The first time you made a sale for a company that you own was a momentous day, and your vision for the company included growth and more sales. You want your company to grow and be healthy, and that means creating a strategic plan that takes you from where you are to where you want to be. During this planning process, there are several things that you need to keep in mind that will help you create sustainable growth and help you avoid some of the spikes and valleys that come with moving too quickly.
Relationships, Not Sales
The first thing that needs to change in your mind is the way that you approach your interactions with customers. Your sales team may only see the sale as the end result, but you need to think in terms of long-term relationships. You want this customer to come back again and again, and you want that customer to refer friends and family to you as well. This means the customer has to have a good experience from initial contact with your company, all the way through to service and support. You want the customer to feel special and to feel like they really matter to your company, and if you can create that environment, they will be back.
Streamline The Process
There are few things that customers hate more than a hassle when they try to make a purchase from your company. They do not want their salespeople to have to go ask permission for special pricing and they do not want to have to give their information to more than one person when they contact your company. The sales process should be a pipeline, where sales leads flow through and they are guided to a point where the salesperson can make the sale. The sales pipeline eliminates redundant information and keeps the sale on track every step of the way.
Analyze Your Data
Finally, you need to take a look at the data once you have it. You need to know where you sales leads are coming from, and where your marketing dollars are being best spent. You should be able to compare members of your sales team, so you can coach those who are underperforming and praise those who are meeting their numbers. If you wait until the end of the month, or the end of the quarter, you are too late and you will only fall further and further behind. You need up to the minute data, so you can adapt and change your business as the needs of the business change.
This may seem like a lot of things to do, and it can be very hard to do on your own. Fortunately, there is software that will make all of these issues very easy to deal with. CRM, or customer relationship management, software is a tool that coordinates all of your customer data and information into a single portal that is visible by all of the members of your company. This helps to build relationships because the customer will be able to talk to someone in customer service who can see the customer’s entire purchase history and previous service calls. The customer will not have to give their information more than once when they call, and that makes them feel like a person and not a number. With the guided sales pipeline and sales guideposts, you can have total control over the manner in which leads become customers, and you can empower your staff to act on their own. Finally, CRM gives you real-time sales data from all of your sales team members, allowing you to make needed adjustments before they become big issues.
I am Brian Palmer and I have been using SugarCRM software solutions for my business for the last year. With Sugar I was able to see a more complete picture of my customers and my company, and that revolutionized the way I do business. I highly recommend SugarCRM to any business owner, large or small.