So — you’ve been in the outside sales game for a while but want to get to the next level.
There are certainly several leadership qualities and management techniques you’ll want to develop, but you’ll also need strategies that correspond to the actual function of sales. Great leaders serve up great results -- and that means critically thinking about how you sell just as much as how you inspire.
Check out these outside sales strategies that can help you create a thriving sales atmosphere and give your team the opportunities to close more deals and bring in more money.
If you’re in the business of selling products, a channel sales strategy might take your growth to the next level. Simply put, a channel sales strategy is when you use a third-party to sell your products for you instead of an in-house sales team. It can also be known as “indirect selling” or by way of partnerships or referrals.
The beauty of this strategy is that it can be automated and you don’t necessarily have to replace all of your selling with this method. It’s ideal for products that are easy to understand and well-defined.
Channel partnerships that already have market recognition can mean you'll spend less on your own marketing and will easily introduce your products to new markets they may service. However, you will have less control over how things are sold and will have to offer up some sort of percentage of sales. That's why it's crucial to choose your lowest maintenance products for this strategy.
Another consideration about this strategy is that it’s all about relationships, especially if you’re interested in developing referral or alliance partnerships for channel sales. Many of these kinds of strategies are coordinated through networking, so look into industry events where you can meet partners that could benefit from what you sell and be ready to state your case.
Upselling & Cross-Selling
We’ve heard it a million times: acquiring a new customer can be up to 25 times more expensive than retaining a current one. So it makes sense to develop current relationships in mutually beneficial ways -- which is where upselling & cross-selling come into play.
The trick is not to simply try to do so for the sake of doing so. Whatever kinds of upgrades or additional products you offer must be authentic to your customer’s needs. This requires a close understanding of their problems and how your offerings are poised to solve them. Otherwise, upselling or cross-selling can quickly come across as insincere or exploitative.
If you don’t have anything to offer to do either kind of these strategies, it’s time to chat with your R&D department to develop some. Taking a look at what your competitors are doing is a great start, but be sure to pair it with your unique insights into your customers’ wants, needs, and desires.
While rolling out new products to upsell or cross-sell, pay attention to experiences that could generate case studies that you can share with your top clients. These will offer the kind of social proof that can get other customers on board.
And don’t forget to work this into your quarterly reviews. Salespeople on the frontlines may be hearing customers ask for things your company doesn’t yet provide.
Sales Cycle Streamlining
When is the last time you examined the efficiency of your sales cycle? It’s easy to forget to do, especially if it ain’t broke, why fix it? But, you could be missing out on ways to work smarter, not harder.
By looking at how and when friction points arise, you can identify the right sales enablement tools they may need to get past them. There's a possibility that this will take a significant time investment, which could be an issue if you’re looking to fix things quickly.
It’s also worth it to revisit your ideal customer persona. What is your data telling you about your ideal customer base, especially where it differs from your gut hunches? How is technology impacting or transforming their decisions? Weeding out the wrong customers can also vastly improve your rates and prevent wasted time.
Another way to streamline your cycle is by doing a complete audit of all the tools you’re currently using. CRMs, project management tools and lead validation methods — they all survey how much time is being used and figure out how it’s actually affecting your bottom line. Chances are, there could be tools out there that can help you consolidate or offer more efficient methods of what you use.
Quick wins are always helpful, but if you’re looking for long-term strategic success with a loyal and engaged customer base, an account-based selling strategy is a must for the modern sales leader.
More and more customers expect personalization when it comes to their purchasing experiences. Much of this can be found by researching their demographics, social media, or industry trends, but it must also have a human touch. It’s not as simple as throwing a few personalized facts into an email, but about offering them a solution that truly meets their needs.
This strategy may require a big cognitive shift for your team, so it’s worth it to carefully weigh the potential wins with the amount of time needed to train your team on this new strategy.
Advanced Route Mapping
If you’re in outside sales, optimizing the routes you take to visit and nurture your leads is crucial, yet for many it is a neglected aspect of their strategy. Or even worse, it’s left up to each salesperson to figure out on their own with no unified strategy or enablement tools to help everyone at the same time.
Clustering stops, prioritizing the right customers, and automating data collection while planning out your routes have big benefits, such as:
- 30% reduction in gas usage,
- 40% more customer visits, and
- 1-2 days less of "windshield time" per salesperson
Does your CRM help you achieve this? Map My Customers provides a deep level of route optimization that can be seamlessly integrated with all of your important client data. Take it for a spin with a free trial today.
Outside Sales Strategies For Great Results
Whether you’re building your outside sales strategies for the next few months or the next few years, these techniques can help you become a true leader in your company. As with everything, be sure to pick the ones that feel authentic for your team’s needs and you’ll be reaping great results in no time.