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Sales is not a sprint but a marathon!!

I happened to watch a portion of a documentary on marathon running. What I learnt is that it calls for more preparation than what is required for a sprint. Endurance is key for a marathon.

While speed and agility are important for a Sprint, one should save energy and stay in the game at a consistent pace, to be successful in a Marathon. But both require stringent practice. It’s needless to state that the training is completely different for each.

What can we learn from these and apply in our day to day Sales situations?

  1. Sales is not done on a level playing field.
  2. Techniques are for short term whereas in the longer term these simply don’t work.
  3. While a good start can give us a boost and make us look confident, it is only consistent performance that is going to keep us in good stead in the long term.
  4. Practice makes us perfect. So, let’s start practicing.
  5. Each situation is different. It may be a well laid out road / a pathway / a narrow path filled with stones or thorns / an uphill or downhill and it may rain / shine. Just like running a marathon, Sales situations also call for using our judgement on the ground.
  6. We should use our limited resources in a rationale manner.
  7. Let’s be prepared for the long haul.
  8. We may have to incorporate changes [slowing down or picking up speed] as we go along.
  9. We should focus on the rhythm and keep going forward.
  10. We should have less burn out for maximum productivity.
  11. We should know the route map well and be prepared for the encounters on the way.
  12. Most importantly we should enjoy the journey.

Some portions of a marathon resembles a sprint. So, the techniques will come in handy. We must be trained to handle such sudden sprints as well. And we should respond with speed and agility when the situation demands.

So, Sales is not just a marathon but a “series of sprints” as well. Success in one sprint or couple of sprints don’t guarantee success in the marathon. Marathon is a different ball game altogether.

If we know how to enjoy it, it will be a breeze.

Happy Learning!

Happy Selling!!

Contact us at:

sales at zignalytics dot com

#sales #salestips #crm

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An Interior Designer reveals his secret!

I asked him how me manages his customer data, in the hope that I will generate interest for a CRM.

He is my friend. And it was a casual conversation. He laughed & said “we don’t have too much data to manage”.

What he said after that makes sense.

He said that he & his team complete the interior designing of a flat or a villa or an office space & hand it over to customers. We make sure that they are happy, he said. They refer customers to us & most of our business comes only through word of mouth & referral, he added.

He said, he mostly gets invited for the inauguration of the property. It is there he meets his prospective customers. Now there’s the secret sauce. Hang on for a second. He said, if those people, his customer’s friends & relatives, who come for the inaugural function, like his work, they will take his business card & call him when they have a need.

This is nothing but in-bound marketing coupled with social proof, touch & feel & non salesy approach all put together. What more can you ask for? He has all the relevant marketing strategies with right mix & proportion. It is a well oiled machinery. It will take care of itself.

He should only concentrate now on deliveries, quality, speed & customer satisfaction. Fantastic, isn’t it?

Some pointers for us, to work on:

  1. Be where our customers are.
  2. Be non-salesy.
  3. Provide social proof.
  4. Let the word of mouth spread.
  5. Provide good customer service.
  6. Create a community of happy customers.
  7. Let our customers touch & feel. Test Drive, Free Trial, Freemium, Freebies, what have you?
  8. Get referrals. No sales involved with the referred prospect. Our customers do the marketing & sales for us.
  9. Pick up the phone. Meet face to face.
  10. Be friendly. After all, we don’t live to sell or do business & make money. Only.

Happy Marketing!

Happy Selling!!

sales @ zignalytics .com

#marketing #inbound-marketing #wordofmouth #referral

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Great Conversations start with empathy

All of us humans have a basic need to be understood. What we stand for, why we do what we do, where are we going & what gives us satisfaction. This is the core of all human beings.

Let us think for a moment when was the last time we had a great conversation with someone. If you go deeper into that conversation you will understand that it was EMPATHY that struck a great conversation.

Even your foes will listen to you if you empathise with them. And may finally agree with you and even work with you. Who knows, you both can even become great partners.

In Sales, empathy plays a very important role.

Customers will do business only with someone who understands them completely.

It is great conversations that lead to great relationships. In Life and in Business.

So, how do we start and have great conversations?

Some thoughts:

  1. Ask open ended questions – for ex, what gives them energy and/or drive?
  2. Acknowledge their work, achievements & challenges.
  3. Admire their +ve qualities.
  4. Ask for advice.
  5. Talk about something that you learnt recently.
  6. Share interesting anecdotes. Who doesn’t like to hear stories?
  7. Talk about some challenges you faced & how you dealt with them.
  8. Keep up the momentum. No dull moments ever.
  9. Move forward: Always talk about your dreams, goals, ambitions.
  10. Deliver Juice: Some ideas that will make you both travel in the same direction together.

Happy Conversing!

Happy Selling!!

#greatconversations #sales

sales at zignalytics.com

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What helped me win deals & what didn’t?

It has been a roller coaster ride for me in the school of entrepreneurship. Once you become an entrepreneur, nobody tells you what to do and what not to do. You are the boss. And the buck stops at your table.

Well, choosing to have a mentor is definitely a good option. Even if you don’t have mentors, you should have some friends as your sounding board.

When I dissect my years of Sales experience, I can confidently say what helped me win deals and what didn’t.

What helped me win deals?

  1. My expertise.
  2. Becoming well known for my expertise.
  3. Meeting the decision maker face to face.
  4. Having tons of credibility.
  5. Being friendly yet professional.
  6. Slogging to gain the “trusted adviser” position.
  7. Selling myself in the first place and not the product or service.
  8. Providing value.
  9. Not selling on price.
  10. Valuing the relationship more than the deal.

What didn’t help me?

  1. The opposites of the above list – Quoting low price, not providing enough value, focusing on the deal & not on building the relationship etc.
  2. When I didn’t have any energy.
  3. Not understanding customer requirements.
  4. Not validating the prospects.
  5. Rushing the sales process and getting to the proposal stage too fast.

And tons of learning in the process. Still learning.

What were your learning? Have you ever thought about your peak performance and what went in to get that result. There lies the secret.

Step no. 1: Dissect your past peak performance.

Step no. 2: Repeat it.

Step no. 3: Fine tune it.

Step no. 4: Go to step no. 1.

Happy Learning!

Happy Selling!!

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StoryTelling is a must have skill in Sales!!

 

StoryTelling

  1. StoryTelling is an Art. The good news is that you can learn and become a good storyteller.
  2. You can inspire & motivate people with Stories.
  3. With stories, you can engage people well and people will generally flock to you.
  4. In Sales and in all other functions [more so in sales], it is very important to build your personal brand. And StoryTelling can help build your personal brand.
  5. It can help in Sales by effectively helping the prospect visualize and connect.
  6. It helps in communicating your point without explicitly talking about it.
  7. Syncing of brains or mirroring of brains or in other words neural coupling happens in good storytelling. The listener is able to predict what you will say next. Perfect syncing.
  8. You make yourself interesting. You are not making some boring presentations to make a sale. Never.
  9. The idea is to engage the audience in rapt attention. Idea is not to sell. That happens eventually anyway. You sell without actually selling.
  10. Some ideas for your Stories – your experience in community building from college / university, how a prospect faced problems and what you did to solve them, stories of gut and determination, stories of people who faced adverse conditions yet became hugely successful, how someone won in spite of huge opposition, how somebody helped another person while his/her own condition is helpless, how somebody turned around a loss making company etc.

Happy StoryTelling. For more info, you could also visit: https://bit.ly/2sl38us

Happy Selling!!

 

Photo Credit: Photo by Phil Coffman on Unsplash

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What rules to remember when making cold calls?

Cold calling is important to ensure steady flow of leads for your business. But how & where do you start and what rules to follow during cold calls?

  1. Don’t ever think cold calling is a waste of time.
  2. Dedicate a time of the day to call.
  3. Do not talk about product features. Talk only about the benefits it brings to your customers.
  4. Don’t highlight your company’s achievements. Prospects are not interested and are least bothered.
  5. They are interested only in their situation and how your products or services are going to help them.
  6. Know what you are selling.
  7. Be confident.
  8. Empathize with your prospects.
  9. Qualify them.
  10. Without fail, fix up a follow up call or activity.

Get in touch with us, if you need any help.

#prospecting #coldcalling #sales #crm

Write to us at: sales at zignalytics.com

Happy Selling!!

 

Photo Credit: Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

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Sell without any fear

There was a lead that came in few months ago. As I normally do, I sent out an introductory email with details, fact sheet and other basic information about our product. No selling whatsoever. First of all, I don’t sell. I help customers solve problems.

Followed by the introductory email, I called the customer the next day. Fortunately, I got the same person on the phone to whom I had written. I introduced myself with a smile on my face. [It shows up on your voice, they say.] I thanked him for giving us an opportunity to serve his company. The conversation suddenly ended with the customer saying “currently we are not using this thing”. While I was deciphering what he had just said and hanging on the phone, the customer banged on the phone after he said what he said.

I did not call him back. But I should qualify the lead. What should I do now?  I decided to send him an email. The following was the content of the email:

Chirag,

This has reference to the call I had with you just now. You said “currently we are not using this thing” and disconnected while I was still talking to you. I am here to help you. If you are facing any issues with Pipeliner CRM, please let me know. I will be able to help you get the most out of Pipeliner CRM.

Are you the head of sales ? If not, can you please introduce me to your head of sales ?

Normally, all of us have a very bad notion of sales people. We think that they are here to defraud us. Remember, your company has Sales people too. Do you want your customers to treat you and your sales people exactly the same way you treated me? I guess not. Right?

I am the Founder and CEO of Zignalytics CRM Consulting Private Limited. I have been in business for 14 years and I have a total of 24 years of experience. I am not here to cheat anyone.

If you need any help with Pipeliner CRM, feel free to call me on my mobile no: +91-98455-57401.

Thanks and Regards,
Kannan

Well this email had a response. He apologized and said there was some issue with the telephone network. And he said they bought another product and will not be able to migrate for the next 4-5 months and promised to get back to me after 4-5 months. And asked me to share some information and I did.

Fear in Sales is something that none of us are willing to admit. But its there. And plays roadblock to our Success. We never say what we intend to. We never ask what we want to. We are there to help customers solve problems. We are not there to exploit customers. We deserve the respect from our Customers for the excellent work that we are doing in helping them solve their business problems. Why shouldn’t we be equals to our customers and prospects. We are in fact. Why should we have any fear? Challenge your fears and get ahead in life.

Robert Terson in his book “Selling Fearlessly” confronts this fear and tells you how to sell from a master salesperson’s perspective with his 43 years of experience.

Selling Fearlessly: A Master Salesman’s Secrets For The One-Call-Close Salesperson

Always remember that your role is to help customers solve problems. If you are not solving their problems somebody else will.

Happy Selling!!

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Never Give up and other Tips!

  1. Never Give up. That’s what differentiates an achiever.
  2. Keep Prospecting. You need new customers.
  3. Regularly meet your existing customers. You need them more than they need you.
  4. Keep solving problems. One at a time.
  5. First, pretend being busy then actually get busy.
  6. Get recharged when your batteries are down.
  7. Eat good food. Take sufficient rest. Unplug and Restart.
  8. Read good books. Make it a habit.
  9. Keep a journal. Visit the past week and plan your next week. Time Management is crucial for success. You don’t have “forever” to achieve what you want to.
  10. Write down your goals somewhere and visit it often to see if you are on track.

Happy Selling !!

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Sales is Tough, But YOU are Tougher.

Let us get this straight. Sales is Tough. Right? If it was easy, they wouldn’t need you. The reality is also that YOU are tougher. Else you wouldn’t have chosen Sales as your career. Well done. Now, some pointers for you to keep up the momentum and truly embrace what drives you:

  1. Do you stand for something? What’s that?
  2. What should customers remember when they think of you?
  3. What is that one thing that makes you forget everything else?
  4. What is more important to you than money?
  5. What makes you feel really accomplished? An order? An appreciation from a customer? What?
  6. How often do you make a To-do list and how often do you tick everything in it?
  7. What’s your Dream? Is your work today in that direction?
  8. What if you are the CEO of your company? What will you change today?
  9. Don’t forget the last time you were in the trenches and how you bounced back to life.
  10. “Face the brutes”: When you stop running and start facing, the hardships of life fall back. They are no match to you and your strengths.

Happy Selling !!

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Questions to ask yourself about your Sales Function

What Sales methodologies do you use ?

  1. Situation, Problem, Implication, Need-Payoff, popularly known as SPIN
  2. Keeping it Simple, being iNvaluable, Aligning your activities with your Customer’s priorities or SNAP
  3. Conceptual / Solution Selling
  4. Consultative Selling

Do you have a proven Sales process ?

The steps right from leads / cold calling / known universe to various sales stages till closure including but not limited to Prospecting, Validating, Needs assessment, Budgeting, Mapping Customers Org Structure, Demonstrating, Proposing, Closing, Following-up is a Sales Process. The question is to ask is: Is your Sales Process proven? Has it delivered the desired results quarter after quarter?

Do you need a CRM [Customer Relationship Management] Software? Why?

  1. What problems are you trying to solve using a CRM ?
  2. How are you currently handling sales ?
  3. Where and how do you find your clients ?
  4. Why should customers buy from you ?
  5. What implication will CRM have on your organizational goals ?
  6. Why is it important for your Organization to think like your customers ?
  7. Do you know the things you should keep in mind while implementing a CRM ?
  8. Why is CRM Adoption more important than anything else ?
  9. Do you know that a CRM can be used for Field Service, Channel or Partner Management or even for Product Management ?
  10. And it can be used for Banking and Financial Services Sales ? Have you heard of Vertical CRMs ?

Do you understand the power of CRM Analytics or in other words Customer Analytics?

  1. Why do you think CRM Analytics important ?
  2. Lead stage to Close – how much time did the Prospect spend at each sales stage
  3. Activities Vs Deal size – is your salesforce spending time and effort on high value deals
  4. Weighted Vs Goal, Balanced Vs Goal, Pipeline Overview & Other snapshots
  5. Forecasting, Forecasting Vs Actuals
  6. Is 20% of your prospects giving you 80% of your revenue and vice-versa ?
  7. Have you invested on Customer Analytics ?
  8. How Dashboard Creation can help you and your Top management ?
  9. What is the purpose of Campaign Analysis & Customer Segmentation ?
  10. Why should anyone undertake Trend, What-if & Pipeline Analysis ?
  11. Are you getting actionable insights from your customer data ?

Sales Training and Motivation:

  1. When was the last time your Sales Force attended a Training program?
  2. How often do you train your Sales Force?
  3. Are they equipped to take your company to the next level?
  4. Are they motivated enough?
  5. Who fixes the compensation for your Sales Force?
  6. What incentives do you give them?
  7. Do you recognize your best sales persons?
  8. What plans do you have to continuously educate your Sales Force?
  9. Is your back end team [Product Management, Delivery Teams] taking regular feedback from your Sales Force?
  10. Are you occasionally involving your Product / Delivery people  to meet prospects and customers along with your Sales Force?

I am sure these questions will help you frame fresh Sales Strategies, Process and Methodology. Spruce-up is not just desired but mandatory for growth.

Happy Selling !!

 

 

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