Sales is about selling, yet we see many building product companies working with a different definition.
In some companies, salespeople spend most of their time keeping existing customers happy instead of finding new ones.
In other companies, they measure their success in terms of activity, like ‘How many people did you call this week?’ Which doesn’t focus on key sales goals and finding good fit leads.
These types of salespeople follow a simple approach:
We have a product we want to sell
There are customers who should buy it
If we call on enough of them, we’ll eventually stumble upon someone who will buy our products
Simple, yes. But not very effective or efficient.
Thankfully, there’s a better way. Here are 4 ways you can make your sales team more productive…
#Tip 1: Sales Efficiency: Give Them Something New
I’ve never understood this, but salespeople who have called on a prospect don’t usually see a reason for another call. They feel that they’ve already made their presentation and there’s nothing new to share. I disagree with this.
If you have a new product or have made some improvements to an existing product, there’s no better time to reach out. Send them an email promoting whatever’s new. Even if you’ve just changed or improved something, call it NEW.
Now, I hate to see companies print anything, but in this case, it’s a good idea. When you send them something electronically, it will often just get lost in their inbox. When you send a piece of paper, they have to deal with it. They can’t ignore or forget about it – it will still be there, staring at them from the top of their desk.
It gives your sales reps an “in your face” reason to make another sales call on a prospect that they might not otherwise have reached out to again.
#Tip 2: Sales Efficiency: Give Them Something Old
If you don’t have anything new to say, it doesn’t mean you have to stay quiet. Develop an email that’s focused on an underappreciated feature of your product or company. Or put one together outlining why the prospect will be more successful when they buy from you.
It may seem like overkill, but I would develop a new email every month to send to your reps.
They are an inexpensive way to supply your sales team with reasons to make more calls. You keep giving them new things to talk about.
#Tip 3: Support Your Sales Team
Make it so easy for the customer to do business directly with you that they don’t need to see their rep.
Most building materials salespeople have to spend a lot of time acting as the conduit between the customer and your company. It’s easy to shrug and say “That’s the salesperson’s job.” It’s also very costly.
Salespeople are one of your most costly resources, so you should focus on helping them to be as productive as possible.
With tools like:
HubSpot Automation: By using HubSpot, salespeople can create follow-up email sequences which automatically trigger if a prospect hasn't responded to them within a set amount of time.
Automating the follow-up process with set-it-and-forget-it sequences can save salespeople hours of unnecessary work!
FAQ Section: With a FAQ section on your website you can get ahead of objections by addressing them from the start. You can quickly provide answers to the questions your prospects might have without having to type the same things out repeatedly
Assess Your Leads With HubSpot: A built-in lead scoring tool in HubSpot gives contacts positive or negative weight according to how well they match the profile of a good-fit lead.
Pre-qualifying leads for the sales team can be an effective tool since it automatically disqualifies leads that don't fit the sales process, allowing your sales team to concentrate on leads that have a higher chance of closing.
Most salespeople still think of “leads” as worthless and not worthy of their attention. This is based on their experience with leads from trade shows and advertising. Most of those leads don’t pay off for the salesperson. Why? Because sales reps don’t follow up on most of the leads that are gathered this way.
With a properly implemented and maintained inbound marketing program, those leads are a lot warmer and more valuable. By the time a lead is sent to the rep, they’ve interacted with you several times and have expressed a real interest in your products. This can be demonstrated with the inbound flywheel:
Customers today are going to find you online before you have a chance to find them. They’ll already have done their homework. When they’re ready to talk to a rep, they are already way down the sales funnel. Just the type of lead a rep loves.
Start making your salespeople more productive.
My first two ideas can be implemented almost immediately. They also don’t cost very much so they won’t put a dent in your budget. The most important part of these is the copy! Use a good writer and make sure they understand the purpose of the copy they’re drafting.
Idea number three doesn’t have to cost a lot, either. It’s more about changing culture and attitude. Everyone in the company should be focused on helping the salespeople by taking over once a customer has been sold. The tricky part here is convincing them to change their hearts and minds but you can use your marketing skills to “market” inbound to your internal stakeholders in the same way you’d market to a customer.
I see too many companies where the salesperson has to spend most of their time being a “fixer,” helping customers navigate the bureaucracy of their company. It can almost seem like the customer is trying to get into a VIP event, where unless you know someone or how to play the system, then it’s a real struggle to get what you want.
These are small changes that can give you big results. If you try them out, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it this way all along.