Improve Sales – How to Improve Sales?

Introduction

Improving sales performance can be done in a number of ways.

  • Identifying existing customer needs and requirements by conducting a survey of your customers.
  • Identifying new potential customers with a prospect study
  • An assessment of sales skills and sales time study will increase efficiency and will increase sales

By doing an analysis of how a Salesperson spends their time, making changes to maximize sales and customer contact time, there can be an increase in sales.   Sometimes the Salesperson will make the corrections after the analysis.   Other people require the manager to make the changes.

  • The Salesperson should complete the form weekly and discuss it with their manager weekly, if sales need to increase significantly.  The form could also be used for a                                                              month or two and then discontinued after the changes that are made result in an increase in sales.
  • The Other Non-Sales time should be reduced to a minimum of less than 10% of the total time in a week.   The Sales Administration should also be efficient, with other employees providing research or support to assist the Salesperson to reduce their administration time.
  • The Sales Time should be approximately 80% or more of a sales person’s time.  How that time is used is also critical to success.   It must be planned, well organized, efficient, and    get results.   The quality or type of prospect is important so time is not wasted on unlikely prospects or accounts that are too small.  Also, most prospects are only turned into clients by in-person sales, not mail, Fax, or telephone.  Scheduling of trips, confirming appointments, etc., are important to effectively conduct a sales plan.

Excerpts from Company Success Toolbox

IV. Sales/Income Increase Plan:

A.B.C.D. Identifying Customer Needs:

The first step is to determine your customers’ needs. Either conduct Market Research by retaining a company to provide a report on customer needs (see following sample) or conduct your own Customer Requirements Survey (see form enclosed).

The next step is to change the way you do business to fit the
customers’ needs you identified. It could be your products, services,

or customer service that should be improved. Only then will you be
on your way to accomplishing the Company Profit Improvement Plan.

E.F. Increasing business development is the best way to increase sales. By using the Prospect Report (enclosed) with each Salesperson, you will be able to identify what each Salesperson is doing to generate new business. Then you can take action to ensure they are doing what is necessary to realize their sales goals. Also, The Sales Time Study is particularly useful to identify if Sales People have enough time available to make the new prospect calls and sales. If they don’t, then changes can be made so they do.

G.H. The follow through to ensure customer satisfaction and retention can be accomplished by use of a Customer Survey (see enclosure). It should be tailored to your business and given or sent to your customers for a confidential reply. Also, any customer complaint or problem should not only be resolved but tracked to detect any trends in services (see enclosure).

I. A basic Marketing/sales plan (see enclosure) can then be developed to assist the Sales People with products, literature, ads, etc., along with a plan to ensure they are focused on high margin accounts, new customers, retention, etc.

PROSPECT REPORT:

The Prospect Report should be completed weekly by the Salesperson and discussed with their manager, either bi-weekly if a large improvement in sales is needed, or monthly if sales are on target.

  • Prospect/Contact/Source Section: List any prospect, who the primary contact is, and the source
    for the prospect. An analysis of sources is important to see where the leads are being generated. The prospects can be listed by size,
    type of business, geographical location, etc.
  • Estimated Contract Amount:
    Indicate the service or product needed and an estimate of the potential contract. This helps to keep the focus on larger prospects.
  • Contacts – Telephone, Visit, Mail: This shows the amount of contact, the type and the frequency. This will indicate when follow-ups are required.
  • Proposal, Date, Amount:
    This section is a reminder so appropriate follow-up can be made after the proposal.
  • Status, Follow-up Action: At any stage of the process of getting business the right follow-up at the right time is necessary to get the business.