If you own a business, you are a sales person. You may not be a very good one, however, you are indeed, in sales. Like it or not. Some business owners resist this fact. This could be because they are fearful that they aren’t adequate when it comes to selling their own product. Or perhaps they subscribe to some of the negative perceptions around the sales process and sales “people”. Whatever the reasons may be, these obstacles need to be overcome. Any successful company must have a skilled sales team, whether that team is comprised of one person or 100. A good product can only be turned into a business if people are using it and buying it. The theory of “if you build it, they will come” is simply a fantasy designed by the movie industry. It’s time to get selling and here is what you need to know about sales as a business owner.
- As the owner, you are the best sales and marketing resource the company has. You more than likely designed your product or service, or at the very least, believed in it enough to heavily invest. Your knowledge, and passion for the product can’t be matched. Make sure you are conveying this knowledge and passion to your customers and staff on a regular basis. Hiding in your office does not create and maintain a healthy sales culture for any organization. Stay connected, and connect those around you to your original vision.
- Determine your strongest value proposition. You may have a lot of great features around your product or service, but it is important to focus on that one thing that your current and future customers can’t live without. Be prepared to get feedback from users of your product and be prepared for criticism. What you may think is your strongest value, may not be in alignment with the customer’s view. Too often companies come at the market with what they think the client needs, rather than providing what the client thinks they need. Survey your customers and prospects on a consistent basis to find out what their needs are. Tweak, adjust, and focus on your value proposition. Constantly. Then find a way to succinctly and effectively convey this value to your employees, customers and prospects.
- Develop a winning team. So you aren’t the person who will be in the trenches selling? Now you will need to hire talented sales staff to get the job done for you. Make no mistake, sales teams can make or break a company. Understand it won’t happen overnight, and that the selection process needs to be done carefully. Utilizing personality profiling and exhaustive interviewing will help you find the right fit for your organization. Make sure you are taking care of your sales employees both financially with an uncapped and generous compensation plan, as well as with respect and consideration for their ability to do what you are either incapable or unable to do. According to Mark Suster, “sales people are the lifeblood of your team”. Good to remember.
- Quit “winging it”. Sales is a science and as soon as you start utilizing the huge amount of data that is available, the better. Maybe your sales staff has told you “scripts don’t work” or they are more successful when they just “shoot from the hip”. Nonsense. You’ve just been sold. Can you imagine if your favorite football team decided that they didn’t need to practice or review plays? What if everyone on that football team decided to just “wing it” at game time? Everyone would be running in different directions, with no plan, or organization at all. Even though they all have the same goal, without a structured plan and lots of practice, no one would be winning any games.
So now that you know better, it is time to do better! It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get out there! The possibilities are endless for you and your company. Need some help implementing some of the ideas above? Need a coach to show your team how to win? Contact g2 media pros.