Our webinar series "Scale up your business" in partnership with ITCSheTrades, covered this topic – alongside others. So, here we lay out our top six tips to have the right approach when it comes to sales and grow your business:
1. Understand the key trends in sales
The world is always finding new ways to market, sell and buy products. Once it was the telephone and the radio, and then came TV – now the way we buy is changing once again. Some of this change was already in motion, like digitalisation that has increased in the last decade, and others have been unexpected, like the impacts of COVID-19.
The result of this change is that social networks, search engines and email marketing play a bigger role than ever in sales. This is especially true in the wake of COVID-19, which has limited the ability to meet customers face to face. Some key things to consider:
Using social media effectively can help boost your sales process.
Targeted emails are more effective compared to a generic social media post.
Remember, corporate buyers look up providers on LinkedIn before deciding who to engage.
"One of the big trends that have changed over the last years is that we have a lot of information on the internet. We can go to Google, we can go to companies' websites and so forth. And what we see from data is that a lot of the time spent today when customers are making decisions researching on their own. So, if your potential customers want to buy something, they only spend 17% of their time meeting you as a potential supplier. 27% of their time is spent on independent research – whether through Google, LinkedIn or TrustPilot. So, considering your online presence and understanding how trends are changing is a great starting point for your sales approach."
2. Plan ahead and get the most out of your time
Running a business is a time-consuming occupation and sales is only a part of your responsibilities. That means utilising your time effectively is so important to get the most out of your sales process.
Planning ahead will help keep you on track. You can start by setting your goals and focus: Who will you be targeting? Which markets or specific industries? What is your weekly goal? – by answering these questions you can plan your actions, using your calendar to set reminders and prioritise.
Research also shows that there is a higher chance of getting your foot in the door if you engage with prospects at a specific time of day:
3. Identifying your customers' needs & pain points is half the battle
People buy with emotion and justify with logic – no matter how big or small the purchase. By understanding and resonating with your customer's needs, you'll put yourself in a much better position to secure a sale.
Here are a few things to remember that will help you understand and meet your customers' needs:
Open a conversation, and don't start with your sales pitch
Learn what your prospects are experiencing that is painful or could be improved
Focus on the emotion – then build towards solving their issue by introducing your proposition.
4. Create a framework to help focus and steer conversations
Getting into a sales conversation isn't easy and your passion for your product will only get you so far. By setting a framework and preparing for objections, you put yourself in the best position to steer the conversation and stay in control.
Below is a framework we showcased in our ITCSheTrades webinar that can help you deliver a quality sales call:
If you should face objections – and this will happen! – you can use the 'Obtain Verify Address' method to overcome them:
Obtain – Listen to the customer and understand their view
Verify – Confirm with the customer that you understand their objection or concern
Address – Provide a solution to address the issue
Again, planning for potential objections and how you would address them is a great way to stay on top of the conversation.
5. Practice makes perfect – and so does persistence!
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix, or single phrase, that can make you a sales master – the success comes with time and practice. But using your time wisely, setting your frameworks, goals and working to understand your customers will all put you in the better position to succeed.
More than just time, success also comes with persistence! It can take between 7-8 phone calls to reach an executive person or key decision maker – and over 90% of sales reps give up after their fourth time of trying. If you want to win business, you need to be that 10% that goes the extra mile and makes the extra call. Practice and persistence is often the key to success:
6. Focus on what you can do best and let Twill take care of the logistics
Taking your business global and selling it to new customers and markets can feel like a lonely job, but it doesn't have to be! Twill is here to support you and your business and can take care of your logistics. At Twill, our platform has been created, and our team has been built around the needs of small and medium-sized businesses.
Being supercharged by industry leader Maersk, Twill can help you take your business digital by giving you access to digital logistics services. We can help you get your cargo around the world quickly and smoothly through our intuitive platform when you have mastered that sale.
We believe in our customers, and we work hard in everything we do to help them flourish. Discover more about Twill now.