As you have hopefully noticed over the course of this year, a large proportion of our newsletters have focused on marketing topics. The reason for this is because more than 80% of Grow NZ members who took our survey told us that marketing was a top priority for you. And we are pleased to hear that, because marketing has arguably never been more important than it is now.
But, marketing is only half the sales story and sometimes we can be guilty of assuming that fantastic marketing execution means growth is in the bank. But don’t be fooled, sales (and service) is where the rubber really hits the road.
You can have the most engaging marketing plan, stellar website and on-point Google ads driving all of those potential customers to your store or website, but a poor sales process and service experience will cost you an absolute fortune.
On the flip-side, sharp sales skills and excellent customer service can deliver you truckloads of repeat business and lots of delicious word-of-mouth referrals.
I know where I’m spending my time…
Attracting Custom Is Only Half The Job
What if you could convert your number of potential customers to actual customers by just a couple of per cent? How much additional revenue and profit would you generate?Effective sales growth requires a business to really understand its numbers (potential customer base) and build the right behaviours to attract those potential customers (service). Done well, I’ve seen it deliver major business turnarounds across Europe, Australia and here in New Zealand.
I was in Tauranga recently and a coffee meeting at Mount Maunganui really highlighted the above to me. There was a strip of three coffee shops for me to choose from for our meeting, all right next to each other. One was really busy, another steady and the third, very quiet. I decided to go the very quiet one, thinking it was an opportunity to support a business owner in need. Two staff members were inside, moving stuff around the counter and ducking back and forth to the kitchen etc. I waited for five minutes for someone to serve me and, in that time, three other potential customers walked in… and walked out again, as I eventually did. We all went to the very busy café and were quickly served with some of the best coffee I’ve tasted.
Have you walked in your customers’ shoes recently and tested your sales and service experience?
Are Better Sales Just A Phone Call Away?
Business consultants, McKinsey & Co, have recently published some interesting and highly relevant findings showing how data analysis can drive sales.
Their report, which you can read in full here, details the key ways data can be interpreted to convert customers, but the one that stands out most to me is this: The more time you spend engaging with your customer – the higher the chance of a sale.
McKinsey’s study found that the best performing sales reps spent 22 percent more time on external interactions than low-performers. Interestingly, these interactions weren’t always face-to-face, with fresh studies showing up to 80% of B2B customers actually prefer these relationship-building interactions to be done remotely.
This means time is really no excuse, because a quick phone call check-in, or even email, doesn’t take long. How often and how well are you connecting with your potential customer base?
Need a Helping Hand?
Check out these sales-boosting products from our partners:
Pipedrive is the first CRM platform made for salespeople, by salespeople.
In 2010, Pipedrive’s co-founders set out to build a customer relationship management (CRM) tool that helps users to visualise their sales processes and get more done. They knew from experience that in sales, as in life, you can’t control your results but you can control your actions. So, they created Pipedrive around activity-based selling, a proven approach that’s all about scheduling, completing and tracking activities.
Coaching and training to create a customer-focused, values-based culture.
Integrity Solutions helps clients to win more customers, keep more customers, and grow profitable revenue with a unique focus on sales, coaching, leadership, and customer service.