How do you feel about achieving your targets this year?

Economic uncertainty  is still affecting confidence in some sectors.

The confidence and capability of your sales teams is at the heart of your future.

What can you do to ensure you meet your sales and profit targets?

Here are some tactics which will help make sure you invest your time, energy and budget wisely. Our tips are based on effective customer contact by telephone and face to face. All will help you achieve sales targets.

Achieving Targets Tactic #1 Help your front line deal with price objections

Most people talk about the cost of living. Your front line might be very sympathetic to their customers.

  • do your front line understand the impact of heavy discounting on your bottom line?
  • do they understand business enough to understand the impact of discounting on profits?
  • do they know which products are “bullet proof” i.e. which should never be discounted, product & availability your rivals can’t compete with ?
  • do they know how to offer added value when making concessions?
  • are they confident in what you offer versus your main competitors?
  • do they understand the difference between price and cost?
  • do they know who and when they should be doing a deal with?
  • can they overcome price objections?
  • do they understand the variables they have to negotiate with?

Achieving Targets Tactic # 2 Increase your average order value.

Every call, every order, every opportunity gives you the chance to cross sell and upsell your goods and services.

Do your people know the “go-withs” and the automatic questions they should ask?

When a customer says “I’d like to buy a stapler” do they respond ”Certainly, would you like any staples to go with that?”

Can you be creative by bundling products together for better value purchases for your customers?

Good Call Handling Skills make a huge difference to customer satisfaction (because customer service is high); improve your cash flow (because fewer mistakes are made and invoice queries are minimised), enhance your bottom line and long term account profitability.

Achieving Targets Tactic # 3 Know your customers.

Do your people know the key accounts in your business? The one it would hurt like hell to lose. Often, people’s time can drain away working on smaller time consuming accounts.

This can often happen if you trade through a network of branches, depots or regional centres, where people may not understand the bigger picture. It’s important that everyone understands how much key accounts mean to your business.

Do they know which accounts have the most potential? If they ask the right questions they will be able to help customers grow their business and yours.

Focus your people on frequent buyers, high spenders, and real potential.

Achieving Targets Tactic # 4 Be business intelligent.

Focus time and energy on accounts where there will be most payoff. This might be in best performing sectors or markets, or accounts with the most potential.

Achieving Targets Tactic # 5 Focus on your existing customers.

When times are tough, the reaction is often to try to get more new business in. And that might be appropriate for you to do, but not at the expense of your existing customers.
The reality is that you will generate business more readily, more quickly and more cost effectively from your existing customers. You will need to defend your key customers from competitor activity as these are the customers that will seem more appealing to your competitors in a downturn.

Achieving Targets Tactic # 6 Lapsed accounts can bring in additional sales

Re-generate accounts that have stopped trading with you. It may be that you have let them down, so calling them will give you the opportunity to put that right.
However, in our experience of surveying client’s customers many say that you just forgot about them, and someone else started to call. Make sure you have a regular and meaningful contact strategy.

Achieving Targets Tactic # 7 Win new customers

Target profitable new business. If you do need to win new business, then be intelligent about it. Write down the criteria that are important to you in your ideal customer or client.
Start with your existing customer base, what is it that makes a client your best? It might be that they pay on time, that they collaborate with you rather than treating you as a supplier. It might be that they are within 20 miles of your office and therefore make deliveries more economic. Build up a profile of your ideal client, and then target businesses who fit that profile.

Achieving Targets Tactic # 8 Where will you get most payoff from your activity?

Increase budgets in best performing markets. Focus your sales and marketing activity on those markets where you will get best results. It’s all about the return on your investment.

Achieving Targets Tactic # 9 Keep in touch

Remember people will not buy from you based on one contact. Think about the most vital product supplied to your business. Would you change suppliers based on one call or email? The answer is probably not, unless they make an offer you can’t refuse, which means they are probably selling on price. And even then, would that persuade you to move suppliers? Is that sustainable –it’s unlikely. Yes times can be hard, but if you get drawn into selling on price, your profits will suffer, and sales activity should be about maintaining pipeline, cash flow while protecting price and profits.

Think about how you deploy your internal and external sales people to keep in touch with your customers. Use face to face sales people for profitable accounts you want to gain or retain. Use the telephone for specific sales, retention campaigns and business intelligence.

Achieving Targets Tactic  # 10 Stay motivated and build resilience

Help keep yourself and your team motivated. It can be hard to find the energy when the odds seem stacked against you. Your attitude and your action can help you, your motivation and your outcomes. Developing skills and therefore confidence can have a huge impact on your ability to achieve your sales targets.

To understand more about achieving targets, call us now on 0845 450 0988

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