The Evolution of a Successful Sales Strategy
July 15, 2019
BY THE POND HOPPER TEAM
In 2019, there is one consistent theme that resonates across all industries- whatever success brought you to today, will not be enough to get you to tomorrow.
In today’s competitive landscape, successful sales professionals should always self-evaluate with these two simple questions:
1. Am I doing enough to develop a full sales funnel?
2. Am I developing an account profile which allows me to understand all factors within my potential deal?
If you aren’t constantly thinking about your sales funnel, then you have zero chance of success in a sales career. The first step is deciding who or what your targets will be. Solid professionals have a predetermined set of criteria which defines their perfect customer. Do they use competitive products? Is there a benefit that your product can offer them? Is the source of your information solid and fact based rather than based on rumors or guesses? By qualifying your targets, you can work in an efficient manner to reach as many potential buyers as possible. Qualifying can be completed through cold-calling, online research, word of mouth and through referrals. Use social media, read articles affiliated with your target and use whatever available resources you must to learn as much as possible about your target. It cannot be overstated how important qualifying a target truly is for your business. Time is money and you cannot afford to waste it.
Successful sales funnels show progression. Although we all want to be closing deals every day, that just isn’t the way business works. Deals are closed by progressing a target through the funnel. Based on your business, funnel activity should be defined and measurable so that you are reminded to follow-up, continue conversations and drive sales towards close. By documenting your sales progress by utilizing a CRM (Client Relationship Management) tool, you will not leave warm targets in the funnel. The sales process must be continued. For best results, your company should define and develop a strategy for each activity within the funnel. There are great sales methodologies available and we are happy to make recommendations based on your business’ unique needs.
Faster than ever before, business is changing. In fact, the very definition of a customer or target is changing. Years ago, a sales representative in a complex field such as healthcare was taught to ‘learn their customer’. As a surgical sales representative, for me that meant learning my customer’s personal interests- did they like sports? What school did they graduate from? Do they have a dog? Do they like to discuss their family? Knowing these answers would allow me to carry a long, substance-based conversation focused on one thing, the end user of my product.
Fast forward to today, is the end-user’s approval enough to close a deal? In healthcare, there are many layers of a sale, each with challenging complexities. Is the doctor operating in a hospital which is a member of an IDN or GPO (Integrated Delivery Network and Group Purchasing Organization)? Is there a contract in place with approved pricing which allows the surgeon to use our products should we be able to demonstrate the clinical value? Does our product add value over the competition? These are the questions that all elite sales representatives ask today (these questions can be tailored to any industry. Simply think of it this way- who can say ‘no’ to your deal?).
With fantastic targets but a limited knowledge of your account, your deal will not close. Here are some things that you should be thinking about when profiling your account- who will be your end-user? Who will pay you for use of the product? Do you need a contract and if so, have terms been previously negotiated? By knowing the factors that can derail your deal closing, you can proactively develop a strategy which can best align your proposal with your account. This holistic approach is a proven method to grow your business.
Companies do not win by mistake. Every successful organization has a method, a vision and a defined path to success. Our firm, Pond Hopper was designed to help companies develop an overall commercialization strategy to drive growth. The most important factor in any commercialization’s strategy is how well and how efficiently product can be sold. If you are a business owner, manager or sales professional that would like some help or a second look, set up a free consultation with one of our consultants. We will help you develop a winning strategy for your business. If you can only do three things today, here is what you should do- evaluate your sales funnel, think about how you profile accounts and email Pond Hopper for more information on our plans at email@example.com