The most important part of your company is sales. Sales decide growth, influences every company decision and defines your success.
Sales is also a constant struggle, and I can outline a dozen reasons why from noisy markets, funnel fear, the number of rejections, and more.
But I wanted to share five things you have direct control over to make sales easier. It’s hard enough already without tripping over your own feet.
- Make a quality product.
Everything starts with good and competitive product offerings. Give your team a product that they are proud of selling. I see startups hire sales team ahead of a ready product. Since the product isn’t ready, the team is forced to sell the promise of what the product could be. No one wants to sell something they can’t guarantee.
It’s similar if you’re focused on being a cheap, low-quality product. If the sales team doesn’t have pride in what they’re selling, they’ll struggle and will become resentful of losing deals because of product bugs or errors. They’ll rapidly become resentful or apathetic.
But if they’re excited about the product themselves, that excitement will come through on every call and they won’t have to worry about losing deals because of product issues.
- Provide the right tools to your team.
They say a poor craftsman blames their tools, but you never see a master craftsman with poor tools.
What your team uses decides how work gets done and the right tool makes all the difference. Each tool requires a different process and better tools not only accomplish the same goals as inferior products but also provide a faster process.
For example, we on-boarded Outreach.io and saw a 50% increase in the productivity of our own sales. Our previous sales product could technically do most of what Outreach provides, but the process took up too much of our sales reps’ time.
You can have the best sales rep in the world, but if they have to use broken or time-wasting tools they’re not going to do their best work.
- Train on both your product and the overall market.
The sales team needs to be in the know. Naturally, they can’t be expected to know every little thing, but they should be experts. Imagine the difference between asking a fast food employee what’s good on the menu and asking a fine dining waiter what wine would pair best with your meal. Your sales team should give a positive impression of their knowledge.
Instantly knowing the answers to questions also keeps the sales conversation moving forward. No “let me ask and get back to you” which can slow down a deal by weeks.
But, you shouldn’t limit your team to only being experts on your product. Customers will ask about competitors and you should have answers ready. With knowledge of competitors and the general landscape of your industry, your team can immediately handle customer concerns and share what makes your product special.
- Support sales with marketing.
Time and time again, I see companies and executives underestimate the importance of marketing. Your sales team isn't going to be effective if this is the first time prospects have heard your brand.
Marketing is the backbone of your sales team. Without warm prospects, your sales team is going to suffer. It’s marketing’s to put your name out there, make initial contact with prospects, and use outreach so that prospects can raise their hands by engaging with your brand. Once a prospect is warm then sales can step in.
Sales reps aren’t equipped and will waste their time if they have to talk to stone-cold prospects all day. Give sales one job: selling not marketing. If you're struggling with marketing costs, consider these cost-effective ways to start feeding your team warm leads.
- Give quality data to your team.
Just like you wouldn’t expect your sales team to do the job of a marketing team as well, don’t expect them to do all your prospect research for you. Research takes time. Even more so if you want quality.
If you’re judging your sales reps based on how much they close then don't ask them to do a second job of having to research and find their own prospects when you are holding them accountable and paying them only for sales.
SalesIntel exists precisely for the reason of helping sales reps find the quality data and intelligence they need. Our firmographic and technographic data can help you narrow your outreach to prospects that match your ideal customer profile. Instead of having to spend time tracking down LinkedIn profiles or guessing at emails, your team should have direct dial numbers they can call.
To make sales easier, you need to focus on removing any obstacle from your team actually selling.