- Start with a realistic plan
The American founding father Benjamin Franklin is acknowledged for a famous quote that applies to salespeople who live by commission – “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. One surefire way to succeed in sales is to have a realistic plan to achieve your goal. If your commission goal requires you to close $5 Million in sales over the next year then you need to determine how many opportunities you need to win to hit that goal. If your average sale is $500,000, then you need 10 successfully closed opportunities in the year. How many leads will you need to call on to make your target? Well, start from the goal and work backwards:
- $5 million in sales, average revenue of 500,000. You need ten sales per year.
- Ten sales per year – but you only close 40 percent of your opportunities, therefore you need to work 25 Opportunities during the year
- Finally, If only one out of twenty leads converts to an opportunity during the year, then you need to qualify 500 leads during the year.
If you need 500 leads per year to reach your goal, will the marketing efforts currently in place ensure your success? That is a discussion for another blog post!
- Keep that pipeline clean
Successful salespeople learn that a focus on the opportunities likely to have the largest return with the smallest amount of risk will lead to sales success. For salespeople the pipeline is a clear-cut symbol of the effectiveness of their work. In CRM you can track opportunities by their sales stage, estimated revenue and projected closing date. However, some salespeople use the pipeline as a place to stash stale or dead opportunities. Keeping stale opportunities open past their freshness date results in an inflated pipeline and less of an ability to focus on the opportunities that can be closed.
- Take a second look at your old leads
Have you thought about the potential goldmine in your disqualified leads and opportunities? If you lost a potential sale a year or two ago to a competitor or no decision was made, now is the time to follow up with them on their choice. More likely than not, if they were having any sort of issues they have already had the time to work out the bugs. If the bugs still exist they may be back in the market for a better solution. Timing can be everything!
While reviewing old leads, make sure you are keeping your data clean. Nothing is more useless than out of date contact information or accounts where you contacts have moved on to new titles or positions. Use InsideView to sync up the latest information about who is who at each company. Has the Sales Director moved on? InsideView can help you identify who has that position today. To learn more about InsideView, click here.
A cornerstone of Dynamics CRM functionality is the 360 degree view of client data. Open any account record and you can see all of the opportunities, contacts and cases associated with the account. You can find out who was the last person to talk to your client or have there been any recent Service Cases. Being ready to talk to your client about their experiences with others in the organization will leave quite an impression!
Also work with other salespeople to find out what is working for them. Everyone has their own style. Observe how someone else does it to re-inspire your pitch. Be prepared to change your old ways, because everyone gets in a rut every now and then too. Freshen it up and go at it again…and again.
- Get mobile
This is 2015! If you are sitting at your desk waiting for leads and opportunities to come to you, then you clearly skipped step 1. No matter how realistic you think your goal is, you have to get up and get out there to make it happen. With mobile clients for CRM from Microsoft or Resco, you can keep up to date with client information from anywhere. That means you have MORE opportunities to meet that goal and surpass it. As another famous successful man once said, “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop”– Confucius
- Take a minute and learn something every day.
Microsoft (and its partners) put out tons of blog posts, forums and user guides to help users to make the best of a great application. Recently Microsoft released a new Downloadable booklet for salespeople called Microsoft Dynamics CRM Basics Guide. This guide includes essential information so you can navigate CRM, and manage your sales cycle. Each section is short and sweet which allows you to quickly take in new knowledge! And if you really like the book, you can customize it to fit the unique business processes that you use to manage your sales.