How to Step Up Your Sales and Close More Deals
To sell, and to be good at selling, there are a number of things you can be doing to make sure you’re getting the most out of every lead.
Kyle shares his top tips in this video to help you crush your competition.
Do you want to suck less at B2B service sales, or if you’re a boss, do you want your sales team to suck less? You need to watch this video.
All right, so if you’re selling B2B services, 2019, we’re going to go through some things that you need to think about to not become complacent because when we’re talking to a lot of companies, and in my past experience, the biggest issue that we see is that people in B2B services, specifically, start to become very complacent with their sales, and they’re not doing what they should be to drive revenue and then bosses get pissed off. So let’s go through the top things.
Number one, whoever you’re working for, you need to have some sort of commission plan. If you do not have a commission plan and you’re just straight salary, regardless if you have the perks of a company car and a credit card and all that stuff, if you don’t have a commission plan, there is nothing that’s going to drive you to actually perform more than what the bottom line standard is. So if you work for somebody that doesn’t have a commission plan, you need to talk to your boss about that. Change your job or something. To owners out there, if you don’t have a commission plan with your people, you’re not incentivizing them to actually work harder and to get that nut and that coin that is what they’re chasing after. I mean, money motivates. It’s been proven over time.
So start with who you’re working for. If you have a commission plan in place, then start to work the numbers and figure out where do you want to be with your annual revenue and work backwards into thinking how many deals do you need to get to close to get to that point. So once you have that figured out, and you haven’t quit your job or anything like that, or if you’re in a new job when you’re watching this, the issue is is that people don’t know either where to start or how to actually push through when they don’t get a response.
The first thing is, you have to use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool, so just looking at prospecting in general, you’re going to have trade shows, you’re going to have LinkedIn, you’re going to have email marketing, list building, all those things. Use Google. Look at your competitors. Figure out who are they doing business with? Who can you try and go and take from them? Those are all things that you’re going to want to set up and start going after and build out that list of who are your potential customers. By using LinkedIn, you’re going to be able to do specific searches for those companies, and then going after those influencers, decision makers, and people at those companies from a connection request standpoint, which we’ll talk about in a different video where we specifically talk about LinkedIn as a prospecting tool. But you have to prospect.
People are so lazy these days, and it’s so annoying to listen to people complain about how they don’t have revenue, they don’t have sales, they don’t have all this great activity, but it’s because they’re not actually putting in the work to go out there and get it. It’s not going to come to you unless you have a marketing department that’s amazing or you have an agency like ours that’s just feeding you good stuff, you’re never going to actually get those deals that are worth the money, that when you get those, the commission level gets you to where you want to be.
So you have to prospect. Now, when you’re prospecting on people, cold calling, a lot of people say it’s dead. It’s less effective. Email marketing isn’t dead. It’s less effective. You have to be doing that from a follow-up standpoint. If you email somebody and they don’t answer, pick up the phone and call them. If they don’t respond to that, send them a message on LinkedIn. If they don’t respond to that, send them something in the mail. Direct mail is not dead, it’s just less effective. If they’re not responding to all of that, go to their facility, as long as they’re somewhat local, or if you’re in the area, go to their facility and knock on the door and cold call on them. So when you’re looking at all these different ways to reach out to somebody, you have to just put them into this cycle and not be complacent to … You tried one method and it’s not working because most of the time, people try after two times. If they don’t get a response, they just become lazy and they don’t want to follow up again.
To organize all this stuff, you’re going to want to have some sort of CRM system in place. Old school people, generations like mine and above are used to spreadsheets and things like that. CRM systems are out there right now. You need to utilize them and have all your stuff organized and set up reminders and all that stuff. Whatever CRM system you have, you can get into cheap, whether it’s a couple hundred bucks a month or a couple thousand dollars a year, get your company to invest into a CRM. Even if you’re with somebody small that doesn’t have one, you don’t think you need one, you need a way to track all this information. Whether it’s HubSpot, Infusionsoft, SharpSpring, Salesforce, anybody like that. Just Google search it. Put some system in place. If you want my recommendation, SharpSpring right now has our attention and is the best in our opinion. That’s going to get you to a level that it’s more repetitive and you’re going to be reminded of things, and it’s going to be less of you driving and remembering and just allow the system to do that for you.
All right. So you’ve got the CRM system. You’ve got this company that you’re working for that’s going to give you commission for your hard work, and so now the next step is to put it into action. Do this every day. Stop being lazy. Everybody in this market is either completely lazy or they’re motivated and doing something but they don’t have the tools or the knowledge or the resources to actually be effective with that. But most of the time, you guys are just lazy. Start on a Monday. Don’t wait. Start today, if you want, or tomorrow, or whenever you see this. Just start making a change right now. You need to cycle through all your contacts. Reach out to them, whether it’s through the methods that I just mentioned of contacting them or whether it’s through something else that you think of, you have to do it on a repetitive, daily basis and keep working through it.
What ends up happening is you take a hunter that was hired to hunt, and this is to the hunters that used to hunt that now farm and the sales managers that are managing these people and the CEOs that are running the companies. You bring a hunter in. If you do not have the support resources in place below that, to where when they bring in business, that business can be taken and then pushed along into whatever service or product you’re selling, the hunter then becomes a farmer. What ends up happening is is that’s fine at first, in a short period of time, but eventually, the hunter becomes a farmer permanently, and now they’re just an account manager. They’re no longer hunting. They become complacent with the revenue that they’re getting.
For the business, they become complacent with their own salary, and they’re just okay. And then now you get lazy. And this is the generation that we’re in. The people that are in the 30 years old and over, especially in the older generations, a lot of these guys have become so complacent because they’re okay with making this much money that they just keep on working the same accounts. And that’s fine if you’re their boss or the owner of the company and you’re okay with that. But if you’re paying people to hunt, let them hunt. That’s what they want to do. That first question in the interview when you’re interviewing these sales people should be: Are you a hunter or are you a farmer? Putting the resources in place, allowing them to continue hunting, prevents them from becoming complacent.
Let’s talk about trade shows. Trade shows, a thing of the past. We used to get all these great leads. All this awesome interaction over a couple of days. Losing its effectiveness, just like the other things I mentioned. Going to it with the expectations that you’re not going to walk out with a gift from God that says here’s going to be your largest account. That’s most likely not going to happen. Take it for what it’s worth. Work the booth. Get off your ass and stop sitting behind on your phone or looking down while sitting in a chair behind your booth.
You need to get out into the aisle, and that’s a separate rant for a separate video. Trade shows in general, but working trade shows, if you’re going to them, start auditing the performance of that trade show to see if it’s worth your time, and is it as effective as it used to be? Because most likely, it’s not effective, and maybe you should reduce the number of trade shows you’re doing, but regardless, if you’re going to them, you need to work them, and don’t be lazy about it. And try and do some sort of marketing up front to prep people without the ridiculous selfie in the booth or taking a booth shot, and then throwing it up on social, and that’s it. Do something a little bit different with that.
All right. Now that you’ve done some sort of work, and you’ve listened to some amount of this advice, and you’re starting to interact with people or you’ve been doing this before, when somebody gives you an opportunity to quote something, an RFQ or an RFP or whatever it is in your space of B2B services, specifically talking to you manufacturing guys with your RFQs, do not take a week to 2 weeks to turn that thing around. There is no reason that it should take that long. Regardless of if you have to have other suppliers quote things or you have to work the numbers, or you’re traveling or whatever it is, you should be looking at 2, 3 days max to get that information back.
If you don’t have all the information, you don’t have whatever you need from the potential customer, that’s one thing. But once you get that, you should be no more than a couple of days. And we’ve had numerous potential customers. We’ve had numerous clients in the past that would be, oh, yeah, it takes us usually like two to four weeks to turn around a quote. That is absurd. It should only take you a couple of days. Speed matters. When somebody gives you an opportunity to do business with you, you get that back to them as fast as possible.
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Kyle Milan is a well accomplished sales and marketing professional with over 14 years in the B2B space. He is the CEO of 5 Fold Agency and a Sales and Marketing Strategy & Social Media Marketing expert. He has published several articles at major news media outlets on various topics of; Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing & Advertising, Industrial Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.