Hi there. I hope you're having a great day.
I want to talk to you today about some ideas for low-hanging fruit for increasing your sales. My name is Rick Whittington and I run Whittington Consulting which is a growth agency that helps companies meet or exceed their revenue growth goals.
I've already talked on LinkedIn and on our website about setting your sales goals for 2019 and I wanted to share a few things with you today that you can do to improve your chances of hitting those goals. These are often what we call "low hanging fruit," you know, the things that you can do with minimal effort that are going to have an impact in your business.
I recently led a meeting with a client in the Professional Services industry and the purpose of the meeting was to discuss how they can increase their sales by 15% this year. They saw double digit growth in 2018, and they want to carry that well into 2019. Some of the ideas that we discussed in that meeting I thought would be good for you to hear because even though they've taken sales to the next level, there's still a lot our client can improve on and you probably can too. So I want to share a few of those ideas with you today.
SummaryEasy ways to increase small business sales
- Follow up on proposals that went cold
- Document your sales process
- Measure pipeline step-by-step
- Respond to web leads faster
- Call prospects more often during sales follow-up
- Grow existing customer accounts
Follow up on proposals that went cold
The first is to follow up on proposals and opportunities that went cold last year. Now this means that you set a proposal or you had several good meetings with prospects, but they never signed a contract for whatever reason. Maybe the prospect even gave you a "no." I've found that going back through your list of missed opportunities and re-igniting conversations can generate some new deals for this year. If they were interested in talking to you in the past, they probably are interested in talking to you in the future. Depending on your sales cycle, you might even want to go back to 2017 or 2016 and look for lost opportunities there. This is a good time of year to reach out just to wish them a Happy New Year. Last week, I actually re-engaged a cold prospect from two years ago doing this very same thing.
Document your sales process
Number two is to define your sales process on paper. Nearly two-thirds of companies I talk to don't have a documented sales process. The Harvard Business Review published an article back in 2015 that says that there's a direct correlation between effective pipeline management and strong revenue growth, and that companies with a formal sales process generate more revenue. When I map out sales processes, I do it on one sheet of paper so everyone has a standardized process that can be referenced anytime.
Measure pipeline step-by-step
Number three is to track the steps in your sales process. Make sure sales emails are being sent, calls are being made, and you want to identify hiccups or barriers in that sales process.
Measuring progression step-by-step through your pipeline is going to ensure that you identify where problems exist and make sure the pipeline is efficient as possible.
Respond to web leads faster
Number four is to improve response time on web leads. Just because someone fills out a form or emails from your website doesn't mean that you can wait or should wait to respond. Listen to these statistics:
- You really should strive to respond to a web lead within 5 minutes.
- 78% of customers buy from the first responder.
- 55% of companies take more than 5 days to respond to web leads. That's just way too much!
The simple fix here is to automate some of your email responses and use your CRM when a web lead comes in so that your sales rep can make a call.
Call prospects more often during sales follow-up
Number five would be to incorporate phone calls in the sales follow-up process. You may not have a multi-person sales team. Or maybe you're an owner who's doing sales but you might not have the nerves of steel that you need to call prospects. You know, a lot of sales reps don't want to pick up the phone believe it or not, but if you can incorporate more phone calls into your follow-up process, you're going to get better results.
Grow existing customer accounts
Number 6 is to find additional opportunities with existing clients. You don't have to chase new business so much that you neglect finding opportunities with existing clients or customers. Before you sign a new client ask yourself this: Are all of your clients using your full complement of products or services?
Well, I hope you've gotten a nugget or two from this list today. Remember that future business is determined by what you did or didn't do in prior months or weeks. Don't take your foot off the gas. Instead, identify some low-hanging fruit that can have an impact in your business.
Thanks and have a great day.