for topics related to your industry, and sign up for alerts and blog subscriptions from people and organizations that can help build your knowledge base. These sources can give you the information to develop and provide insights to prospects.
- Provide real insights — The more you read, the better the insights you can provide. Don’t just automatically share content with “read this article, it’s a great piece.” Take the time to aggregate data and provide meaning. Offer real insights and value to your connections. Develop an opinion and communicate your points of view. It’s a great way to become an expert and build both credibility and your personal brand.
- Don’t get complacent — If you are close to making goal with a few months of the year left, it’s easy to get complacent. I say keep the pedal down and make it to the finish line as quickly as possible. Remember, the calendar resets itself each year. Don’t just think about completing the current year; push for continued, sustainable success to lay the foundation for 2016.
- Fill out your CRM — Data capturing and sharing is critical in today’s business world. I understand that sales professionals typically don’t get up in the morning eager to fill out their CRM, but make a commitment to do so. Tracking won and lost deals is critical for companies, with analysis helping to improve products, positioning, and messaging.
- Get social — If you are not leveraging social selling tools, do so before it’s too late. You don’t have to become an expert in Twitter or make hundreds of connections on LinkedIn. At the very least, set up accounts on these two social platforms and follow your clients and prospects so you can learn more about how they think and what is important to them. Follow the posts of investor relations departments to get a better understanding of your target companies’ business performance. Finally, follow your competitors, too, so you can stay current on what they are doing.
- Nurture leads — Prospecting can be difficult. That’s why if someone downloads content from your website, you should make the commitment to follow up and nurture that lead. They may not have an immediate need, but they are searching for elements of your solution. Basically, they’re kicking the tires. If they fit your lead criteria, make sure to touch base and nurture those leads. Don’t just give up after two e-mails; make sure the prospect knows who you are for when the need arises.
Whether you are working effortlessly to make up ground to reach quota or, let’s hope, having a stellar sales year that’s closing in on making President’s Club, it’s wise to plan ahead to create momentum into the next year. That’s how you provide ongoing value for your clients and differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. What else would you add to this list?