The 4 best sales strategies for SMBs
Starting a new business is always a risk. The competition is fierce, the market is saturated, and sales reps of opposing companies are fighting for each prospect like hungry dogs. But why do we even try when the bars are so high, and the odds are so low?
We all remember the tale of David and Goliath. David, a young sheep shepherd, overpowered a giant warrior Goliath in an unfair battle. When the fight started, he pulled himself together and threw a stone right in the Goliath’s forehead. Goliath fell back and died.
David won because of his courage, confidence, and he was savvy. He was a quick-thinker and precise, and you should be too. In business, all top togs were underdogs at the beginning of their journey to success. But they succeeded because of the calibrated sequence of precise hits to the right target at the right time. That’s what a winning sales strategy is.
Are you ready to learn how to be successful in a sales strategy and outsell the big fellas in your niche?
Let’s talk about 4 effective sales techniques you can use in your business.
1. Stories instead of glories
Emotions, not rational thoughts drive most consumer decisions. 70% of ads based on emotional triggers showed that feelings could be the cornerstone of a successful sales strategy.
Now let’s assume that you sell top-notch watches. What ad would increase the likelihood of you making a purchase?
- A story about a person, who purchased your watch, brought it on a mountain hike and found it undamaged even after they fell from a cliff and broke their leg.
- A simple description of “Our new watch features sapphire glass and a solid strap made of protected leather. It is 50% more durable than our previous product.”
We would go with #1, wouldn’t you?
Just imagine: these watches are so durable that they don’t break even in scenarios where human bones do.
Of course, you can back up your story with facts and explain why it happened. Our rational thinking keeps us from spontaneous purchases, so its the part where facts come in that help us to justify the investment and prove its value.
It’s essential to avoid overpraising your product. Too much boasting can scare off your leads especially if you’re a young start-up without a proven track record. However, this is nearly impossible when you tell a story. All the benefits are spoken on behalf of your customer, not your company.
2. 5 to 12 follow-ups as a magic sales formula
According to Propeller CRM research, 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact. This means you need to follow-up with your leads and prospects at least five times or even up to 12 times.
Small businesses often make a fatal mistake: they stop reaching out to the prospect after the first (44%) or second follow-up (22%). Only 8% keep going and eventually close that 80% of sales.
If you want to improve your sales follow-up strategy, you need to:
- Know how marketing works with sales to provide sales reps with more information that can be included in follow-up emails
- Track your document’s performance using robust analytics tools and know what works and what doesn’t
- Learn the types of follow-ups and when you should use them
Don’t forget to send a follow-up even after closing the sale. Letting your clients go without saying bye is unacceptable. It’s not hard to figure that each “bye” is only another “hi” when you encourage them to buy from your company again and again.
3. An offer they couldn’t refuse
Small businesses have no choice but to win clients or to die trying. At the very beginning, you should use every weapon you have in your sales strategy arsenal including trials, gifts, special offers, etc. Yes, you may sell goods or provide services at a loss initially, but there is nothing more attractive to your customers and prospects than receiving something for nothing.
They won’t refuse your offer even if they don’t need your product right away. Remember how many times you subscribed to newsletters from a website you’ve just come across on the web? Or how many times you started a free trial of a product just for fun? It happens all the time. And if your product is worth it, your sales will be skyrocketing after this marketing tip.
4. Creative creation of sales documents
Sales reps should continuously craft certain documents to move their prospects closer to the finish line. The first step is to create a marketing proposal where you describe the value you can bring to your prospect’s business. Next, you send a quote with exact pricing details and delivery dates. Last, each party signs a contract to close the deal.
However, there’s a catch. A deal can stop dead at any time if the prospect doesn’t like your offer or finds a better match. So you need to win your prospects right out of the gate with a creative approach to sales documents. To improve your skills and stand out from the other offers, you have to know how to write an eye-catching marketing proposal.
After learning the basics, you can take advantage of using proposal and quote software like PandaDoc to speed up your document creation process.
Even if the chosen sales techniques and strategies don’t have an immediate impact on your business, keep going. Your business isn’t a fictional character in a story where miracles are achieved overnight, and the seemingly weak prevail over the evil power. Remember: building a strong brand in the real world takes time and effort, sometimes painstaking enough to be on the verge of a breakdown.
Because of this, don’t give up but follow a chosen sales strategy for a few months before drawing conclusions (which should be based on numbers, not on faith). Be confident, precise, and quick-thinking. It will work out eventually, just not as instantly as the story of David and Goliath.