5 Ways to Improve Your SMB Sales in 2018
The year is coming to a close, and as a salesperson, this is a great time to evaluate your sales of the past year. Whether you are new to selling to small businesses or have been doing it for a while, you should always re-evaluate how you do business and uncover areas for improvement. These tips will help you analyze your sales tactics and pinpoint where you have room to improve and grow in 2018.
1. Automate Your Tasks
In order to improve your sales in 2018, the first step you need to take is to automate various tasks. While there are many things you can automate, the most important thing is your outgoing emails, including follow up emails, scheduling emails, reminders, blog emails, lead nurturing emails and so on.
Salespeople send approximately 120 emails a day. You can (and should) use email automation software, such as Mailchimp, InfusionSoft, and Hubspot, to create email templates and email drips that automatically send emails to prospects. Automate as much as you can, but make sure that the emails still feel personal.
Besides saving you time, automating emails can also close more leads for you. Once your emails have been sufficiently automated, you can assess whether you need to automate phone calls, voicemails, and appointment scheduling.
2. Enhance Your Lead Discovery
When you are building a new list of leads, you want to include small businesses that are the most likely to take to your pitch and your product. As apps can provide many specific benefits, you want to zone in on businesses that can take advantage of these benefits.
For instance, an app can help them increase reviews and improve their star rating on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and Tripadvisor. So when conducting online research for new leads, look for local businesses that have poor ratings or don’t have reviews at all. When you then reach out to the small business with this pitch, they will be able to see the benefit of what you are selling almost immediately – and it will show that you conducted thorough research before you contacted to them.
Similarly, if you frequent certain small businesses in the area, but cannot easily find them in an online search, they are great candidates. You can reach out to the business by showing which competitors do come up and what they are missing out on.
3. Audit Your Sales Process
Your business, whether new or established, has many different processes in place. You want to audit all the sales processes to see where you can improve. Even if you think you don’t have a sales process, you do, you just haven’t laid it all out yet. Think deeply about what you do every day to sell apps to small businesses and write it all down. For instance, lay out the path you and a small business take from start to finish.
Once you start doing this, you will become more efficient and will be able to delegate tasks if needed. And when the time comes for you to hire a sales team, they can simply read through your process and work off them. Even if it is just you at the moment, map out each of your sales processes as clearly as possible to ensure long-term business growth.
According to Sales Hacker, “each map of the sales process should consider a variety of entry points for prospects, then detail triggers, content, and conversations that will move prospects through the process – all the time identifying potential obstacles and objections that may delay or derail them.” Whether it requires nine or 39 steps, spending quality time mapping out your ideal sales processes will provide invaluable insight.
4. Figure Out Your Sales Metrics
The famous saying “sales is a numbers game” still holds true. The more leads you have, the more calls you make, the more emails you send out, the more deals you will close. But as the former is a little vague, you want to figure out the exact numbers of your past year’s sales and establish new goals for 2018.
- Closing rate – Calculate the number of pitches/proposals per sale. In other words, on average how many phone calls do you have to make, emails do you have to send, or visits do you need to make to close 1 small business deal. It might look something like this: 100 calls → 20 conversations → 4 closed deals. The closing rate should, of course, be as high as possible. According to MaRS, “a low or fluctuating closing rate is a sign of your lack of competitiveness in the market; your value proposition or market relevance might need work. A low close rate may suggest that you and/or your sales staff require additional training.”
- Average size of the sale – Determine the average amount of money brought in by each contract. This metric will help you to make sales forecasts and look for factors that contribute to increases in deal size. More specifically, where can you add more value to increase the size of the sale? What would it take to double the average sale size?
- Sales cycle time – Measure the average number of days that it takes to close a deal. How long does it take you to go from the first time you reach out to the time the sale is made? The shorter the cycle, the better. As many tech sales processes can be very long, it is important to find ways to shorten them. As MaRS states, “good salespeople spend time early in the process establishing the value they offer customers and getting their buy-in to move the sales process forward. This allows salespeople to focus their efforts on opportunities that are likely to close, and move on from opportunities where no buy-in exists.”
Once you have figured out all these metrics, set specific goals and try to hit them systematically. You should be able to boil it down to how many calls you should make and how many emails you should send a day to get X amount of deals per month. Figure out what it’s going to take to sell 100 apps in one month and then plan out your sales process accordingly. Check out this video from our CEO, Andrew Gazdecki, for Sales 1o1:
5. Brush Up On Your Training
The tech industry is always moving and improving. As someone who sells mobile solutions to small businesses, you should be informed about the cutting-edge app technology and changing trends. You need to position yourself as a mobile marketing advisor – not a salesperson – who knows more about the small business than the business owner himself. You want to be able to advise small businesses as best as possible, and that means knowing what is going on in the mobile space. With the rise of Progressive Web Apps, for example, it’s important to stay up to date on the developments in the industry. Bizness Apps has their very own PWA Course you can take in the online university to stay up-to-date.
Once you go through all your sales numbers and processes, you might feel a little demotivated if the numbers aren’t what you would like them to be. But this is where you should keep stats like this in mind: 80% of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact. It basically says that you need to be persistent and work hard to rack those deals in. Stay motivated and get into the mindset that you will be successful in 2018.