How to Know What's Driving Sales in Your Business? - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

How to Know What’s Driving Sales in Your Business?

While you may assume that marketing or new leads drive sales in your business, but this isn’t the main driver for small businesses. You’ve probably also heard that it depends on how great your product or service is or how they don’t need or can’t afford it. While these are all great answers, there are some other factors you need to consider.

What Typically Drives Sales

Some of the key drivers in business include:

  • Sales leads
  • Market share
  • Machine downtime
  • Staff morale
  • Prime location

Even direct competitors have different drivers. These factors are also different depending on if your business is Internet-based or a ‘bricks and mortar’ company.

Use Your CRM to Your Advantage

You should use your CRM to your advantage by using it to:

  • Share information with your entire sales team so you can coordinate activities such as contacting leads and making pitches and don’t make several phone calls to the same company which makes you look disorganized and could cost you the sale
  • Keep track of your entire sales process regardless of how many steps there are so you’re always consistent in closing sales
  • Make sure your sales manager always knows what’s going on and what deals are at what stage in your pipeline so they know what the pulse of your business is like
  • Better allocate your sales resources so you can continue providing high-quality service throughout the length of your relationship with your customer
  • Help the members of your sales team know where they stand and how they’re doing in regards to meeting their sales goals
  • Easily share sales materials and other documents with your entire sales team
  • Make it easier to run the reports you need (e.g. how many sales calls were made on a certain day, how much time was spent setting up meeting) with your entire team because your CRM software automatically journals all your team’s activities
  • Make it easier for your whole sales team to work together regardless of where they’re locating or if they’re telecommuting instead of coming into the office each day
  • Work with other businesses to sell one another’s products
  • Create a system to capture leads on your website
  • Keep track of your important contacts and who initially reached out and made the connection so you don’t waste a lot of time looking for this information when you need it
  • Keep track of important notifications so you don’t fail to follow through on important things that could cost you an important relationship
  • Have reminders sent to you so you never lose track of when you need to touch base with your clients or who you need to reach out to since your CRM system can monitor changes on social sites and notify you when an important change in staffing occurs
  • Use GPS on CRM Apps so you can easily schedule face-to-face meetings with prospects in your area without getting lost en route to them

Determine What’s Driving Pipeline with Leads and Sales Insights

When you want to look deep within your sales pipeline to see what’s fueling it, there are a few tools you can use, including:

  • ProsperWorks gives you leads and sales insights so you know where to focus your time and how to maximize your sales output. This will help you make better decisions because you can see how people are proceeding towards your lead conversion goals without pulling reports. With the leads dashboard you can also make comparisons based on time periods, sales reps, lead sources, lead status, and interaction counts; watch leads flow through your pipeline; compare which sources are converting at the highest rate; and a breakdown of leads by source. You’ll also have a sales dashboard to work with that will let you see how your forecast and current sales are trending compared to previous time periods; compare yourself to the team average and top performers; see your pipeline’s various stages; see your sales history by average deal size or average sales per time period (e.g. week, month, year); and know what activities help you hit your daily goals so your reps know where to focus their time and energy.
  • Wicked Reports is an analytic tool that’s easy to use and understand. Wicked Reports says this will help you learn where your sales are coming from so you can do more of this same type of marketing and don’t mistakenly kill a high-ROI campaign or attempt to scale a campaign that’s brought you poor leads.

Ford has used these tools to see why their sales rose 9.4% over the course of a year during which there was a 13.3% decline in its car segment. They managed to see that their F-Series was responsible for this rise.

Understand That Content Builds Relationships, Relationships Build Trust, and Trust Builds Sales

Above all else, you must understand this. This plays out in several ways:

  • You start by creating content (e.g. website content, ebooks, downloadable content, videos, YouTube content) that speaks to your target audience. This lets your target audience get to know you so when they’re in the market for your products or services they’ll already know they can turn to you.
  • The relationships you build also need to build trust. Brian Tracy says this is about getting to know who your client is. This is done by inquiring about their age, gender, finances, education, and whether they have children. You can’t build this relationship overnight – it takes time. It starts with the first person who greets your customers.
  • By building trust you’ll eventually build sales too. This is because the more a person trusts you, the more likely they’ll buy something from you.

Taking the time to work on all these things will help you stand out from your competition. This is especially true when you think about all the poorly run companies and untrustworthy people who are out there. All you must do keep your word and treat your clients how you’d want to be treated.

About the author

I'm a single mother of 2 living in Utah writing about startups, business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and health. I also write for Inc, Score, Manta, and Newsblaze Contact the author.

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