The average modern customer is well informed and smart. Long gone are the days when information was scarce, and selling was easy. Today, a customer has a variety of sources to learn about a particular product or service. Blogs, websites, videos, reports – The internet is replete with a large variety of resources. So, how can you maximize the inside sales in this Internet-informed era? Through group effort, and by implementing the following:
Big Data and Data Analytics
Although technology has made the job of a salesperson tougher, it has also provided them with some leverage. Data analytics, for instance can do wonders for your inside sales, if used correctly.
Customer/Lead Insight: One of the drawbacks of inside sales is the limited information about the leads. With no direct face to face communication, it is difficult to approach the prospects at the right time and right place, and establish the kind of communication that is fitting for the occasion. However, Big Data has proven to be quite beneficial in tackling this problem.
Data analytics and Big Data tools can equip your sales force with valuable insight that was never available before. By monitoring the manner in which social media handles the leads, their work hours and leisure hours, preferences, likes and dislikes, etc., coming up with an apt sales pitch for every individual prospect is easy. You can approach them at the time when they are most likely to respond well, and you can also send custom emails in accordance to their preferences to improve the conversion rate.
Automation: Digitization of data has made organisation easier. Today, companies don’t have to look through files and papers to get information about a particular lead, as the same can be accessed on a computer with just a few clicks. However, mere digitization is not efficient enough. When there are hundreds of leads in existence, and more added every week or so, updating the records can be quite difficult using old tools and software. The margin of error is also high. Data Analytics tools have solved this problem to a great extent by automating the entire system. These tools monitor the prospects by using their digital foot prints, and then, update the data base automatically. Thus, when a salesperson contacts them, they have the most recent data which they use to make the sound decisions.
A report titled “State of the Global Workplace” released by Gallup stated that around 87% of employees are not actively engaged in their jobs. However, it was also found that the companies who encourage higher employee engagement achieve as much as three times the operating margin than those with low employee engagement.
Promoting healthy competition in the sales team is a great way to maximize closing rate. It is a proven method that has been successful in various industries. By organizing fun contests and using leader boards, you can encourage active participation, and thereby notice incredible improvement. Rewarding the employees for reaching certain milestones set for them can also bolster their engagement and enthusiasm.
A power hour is a period of intense sales activity undertaken by an entire sales team. It is associated with huge enthusiasm and energy, as the salesmen engage in sales calls one after another. Giving just one or two hours to a power hour session can improve inside sales results to a great extent.
Here are a few reasons why power hours can be instrumental in improving sales:
- No Distractions: Distractions in any form of activity are quite common, and a workplace is no different. Employees spend a lot of time surfing on the Internet, chit-chatting at the water cooler, or simply responding to emails, checking social media handles, etc. This lack of focus has a significant impact on their sales performance. However, a power hour ensures maximum productivity, as there is no room for distractions. On the contrary, employees have higher energy levels, and enjoy the fun-factor that is associated with the act itself.
- Learning From Fellow Salesmen: During the period of a power hour, employees are more observant, especially towards other employees. The whole team comes together during the process, which is why they can learn new skills and strategies from each other. Plus, it can be a truly effective team building exercise.
If you are selling a product or service online, then installing a live chat feature on your online store/website can give a big boost to the sales. With the chat feature you can engage a potential customer easily, who could otherwise click away to other websites in a matter of seconds.
Here are a few tips on how to improve sales using live chat:
- Proactive Chats: Proactive chats are started with a visitor based on their behavior, and if used properly, they can improve the customer experience, and hence increase sales to a greater extent. Timing also plays a significant role in online chat service. For instance, rather than popping up a greeting on the client side browser almost immediately the user comes online, you can set a certain time (40 seconds for instance) before engaging with them. This should help prevent a “pushy” kind of approach.
- Friendly Chats: Casual conversations with a customer can make them comfortable enough to reveal their major pain points that you can take into consideration, and improve the business model accordingly. Thus, you should encourage your agents on the live chat support to be informal and frank with the customers, given the situation allows it.
Although inside sales are powerful even today, it is important to keep up with technological advancements, and alter strategies periodically, depending on what’s working for your business, and what’s not. Since the core of all sales strategies is teamwork, once that is bolstered, all practices and methods will drive results to the maximum potential. The tips and strategies given above can also be really helpful in that endeavor.