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The following is from one of our partners that allow us to guest post some of their great content, InsideView. You can find the original post here. It has been modified slightly for presentation here.
While many B2B sales executives do not realize it, sales volume and sales productivity are not the same thing. Without good sales productivity, it can cost a company quite a bit of overhead to make just one sale. However, with good sales productivity, it can lower your business costs and increase profits. Here are a few strategies to increase sales productivity.
It’s not about you.
Being great at B2B sales means being great at relationships. People are not just buying a product or service; they are initially buying a relationship with you. If they do not trust you, they will likely not buy from you no matter what you have to offer. So, the first step to increasing your sales is to get to know your client.
This looks like a normal conversation with a friend. Ask them questions. Ask them about the family, what they do for a living, what they like about it, what they don’t like about and what they do for recreation or what they would like to do for recreation. The key to this is to listen, let them talk.
I know it seems a little overboard, and may even feel like you are prying; however, people love to talk about themselves. In fact, they become interested in those who are interested in them. Plus, you will find that the more that they talk about themselves, the more they will reveal what they like, dislike, want and need, leaving you an opening to give them just that.
A more passive and smarter way of this would be to use sales intelligence to uncover things about the prospect that you may not get a chance to ask them about or give you some excellent material to start conversations with.
Present to your client
Now that you know about your client and they have begun to know like and trust you, and you have gathered exactly what their wants and needs are, you can begin your presentation. It is important to already have a presentation outline in place, however, now that you know what your client is looking for, you can customize it to reinforce what they just told you about themselves. Here is an example.
Let’s say that you are in marketing, you are talking to a business owner, and after getting to know him, he tells you that he loves what he does but he is overwhelmed with trying to do in house marketing. It has affected the time that he spends at home with his family. So you could say, “We can implement a customized marketing plan for your company that will allow you to save not only money because you are outsourcing it for a lower cost per hour than doing it in house, but also save you time so that you are able to spend less time at work and more time at home with your family.” The more that you can add their personal interests to your presentation the better.
Ask the closing question.
More often than not, after presenting to the client many sales executives end right there, they neglect to ask the closing question and leave the closing up to the client. They assume that after the presentation, the client will automatically decide to buy their product or service. However, believe it or not, most people like to be told what to do, which makes the closing question not optional to raise your sales productivity.
The key to remember is that the closing question is not “would you like to get started now?” The closing question is a question that gives them an option but not the option to say yes or no. Here is an example.
“So is Monday at 8 or 9am good to meet together so that we can get started working on generating a marketing campaign to get higher sales for your company and allowing you to spend less time on marketing and more time at home with your family?
Remember that sales productivity is not based on the products you sell, or the amount of volume you do, it is based on how well you can relate to people. The better you relate to people, the better your B2B sales skills will get. The better your skills become, the less time, effort and money you will be spending with each client; therefore your sales productivity will rise as well as your profits.
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