Four Counterintuitive Sales Strategies That Will Increase Leads And Drive Revenue

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When it comes to driving revenue, we all want to motivate our sales teams to greater results. But while I’ve used traditional sales techniques over the years, I’ve recently tried some new techniques that have shaken up what I thought I knew about sales. At Fishbowl, we grew through the Great Recession and beyond with several counterintuitive sales strategies. Rather than focusing on short-term tactics, we took a long-term approach that increased our leads and close rate by as much as 77%.

Want to reinvigorate your sales team’s success? Break away from traditional techniques and consider these four tried-and-true strategies.

  • Avoid hiring sales stars. You know the “sales guru” who always hits top results, while everybody else in the department is compared to this competitive star? These stars insist on working alone. That is the wrong strategy. Instead of that hot shot, hire people who thrive in a team environment. While competition can be an effective motivational tool, encourage and reward employees for how they work as a team overall. This gives managers the opportunity to develop and retain talented team players. “Sales thrive in this kind of competitive environment and team spirit,” said Blogger Steli Efti. “And staying afloat in an ocean of rejection will be a lot easier with a supportive team, too.”  Even when the economy is thriving, the dog-eat-dog sales management strategies of times past don’t work like they used to. Salespeople need to work with each other, from the perspective of the customer’s point of view. They need to be great presenters and even better listeners. So let go of the hotshots and support the team players—you’ll see your sales increase.
  • Don’t slash prices. Even when the economy is down, resist the urge to offer discounts. Don’t give your product away. Compete by offering the best quality and service and a unique product. Create a specialized niche (such as inventory control) and reinforce your competitive advantage.“When prices can’t be lowered, focus on the ways you’re ahead of your competitors in terms of quality,” said Simon Casuto of eLearning Mind. “Clients care about price, but they care more about the quality of what they’re getting for their money… Clients are willing to pay higher prices to have a partner, not a just a hired gun, working for them.” At Fishbowl, we learned during the recession that if we held strong on our prices and even enacted a price increase, we succeeded. While our competitors desperately slashed prices in an effort to boost revenues, we realized we couldn’t afford to be disingenuous to the customers we already had. For us, it was a winning strategy.
  • Ditch the extra incentives. In the depths of the Great Recession, our sales VP, trying to avoid cutting commissions, told the sales team that the traditional sales incentives (e.g., flat-screen TVs, iPads, trips and prizes) were going to disappear. People in the industry told us we were insane to consider this option, and, in all honesty, we didn’t know what to expect. Our sales team respected our dedication to protecting their commissions, and they showed their appreciation by selling harder and better. Surprisingly, sales steadily grew through the recession. And now, seven years later, we still don’t offer those sales incentive rewards. Instead, our salespeople’s incomes and commissions have grown steadily. We’ve created a winning culture by investing in lead generation and other support systems to help them succeed.
  • Provide top-notch customer support. Your next level of new revenue may come from renewals, add-ons and upsells. Drive all these revenues by redoubling your focus on after-sale service and first-class customer support. John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products and founder of Patrón tequila, said in an interview with Entrepreneur Magazine: “If you are doing the right things with your business, cold calls will become a thing of the past. Don’t be in the business of selling,” Dejoria said. “You should be in the ‘reordering’ business.” Securing this reordering business will largely be the responsibility of the customer support team. The importance of your customer support team cannot be overstated. These are the people you need to keep and upsell to your hard-won customers. When customer account managers work as a team to make customers happy and provide them with additional solutions, revenues will soar.

It’s time to challenge tired sales philosophies and try something new. By avoiding sales hot shots, holding firm on prices, cutting sales incentives, and investing in customer support, we have grown steadily—even during the worst economic recession in recent history. Use these same principles, and watch your business grow.

 

 
[“source-forbes”]