Top Five Small Company Sales Shortcomings and How to Fix Them

The more opportunities I have had to provide freelance help to small owner-operated businesses, the more I recognize the differences in their approach and the similarities in their sales and marketing shortcomings.

1. Disappointing and inconsistent sales performance

*invest more time to manage and participate in your sales effort

*improve the consistency of your sales effort with a modestly priced CRM program like  SalesForce, Eloqua, or NetSuite to formalize your calling, emails, sales calls, tracking and reporting no matter how small your sales staff.

*Change your sales compensation to include commission based incentive.

*Eliminate sales staff members who have nor performed over a twelve month period.

2. Your target market is not responding to an offer or message

*Test every new offer and message on a small sample (5 to 10%) before roll-out.

*Make sure the offer/discount is significant (15 to 20%) and available for a limited time.

*Communicate the offer via email, mail and print three times during the offer period.

*Spend 20% of your time/energy to market your top current customers with new product offers, seasonal discounts or loyalty offers. It cost niine to ten times more to convert new prospects than to grow your existing customers.

3. Slow lead generation and long sales cycles

*Respond to all leads, prospect emails and inquiries within forty eight hours.

*Follow up emails, call contacts and sales calls five times over a three month period. Assume that they are not responding because they are busy not because they are not interested until/unless they tell you so.

4. Losing market share to the competition

*Study the product line, offerings, incentives and process of your competitors monthly and copy what they are doing well.

*Survey your customers at least twice a year and ask them what they like and what they want.

5. Lack of resources to properly address #1 through #4

*Use interns or inexperienced staff members to perform research or to identify potential  prospects but do not use them to contact, pitch or close.

*Do not mail or email marketing materials to a prospect in lieu of meeting them in person. This alternative is highly ineffective and expensive.

*If you can’t afford a full time sales resource, consider hiring an experienced individual freelancer for ten to twenty hours a week.

Explore posts in the same categories: CRM, DIgital Strategy, Email, Lead Generation, Local Search, Mobile Marketing, Online Marketing, Paid Search, Personalization, Social Media

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