As business owners, we want to get the maximum benefit out of every cost associated with our business. After all, any cost greater than the benefit from it – will lead to negative profitability and financial loss in the management of the business.
We will answer a number of questions that will answer the main doubts common among business owners who wish to establish a sales system:
- Is it effective to hire “door-to-door” sales agents?
- Is it effective to establish a sales center with several sales representatives?
- Is it worth hiring skilled sales representatives?
- Is it effective to recruit employees without actual experience and to induct them?
- Telephone sales call procedure
- “TO DO LIST” in a sales call
- Main tips for effective management of sales representatives
After all, these issues are particularly important and affect every business, whatever it is. An efficient sales team will be able to significantly increase the general sales cycle and maintain the company’s profitability – our main goal.
We will first examine the pros and cons between each issue and make a realistic decision.
“Door-to-door” sales agents
The benefits of face-to-face meetings with potential clients
- You can get an impression of the client’s offices and get a first impression by the dress code, size and visibility of the company’s offices, manner of conduct in the office, number of employees. Is it a large company with several branches, or a relatively medium/small company?
- Face-to-face meetings are effective in creating trust with the client. You can see that we did make time especially for him and came to answer his questions and understand his needs.
- It is easier to diagnose the client’s interest and understand whether the meeting is indeed successful or less interesting.
- Sometimes it is easier to simply go to the offices of a potential client and draw his attention to a product/service that we would like to offer.
The disadvantages of face-to-face meetings with potential clients
- Car expenses/taxi services – a relatively expensive detail, especially when a decision is made that every salesperson will travel by car.
- Ability to reach local customers only.
- You can make 5-7 meetings a day (one sales person’s working day in selected areas).
- Operation of the sales process after the meeting with the client. Sometimes it takes a number of steps and therefore there are times when you need to hire an additional employee who will respond to the sales person in terms of operations for the other departments in the company.
- In cases of low closing percentages, it is more difficult to point out the problems and provide accurate training in order to improve the closing percentage.
Telemarketing (sales over the phone) team
The advantages of managing a telemarketing team
- One sales representative can make a large number of calls in a working day and reach more potential customers (8-9 working hours you can make 50-60 sales calls, assuming there are enough leads – details of interested potential customers).
- It is possible to reach local and international customers sitting in different parts of the world, thus addressing many target audiences.
- Very fast operation of sending quotes/contracts.
- A very organized ability to follow up the sales representatives, which includes listening to conversations, analyzing conversations and providing highly effective training and coaching.
- There are very effective chatbot engines that help to manage the sale and understand the customer’s needs.
The disadvantages of a telemarketing team
- There are many factors that can distract the potential client during the conversation, therefore a high level of listening ability is required on the part of the client.
- There is difficulty in identifying and diagnosing an interested or just curious customer.
- The sense of sight does not play a role here, so the ability to convey the message through conversation alone should be very high and to the point.
Following these challenges, a particularly high skill is required in understanding the telephone sales process, correct handling of customer objections and direct action.
As soon as we know how to deal with telephone sales management in the best way, we will discover that the sales process here is considered the most efficient in terms of cost versus benefit. It is possible to produce extremely high closing percentages while maintaining the profitability of the transaction we would like to make.
Telemarketing tips – TO DO LIST
- Lead the conversation – show confidence and lead the conversation. Don’t forget the main purpose for which you called the customer – a sale! Developing chemistry with the customer is always good and helpful, but don’t cross the line and forget that you are calling to sell to him and not just asking about his well-being.
- Ask relevant questions – the right questions will help a lot in the sales process. The main key to sales lies right here. Asking focused questions can show the customer the main need for your product/service and convince him to buy from you without too much effort. Show him his need and direct the conversation according to the answers you receive.
- Encourage the customer – we all as humans need some encouragement before making decisions. Encourage your customers that they are really making a correct and effective decision that should help them. Don’t push a customer a product/service they don’t really use.
- Find the customer’s needs – ascertaining exact customer needs will focus you on the product/service that best suits him and thus you can offer only what he is looking for. That way he will really listen to you and want to move forward on the issue.
- Listen to the customer – make sure to listen and not hear the customer. Active listening will save you a lot of confusion and uncertainty. People like to be listened to and you will be surprised how much you can learn about your customer just by listening and paying attention to details. Leverage the details said in the conversation for efficient service.
- Drive to action – in the end everything boils down to this action. Motivation to action will lead to the sale itself, the transfer of money. Without this action, the sales call becomes a call of interest only, small talk and information about the product/service free of charge. Your representatives’ time is very valuable and they must lead the conversation to purchase from the customer.
- Talk to the point – don’t tell stories and focus on two main things: What does the customer get? And how much does the same product/service cost? Of course, emphasize the benefits and tell about the product/run, but it is advisable to explain in simple words without using irrelevant concepts that the customer is not familiar with. The more simply you convey your message, the more the customer will pay without raising many objections.
- Use your knowledge wisely – learn from world poker players. Don’t reveal all your cards right at the start. Use your knowledge of the product/service in a way that provides enough information and still interests the customer. There are situations where many salespeople spill too much information, until the customer obtains your product/service in another way. You just led him to do so (unintentionally of course).
- Play with the tone of voice – it is very difficult to concentrate on phone calls. A little playing with the tone of voice (emphasize certain words you choose) will help a lot in the matter with the client. Our brain works in such a way that many sounds affect the way we listen. Take advantage of this in conversation and speak clearly and strongly.
- Keep calm – the customer is not aware that you have goals and that you need him to buy from you in order to meet them. Do not convey pressure and let him understand that you are trying to offer him products/services that will really help him. Once the customer feels that you are stressed and nervous, he will not hesitate to bump into the sale and most likely you will lose the sale.
- Read between the lines – the customer will not always tell you their real needs or even their concerns. This could be because there is a situation where the client does not know how to articulate and explain himself or perhaps does not even trust you. Try to read between the lines and understand what exactly he means. Try to direct him and get his needs/concerns out of him without pressuring too much. Do it with understanding and pleasantness.
- Treat the customer politely – good and efficient customer service will probably lead to a quality sale. Don’t push the customer too much and find the balance between your listening and driving the customer to make a purchase.
Should we hire skilled sales representatives?
Or to hire employees without actual experience and train them?
A very well known issue, not only in the field of sales.
In order to reach a rational decision, let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of each of the strategies:
Recruitment of skilled sales representatives
- They have actual experience and know exactly how to sell and manage time correctly.
- Plug & Play – can start working quite immediately, without the need for significant overlap. but only technical training on the product/service.
- There are representatives who can deliver sales training to new employees.
- They usually come with a certain emotional “cargo” from previous workplaces and it is not easy to adapt them to a new way that includes procedures and a different work order from the one they are familiar with.
- Sometimes they demand a high base salary + high sales commissions.
- Sometimes it is thought that they are quite experts in the field of sales and it is not easy to teach them new strategies.
- You will usually recruit them through placement companies and pay a certain amount for their recruitment.
Recruitment of sales representatives without any experience
- Usually come clean, motivated and ready to learn almost anything.
- It is easier to induct them, more open to listening and learning procedures, sales strategies and time management.
- It is relatively easy to find them and recruit them, usually they are those who have finished military service, students/about to graduate or other settings.
- The recruitment usually comes from social networks, a friend brings a friend, designated placement companies.
- Quite open and even interested in working evening shifts when necessary.
- Several months can pass until you see full output, ongoing sales and a fairly proficient understanding of the products/services + understanding of the sales strategy.
- Today, most of them are veterans of military service, students/about to graduate, etc., you really don’t know when they will leave and the turnover of these workers is quite high.
- They are usually at the beginning of their careers and do not always find themselves satisfied with their work.
- Sometimes they will search for several jobs at the same time.
Take advantage of the fact that less skilled sales representatives come to you fairly clean (“smooth page”). How you teach them – that’s how they will behave.