Marketing

Copy your best salesperson

Nilesh Patel | Updated on January 24, 2018

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Scale up his best practices across your business

In the 2008 stock market crash, a lot of people lost money. I was one of them. Of course, it was my choice to make the investment, but I still shared the blame with my financial advisor. I didn’t do business with him for a long time.

But, he kept in touch with me. Occasionally he would send me relevant information, or stories that would interest me. Once in a while he would even call up or meet me in person. This “nurturing” helped him win back my trust, and my business.

While I was being “nurtured”, many other financial advisors also pursued me, but none of them stood out like he did. Two things in his approach won me over.

First, he knew me enough to send across highly relevant information. Second, he shared stories related to financial matters that were actually interesting. The other advisors failed to stand out, because they failed to make a connection. Their interactions were purely transactional, and they didn’t seem to care if they won my business or not – they almost never followed up.

All exceptional salespeople have this ability – understanding the potential customer, and building natural trust and relationships. And, it’s a great plus for any business to have such salespeople in their team. But, these exceptional salespeople are individuals. The real challenge is to scale up these individual abilities across the whole business.

Most businesses spend their marketing and sales budgets on branding, lead generation, building a capable sales team and maybe investing a little in a CRM system. Not many businesses invest in converting this exceptional salesperson’s behaviour into a process.

Assumptions that hinder success

Two assumptions keep businesses from investing in building this process. This ultimately costs them more than they can imagine.

We assume that every lead entering the system is equal. But nothing can be farther from the truth. Some prospects are immediate buyers, but sadly, most are not. These ‘most’ are the ones that keep getting neglected because of this assumption. Many businesses understand that different prospects are individuals with different concerns, but just knowing this is not enough; you need to create a system that acts on this knowledge.

The second assumption is that your sales team is one unit. Like your prospects, your salespeople are individuals as well.

While some of them would fit the ‘exceptional sales person’ description, most would not. Two actions on your part can stop these assumptions from eating into your return on investment.

Letting go

Invest in a system to track your prospects: This system would keep track of each lead, and their activities. That’s what an exceptional salesperson does.

He’s one step ahead, always aware of his next move based on his prospect’s motivations and actions.

If an intelligent, central system is driving the next activity of each salesperson, your complete sales team is brought at par with an exceptional salesperson’s abilities.

They are able to treat each prospect individually. Today, these systems are not expensive to set up. They can be put in place just by reallocating a portion of your marketing and sales budget. After all, this would drive revenue from your existing resources (leads).

Make marketing the centre of your customer communications: We spoke about maintaining a system that tracks leads and guides the activities of the sales team. But, who’s really responsible for maintaining the consistency of this system?

Here is when marketing becomes the centre of all your initial communications, intermediary follow-ups, and nurturing activities. This serves multiple purposes.

First, it involves marketers in the actual sales process, giving them the kind of first-hand customer knowledge all marketers need.

Second, it makes sure that your salespeople are investing their time in leads that are on the verge of buying, and not wasting their time on half-baked ones.

Third, it creates a consistent language and experience across all your business interactions with the prospects. So, you can be sure that at no point is the business interaction sub-par. This is where you let go of your second assumption, because all the communications are consistent now.

“The day you gain a client, is the day you start losing one.” – Mad Men

This applies to all your potential clients as well. They are in your system, so you are on their radar. But, there are so many things that might take them away from you – your competitors, lost trust, and most common of all – if they just forget you.

All of this can be avoided just by doing what is cited above – creating a consistent customer experience system run by marketing, monitored by everyone involved, eventually driving your salespeople’s actions.

(Nilesh Patel is Founder & CEO, Leadsquared)

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Published on June 04, 2015
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