by Anita Sirianni, RDH, The Professional Sales Coach
Most sales reps believe if they had more leads, they would get more sales - “selling is a numbers game.” More sales do come, in part, by the number of prospects to whom you talk, but an equally important criterion for sales success is the quality of those leads.
After almost 20 years selling in the dental industry, I have found the following strategies especially helpful in creating a consistent flow of qualified buyers for dental products and services.
Define your target
Many companies have a marketing and sales strategy that is too general. A wide spectrum of methods used to capture anyone who could buy their product. In addition, sales reps rarely work a targeted prospecting plan. This approach dilutes their effectiveness in finding the best sales opportunities. By narrowing your prospecting focus, you will expand your sales leads! This seems to defy logic, but it works. The better you define those who need, want, and can use your offering, the more effective you will be at doubling your leads in half the time.
This can be demonstrated by a physics principle. Ordinary scattered light realizes its potential when focused to expose the penetrating power of a laser beam. Narrowing your lead focus will accelerate the qualification process necessary for sales.
Suspects vs. prospects
Analyze your customers. Make a list of common qualities and similarities. Reduce this list to no more than six factors that typify actual buyers. Narrow your prospecting efforts to convert a group of “suspects” into qualified prospects.
To this end, we assist clients to identify their unique Key Performance Indices (KPIs) as a part of their strategic selling efforts. Facilitating sales and marketing teams through this exercise is a powerful way of clarifying common sales goals. Creating KPIs is also an excellent vehicle for improving communication and synergy in both departments.
Two heads are better than one
Salespeople are often one of the biggest obstacles to generating more leads! Let me explain. Corporate marketing teams often have limited involvement and exposure to the needs of the prospective buyers they serve. Salespeople have little influence on how products and services are marketed. This limits a company’s lead potential.
Another way to double your leads in half the time is to encourage sales and marketing teams to capitalize on the magic of synergy. This can start by simply increasing communication between both departments. Marketing personnel would be well served to spend time visiting the major markets they represent. Create opportunities for salespeople to influence or tailor marketing programs to meet local needs. Following these steps will not only boost the quality and quantity of the leads you currently generate, but create an overall sales message that will be difficult to compete against.
Fill your funnel
If most sales people believe “winning is a numbers game,” then why don’t more reps track their results? Can you imagine describing the success of a professional athlete without citing his stats? It is shocking to notice how few reps (or their managers) know what their sales ratios are! How can performance be measured, managed, or improved without raw performance data?
All members of the sales team should be aware of their performance “stats.” Predictable and consistent sales can be traced back to the top of the sales “funnel.” By monitoring the quality and quantity of leads going in, predictable measures of success can be accurately forecasted.
So what’s the bottom line on doubling your leads in half the time? Those who apply these laser-focused principles enjoy more quality leads and higher sales than their competitors who don’t. Narrow your focus and identify your target and attract the best prospects and the most customers. If I can help, Just Whistle!Anita Sirianni, The Professional Sales Coach, can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (800) 471-2619.