Attention Sales Leaders… 5 Key Ingredients to Fuel Sales Growth

Today’s modern sales team faces numerous and daunting challenges in a highly connected, networked business world. They’re wrestling with major changes in their markets brought on by information-empowered buyers and digitization within the sales channel. Growing competition, from established companies to tech savvy start-ups has placed even more pressure on sales margins and the effectiveness of sales teams to maintain clients or drive profitable net-new business growth.

What’s your plan to drive new business growth?

With all of these forces at work, sales leaders must retool parts of the sales process around a new model, one that calls for new approaches, new positioning within the marketplace, new client experiences, and new business growth; all centered on a well-organized plan.

The reengineered sales team must be equipped to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions, digital business models and disruptive competitors. Most importantly, the team must be centered on bringing fresh ideas and new insights in a client centric manner.

What will distinguish your sales team from all the others in your marketplace?

What’s your appetite to drive and accept change?

It starts with the sales team building a professional brand, socially surrounding the client base and integrating social prospecting methods. They must be able to leverage client networks in a way that helps them grow their business.

It Starts with Information

Sales teams have an unparalleled amount of information available to them, to the point where information in itself is no longer a competitive advantage. The competitive advantage is in plain sight and it’s the sales team.

What gives your team a competitive edge? It’s the insight into how to use all of this information to help solve business problems and challenges.

Trust, value, and relationships… the new sales currency inside your sales team. It is how your team sells it and how they offer it that will set them apart.

What’s your game plan?

The head coach of any major sports team has a game plan. What’s yours?

5 Key Ingredients to Fuel Sales Growth

  1. Net new business.
    Sales reps can actually increase sales by focusing less on acquiring new clients and more on their current clients. Call me crazy but this actually can work. Most sales teams fail to capitalize on the huge crowd of people that have already decided to become clients.

    To increase net new sales, have your sales reps concern themselves with reducing the number of their current clients lost by providing to them an outstanding experience. In turn, and with mutual agreement, they get their clients to edify their work by introducing them into their networks. This opens up new relationships, new conversations and new sales opportunities.

    New business growth fuels company profits!

  2. Go wider and deeper in current accounts.
    Often overlooked and one of the best sources of sales growth – retaining and growing the existing client base. It’s less expensive and more effective to retain current clients than it is to acquire new ones. Encourage sales reps to build multiple relationships with more than just the decision-maker. Think influencers, end users, key department managers; cross-pollinating relationships is mission critical.

    When sales reps have built a genuine, authentic relationship with numerous individuals within their current account base, the opportunity for loyalty increases. The only way to guarantee a loyal client base is to create unbreakable bonds wider and deeper in these accounts.

    Click here to learn how your sales team can integrate social to grow net-new revenue.

    Here are a few ideas:

    • Set specific client expectations
    • Become their expert and continue to bring insight
    • Build trust through each and everyone one of the relationships
    • Nurture the relationships online as well
    • Listen – go above and beyond, don’t break a promise
  3. Protect your current account base.
    Protecting the base means strengthening personal relationships and social relationships with current clients. Gone are the days of a single decision maker. Sales reps must interface with multiple buyers, influencers and end users inside the client base!

    Sales reps who fail to build strong ties may see important deals collapse. Conversely, when sales reps socially surround multiple people in each account they create a network of hundreds of potential referral sources.

    Make client obsession part of the culture. It is about building rock-solid relationships. Always look for potential blind spots within your current accounts.

  4. Target the highest value accounts to maximize profit.
    High-value prospects offer the potential to generate growing and consistent revenue within in your organization.If you want to grow sales revenues and maximize profits then you need to take the time to plan, update and retool sales tactics. Work strategically to implement a well-targeted, buyer-centric account growth plan.

    Be precision-like in proactively developing credible relationships with these high-valued prospects. Not only are these prospects ‘big fish’ they’re attainable ‘big fish’. With these targets in mind, start reeling them in with a strategically designed prospecting plan.

  5. Leverage social tools.
    Fuel new business growth by integrating social into the sales process. Your clients use social, your competitors use social, frankly; social has become deeply woven into our everyday way of life.The core elements of integrating social into the sales process can be accomplished by:
    • Building a personal brand – establish credibility and help create visibility within the marketplace
    • Listen and research – understand what your clients and prospects are talking about… What’s important? What’s top of mind?
    • Engage in conversations – join and start conversations moving them from online to offline

    Crushing new business targets means integrating social tools into prospecting while building better relationships to enhance client relationships.

Bringing It All Together

In the book, To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink, he writes about how we’ve gone from a “buyer beware” culture to a “seller beware” culture. There’s so much information available to customers today via the internet that customers are often well versed in their options and interests before the salesperson even enters the scene.It’s incumbent upon sales leaders that their sales reps must understand the client’s world. They must add value, not to just show up, throw up and educate them on a product or solution.

Blending all of these growth ingredients is far more than just a few tweaks to the same old processes. A systematic, strategic transformation hinges on embracing change throughout the entire sales team. In today’s crazy busy networked business world, a net-new mindset and sales approach is crucial for competing and winning in the marketplace.



If you would like some inspiration, I welcome the conversation or send me a message to llevine@socialsalesacademy.net. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse and has been adapted for use on this blog with kind permission of Larry Levine.

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