A sales team is the backbone of many companies. In order for your company to profit and grow, you need an effective sales team to bring in the big bucks! But figuring out how to go about having an effective sales team can be a job in and of itself. You need them to find ways to get the business, or at least a chance to give their pitch, and following established methods just doesn’t work the way it used to.
If you have a sales team that could use a little help, it may be time to think beyond the “smiling and dialing.” Instead, consider these eight unexpected ways to get sales booming:
1. Join a board. Have your sales team members join the board of a not-for-profit, as there are usually a lot of powerful decision-makers on the board. This will give them a chance to have at least the opportunity for an introduction and meeting.
2. Go for voicemail. You rarely get people live on the phone, so most of your competition is reverting to e-mail these days. Ironically, voicemail is the better option, as it is targeted to the person you want to talk to, and your voice message typically gets their individual attention. Plus, you can master your message (as long as it sounds personal) and leave the same message for a number of new prospects.
3. Focus on vendors. Have your team focus on calling on vendors, rather than prospects. This way, they can put their efforts into building referral networks.
4. Pitch outsourcing. Have the sales person scour the job ads of big companies. Once they locate the ads, have them place a call to the company that is looking to hire employees and suggest that perhaps your company could fill that need instead.
5. Lumpy mail. Have you ever noticed that bulky mail gets put on top of the stack? Take advantage of the fact that lumpy mail always gets noticed! Have your sales person send a piece of mail that is not a standard envelope. Maybe they can send a shoe and then include a note that says, “Now that I have one shoe in the door… let’s meet.”
6. Volunteer. Let your sales people volunteer for fundraisers or other events where your key prospects will also be in attendance. It is a great way for them to get some face time and build relationships.
7. Become a journalist. Have your sales person conduct interviews of prospects for your website or blog. The interviews must be genuine, and you should post them to your site. It will allow you to build a foundation for ongoing dialogue, which is exactly what sales people need.
8. Clip articles. When a prospect is highlighted in a newspaper or magazine, have your sales person clip the article, mail it to the prospect and congratulate them on the exposure. Have them include their business card; if nothing else, they will likely get a thank you, and it will start the dialog. Alternatively, send along an article that you think will be of interest to the prospect.
If you follow the old-school method of sales, you have your sales team making cold-calls or stopping by someone’s office. But that’s no longer the best route to take. Try using some of these other active routes. They may just bring your sale team that much need victory. Plus, if your old method of sales isn’t working, just doing more of it won’t fix things.