The effort to improve a sales and marketing department is ongoing. However, it begins with an understanding of the role of each service so that a business can establish clear and reasonable goals.
From there, the development of each department depends on the identification of the right tactics, which vary based on how a business prefers to interact with its customers.
Along the way, technology can help organize the process and make it more efficient. It can also play a role in improving information sharing between the two departments, which may help each reach their shared goals of more sales and a thriving business.
Limiting the opportunity. The idea of a “limited-time offer” is common in retail, but creating a sense of scarcity is a tactic used in many industries. A limited opportunity may be limited by time (e.g. an offer good for this month only) or availability (e.g. the last pickup on the lot).
Focusing on pain points. An effective salesperson can frame the benefits of a product or service regarding the needs of a client. This means understanding the day-to-day challenges a client faces and focusing on how a product can solve those issues. An emphasis on pain points can also help build a relationship by showing a salesperson’s interest in a customer’s problem.
Making the assumptive close. The assumptive close is a sales technique that changes a request for a “yes” into a “no.” For instance, rather than asking, “Do you want to try this service?”, a salesperson may instead ask, “When would you like us to schedule the installation?”
Follow up. A key sales function is following up with the leads generated by a marketing department. Successful businesses usually develop a structured handoff process so that each marketing-qualified lead receives appropriate and timely follow-up from a sales team member. Relationship building. The era of the “hard sell” continues to fade. Modern sales focus on relationship building to help create trust between a buyer and seller. Effective salespersons can understand the needs of the buyer and develop a persuasive—but not pushy—message to help differentiate the company’s product.
Closing. Most salespersons are judged by their ability to turn leads into customers. While some may envision a face-to-face meeting and handshake as the close of a sale, many businesses also close sales online or over the phone. This can broaden the responsibilities of closing a sale to more employees. Retention. Sales and marketing have responsibility for improving client retention. By checking in with an existing client, a sales team member can help demonstrate an interest in long-term client success, not just a one-time sale. The ongoing effort to build strong relationships can help improve retention and lead to “upsells”—additional sales beyond the initial purchase.
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