Pin Me

In a Sales Slump? Find Out How to Increase Sales Here!

written by: •edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 8/14/2011

If you’re in sales, I know you’ve been here—your manager is screaming about quotas and profits and you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what to do! Fear not—all is not lost—there are many ways to improve your sales if you try some new ideas.

  • slide 1 of 12

    Reaching Your Goals

    Set Some Goals It’s not just your boss that wants to improve your sales process and customer growth—you do too right? In these days of consumers choosing where to spend their money and on what, customer service may be king, so to compete in sales and stay top in your field, you have to develop some new ideas. Here, we look at the top ten ways to be different and work your way to the top of the sales leaderboard.

  • slide 2 of 12

    1. Skip the Sad Sack Attitude

    Just because sales aren’t where you want them to be it doesn’t mean that sad sack attitude will get you anywhere. Your sales co-workers don’t care and neither do your competitors so change the attitude. How can you do this?

    First, look in the mirror before you set out for a day of sales. Has your appearance slipped? Is that winning smile hidden somewhere? Believe it or not, people (meaning customers) are happier with happy, well-groomed sales people so if you’re lacking here—change fast.

  • slide 3 of 12

    2. Invest in Software

    There are many sales tracking software packages including cloud-based packages. These software programs not only help track your sales, they can also show you profits on each sale (which should make you smile and help with tip number one above) and get a better handle on staying in contact with customers and are also great tools to follow up on sales leads.

    If you don’t have the cash to spare on a paid subscription to SalesForce, check out Bright Hub’s review of the top free client tracking software.

  • slide 4 of 12

    3. Ask the Right Questions

    Be a Great Sales Person Do you know what your customers (or potential customers) really want? If not, you aren’t asking the right questions. If you’re trying to sell them A and the really want B, your close ratios will be poor. Sure you might make a higher profit on A, but if your B sales increase to optimal levels won’t you really be making money?

    Take the time to prepare a few questions such as what are you looking for and when? What price ranges are you thinking about and are there features you can’t live without? Knowing what your customers want guarantees sales.

  • slide 5 of 12

    4. Don’t Drop the Ball on Existing Customers

    If you do this, you are losing out on the all-important referral! Many sales people once the customer is hooked, has signed on the bottom line and gone home with a new product simply forget about them and that’s not an effective way to improve your sales process and customer growth.

    Referral and bird dog fees may come out of your bottom line but think of the customers you will gain. When closing the deal, make a referral bonus card part of your close and do offer either cold hard cash or something free for any referrals given.

  • slide 6 of 12

    5. Be a Pest

    If you do this, you are losing out on the all-important referral! Many sales people once the customer is hooked, has signed on the bottom line and gone home with a new product simply forget about them and that’s not an effective way to improve your sales process and customer growth.

    Referral and bird dog fees may come out of your bottom line but think of the customers you will gain. When closing the deal, make a referral bonus card part of your close and do offer either cold hard cash or something free for any referrals given.

  • slide 7 of 12

    6. Product Clinics Are Not a Waste of Time

    Show Off Your Products In the auto industry to gain customers they hold what are called customer care clinics and this type of venue can be applied to any product or service. All it takes is offering a small something (usually free) and making follow-up calls to ensure your guests will be attending.

    At your clinic, show off various products and features. Talk about upcoming pricing discounts or even offer discounts to only those showing up at your clinic. To improve customer growth, you should hold these invites at least once a month.

  • slide 8 of 12

    7. Become a BFF

    How are your sales tactics? Do you watch customers while they walk around or do you introduce yourself and ask if they need any help or have questions? They say the average consumer doesn’t want to be engaged, but that old saying is a thing of the past—in fact, your customers want to be engaged and schmoozed up!

    You can gain trust by being a sales detective. If a customer is wearing a sports team shirt—this should become your favorite team when you say “Hey I’m a fan too!" If a customer is carrying the latest tech gadget, ask about it and be interested. If they have a picture of their pet hanging from their keychain—that’s also your new favorite pet so talk about the personal stuff. The more you engage your customers the more they will trust you and buy from you.

  • slide 9 of 12

    8. Set Goals and Review

    Do you set monthly, quarterly or yearly goals? Sure your manager may set goals for you but do you really take the time to set your own?

    You don’t have to share your goals with anyone else and if you don’t meet the ones you set, take time to review and see if you can determine what went wrong. Did you not follow up? Did you skip something in your sales process? Change goals as things improve and review again—and again.

  • slide 10 of 12

    9. Peer Input

    Use Peer Input The guy in the next cubicle isn’t going to help you—he’s trying as hard as you! But what about some real peer input? Social media websites such as LinkedIn provide professional profiles and many of those are sales professionals.

    Obtain advice from those not in your direct market. What are they doing and what is or is not working for them? Have they just started a great campaign that’s working—if so, pick their brain and ask if you can use some of their ideas. Chances are you will be able to because they are not your direct competitor.

  • slide 11 of 12

    10. Think Outside the Box

    They say if it’s not broken, don’t fix it. This isn’t always true for sales people. Times change, different generations have different wants and needs and the same old sales pitch may not work all the time. Sure your Grandpa used the same pitch for years but it’s now time for you to be innovative and think outside of the box.

    If you can’t come up with your own new ideas, invest in some sales training—sure those seminar trainers can be sappy but most likely what they’re offering will work or else they wouldn’t be booked in every city and town right?

  • slide 12 of 12

    Reap the Rewards

    Following these ten tips on improving your sales process to increase customer growth will help but you can’t drop the ball when sales start to rise. Sales people face a challenge most don’t on a day-to-day basis. They need to work for their money by convincing folks to purchase a product or service and that can be tough.

    Always take time to revisit everything about your sales process from presentation to close—quarterly or annually is a good idea, especially if co-workers are winning the top spot on the sales leader board and you’re at the bottom.

    Consumers do have to buy and you are a sales person so go out and sell by reinventing and reinvesting in how you sell.