We Need to Get Some Sales and Quick…

This is a comment that many, many SME’s will be making as they return to work proper and the support from the Government is gradually removed and bills need to be paid. Whether a business survives this will largely depend on their order book and their ability to trade effectively and profitably – that means building current customer business and winning new customers – as markets change the focus on the latter will also increase.

What spurs people to buy from your Company? Put yourself in their shoes and you will realise that there are two fundamental questions:

  1. Why should I change my current buying habits and buy this product or service?
  2. Why should I buy your solution versus on of your competitors?

What buying questions does your company’s sales messaging answer? Like most SME’s it is probably answering one of these questions but not necessarily the other. Alternatively, in a worst-case scenario it is not answering them at all or answering them extremely poorly.

Most sales messaging that we see is conveyed in a product or service centric manner – a description of the features and benefits that your offer provides and the value your customer receives when buying. The problem is that product centric messaging will produce slower sales, fewer customers and much higher sales costs.

There are six categories that define why your sales performance isn’t optimal – your problem will fall into one or more of these:

  1. Your sales messaging does not answer the prospect’s buying questions in a compelling and persuasive way.
  2. Your employees’ goals and compensation programmes are not linked enough to company objectives.
  3. Your sales processes are not clearly defined, repeatable and measurable.
  4. Your employees’ skills and knowledge are not matched to the task.
  5. Your offer’s price to value equation is not compelling.
  6. Your offer doesn’t generate meaningful value for the target market.

To solve your problem, you firstly need to establish where you are falling short within the above categories and set about solving the problem areas. This is where some expert help might help as only expertise can really pinpoint the real issue. But in terms of practical steps to take going forward you must:

  • Investigate and fully understand exactly what your primary buying target’s questions are – questions like ‘Why should I buy your solution rather than a competitor’s?’ – ‘Why should I meet or talk to you?’ – and more – these questions need to be answered by you within your pitch.
  • Be very clear on how and why what you are selling will improve the customer’s world – make things better for them. What ‘pain’ are they going through at present that you could eradicate? How would your product and service resolve this?
  • Having done this, put together a number of reasons for buying and provide factual information to support these. Summarise all of this on one page ready for presentation. Remember only the prospect’s opinion counts here – so look at the world as they see it and provide the answers to their problems.
  • Embed this new sales messaging in all you do. Use a sales process and tools map – roles, steps of the sales process from lead to prospect to customer and the steps of the actual sales-call in terms of preparation and delivery. Prepare and use selling tools to support and add huge interest to your pitches. What you achieve by doing this is a consistency and regularity of both your approach and message.

Working on the four steps above will improve your sales performance and start to build that pipeline of sales that so many SME’s will need to establish again in the next few months after the difficulties of the last year.

If you need any help in understanding WHY your sales or your sales pipeline isn’t where it should be and want to know how to resolve the problem contact us at: ignite@tinderboxbusinessdevelopment.co.uk, or call on 0116 232 5231

Alternatively you can contact me directly at the points below:

David Turner
Managing Director

07747 023610