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What Should Your Top Sales Priorities Be?

As you get closer to the middle of the year, it's natural for sales leaders to reflect on what has been working and what has not. You will then want to map out your top priorities for the balance of the year. Here is a list of top sales priorities to consider.

Adapt To How People Are Buying

One of the most critical sales priorities is adaptation. As new technology becomes available, there is a shift in the way customers are making decisions. Customers will dig deep and look at reviews, competitors, markets, etc., to get information on a product or service that they are interested in purchasing.

According to Capital Retail Bank, "81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying. The overwhelming majority of retail consumers start their journey with online research."

Companies must be agile enough to evolve with industry or customer shifts by creating diverse marketing strategies that are adaptable to these changes. Customers now expect:

24/7 Service

Many consumers today expect salespeople to give excellent service and be available nights and weekends. You will need to determine what is reasonable that also allows your team work-life balance and the ability to recharge.

Better Delivery

B2B companies are feeling pressure as a result of the Delivery Economy. Based on a blind survey of 300 supply chain professionals, Digital Commerce360  states, “85% of B2B companies are feeling pressure to improve or expand upon delivery capabilities.”

Omni-channel Service

Customers expect a consistent experience when going through your website, phone, social media, etc.

One of your top sales priorities should be adapting your process to meet the needs of your customers and reaching them where they are at. Build your brand presence with consistent touchpoints at every stage in your sales process. 

Networking Is Key

Any salesperson will tell you that social networks are critical, so it should be a top priority. The more connections you have, the more leads you'll generate and, ultimately, increase sales.

A networking strategy is used to open doors and build effective relationships. However, many salespeople fail to make personal connections when following up with initial contacts - the focus becomes quantity rather than quality.

To enhance personal connections practice:

Time & Patience

Everyone is busy and has their deadlines and timetables – be respectful.

Follow-up

Make sure your emails are personalized and friendly. According to Digital Marketing Institute, "Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%."

Number of Follow-ups

Depending on your product and industry, it can require a variety of touchpoints to engage a prospect. According to HubSpot, "Outreach says it takes eight touches to engage a prospect, but that number could vary a lot in your sector."

Plan for Growth

Your growth depends on the strategies and execution plan you implement to make it happen. To be successful in your growth strategy, you need to consider what will significantly impact business growth.  A few things to consider are:

New markets

  • Identify current markets, what is working and not working
  • Define your new target markets
  • Perform market research
  • Determine if it is the right market for you
  • Create a strategy to enter the identified new markets

Potential New Products

Coming out with a new product may be a good idea if you have a well-established market and credibility. 

Pricing

Another growth strategy to combat market saturation or to grow in general is effective pricing. Companies must adjust their basic prices to account for differences in customers and conditions.

Add Salespeople

The simple fact is if you add salespeople, they will make sales and bring in revenue. You'll also need to determine whether you need a hunter or farmer on your team.

A growth strategy is crucial because it keeps your company working towards goals beyond what is happening in your market today. 

Managing Remotely

Another top priority to consider post-Covid is salespeople who want to continue working remotely. You will want to keep them on track and thriving. Here are a few actions you can take to support them and keep them on task.

Structured Daily Check-ins

Many successful remote managers or owners establish a daily call or email with their remote employees.

Weekly One-on-One

The weekly one-on-one should be done via video and cover the salesperson's plan for the week, what they are working on, what they have accomplished so far, their goals, and any issues.

Rule of Engagement

Set expectations around the technology being used. For example, using video for daily check-ins or chat for quick questions.

Social Remote

To keep the company's culture positive, make sure you have some time at the beginning of team calls specifically for non-work items. Like asking about how your teams' week was or if anything exciting happened.

Onboarding Remotely

Another top sales priority requiring focus is effectively onboarding new salespeople. This is critical for many reasons; it sets the tone for their experience and success within your company, dramatically impacts how long they will stay, and helps them learn about your company, customers, and their role. 

Among the many things being disrupted right now, onboarding has become remote for most companies. This adds a new challenge to an already often misunderstood process.

The best onboarding programs are structured with clear milestones, assignments, validation, and a coaching plan to give specific feedback on the skills needed for the role. It helps to set up the coaching relationship with the sales leader and salesperson based on specific deliverables.

In the End

Your top sales priorities should focus on adapting to how buyers are changing, developing your networks, and planning for growth. Given the current state of most businesses, you will likely also need to focus on managing remote and onboarding remotely as well. 

About Gary Braun

Gary is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors. He has worked for 20+ years as a salesperson and sales leader. Gary has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Vistage, Allied Executives, CEO Roundtable, Sales Management Association, and more. If you want to find out more about Gary check out his profile here.
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