We’ve gathered twelve fun and need to know sales tips and facts. Test out your sales knowledge and that of your peers with these fun trivia questions. Great to use at your next sales meeting, conference, or office bonding party.
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Sales follow-ups are a vital part of closing a sale. This is where you truly make or break the deal. Every follow-up is different due to the difference in clients, so there is no definite right answer on how to go about a follow-up. We can, however, give you some general tips and tricks to help ease the follow-up process and end with a new client.
Ask the client the best way to follow up
Every client situation is different, and that means every follow-up situation can be different too. What works for one client isn’t always going to work for another. Emails, phone calls, text messages, etc. – there are a bunch of stats out there that might tell you one is better than the other for a follow-up. What you really have to keep in mind when deciding how best to follow up is the client.
The client is the only one who can answer the follow-up question with one-hundred percent accuracy. They know what form of communication they use most or what works best to reach them on. Just simply ask before the end of the conversation what form of communication is best to reach them on again. This approach will increase your follow-up percentage by using the best medium and by allowing the client the power to choose how you follow up with them. Asking the client allows them to be better prepared.
Is the client sure they don’t want to commit to your product or service right now? Still, ask what the best way to reach them is in the future. Let them know you’d like to stay in contact and will follow up with them later in the year.
Ask the client what their response rate is
Along with figuring out their best form of communication, make sure you are also setting an expectation for responsiveness. Ask how long you should expect before receiving a response through email, text, or a phone call. You should also ask if there are any special parameters to include in the follow-up, such as using the word important in a subject line or marking an email as urgent. These special cues can help you reach the client much quicker.
If you get the client to reveal how they like to be communicated with, they’ll respond much quicker. By finding their best form of communication and how long it usually takes for them to respond, you can hold them accountable much easier.
Provide valuable information to each conversation
Never call a prospective client just to touch base. You need to add new and valuable information each time you follow up with a client. Each time you talk to the client, you want to be able to bait them into wanting to learn more. Simply calling just to ask if they’ve made a decision yet is not effective.
Follow-ups are where your conversation summary and research come in handy. Explain more in-depth how your company can help them, features you have available that fit their specific needs, value points you didn’t touch on the first time, anything that adds value for your client.
End each conversation with a clearly defined next step
Be sure to repeat back a quick outline of what you and the client just talked about and end the conversation by outlining the next steps in the process. The follow-up should be one that’s adding more information not asking when you can speak to them again. The end of the current discourse is always the best time to ask when the client has time to talk again, considering they are already on the phone and thinking about your company.
Lock them down for the next step by asking when they can meet next. This will show the client you’re excited to close a deal with them.
Summarize your conversation
This tool is to help you and the client. Lots can be said over the phone and inbetween emails. Having a nicely laid out summary of previous conversations can help jog the client’s memory but also your own.
You want the client to remember the key features of the product or service you’re selling, but you also want to remember the key aspects of the client’s business and concerns. Reiterating that you know and understand the client’s concerns and benefits of using your product/service lets the client know that you were listening and are invested in helping them.
If you haven’t received a response from your follow-up message, reach out again. We recommend waiting two days before sending another message. In the second message, make sure you’re still adding value. Focus on a different part of the product/service that would add value to their company.
The third times a charm, right? Give it one last two day grace period if they still haven’t responded. Make sure to again add more value and mention, in a nice tone, how you’ve tried to reach out twice already. End the message by stating how you believe your product/service can benefit their specific company. Clearly state that you are available to answer any questions or concerns they still might have.
Still haven’t received a response? Wait a longer period and try again. Allow time for their busy schedule to die down and your current messages to be considered longer. After approximately a month, reach out for a fourth time, asking if they’ve had time to look over your proposal and lay out some of the basics again, reminding them what you’ve previously discussed.
Remember, each follow-up is slightly different and the only person who knows exactly how the client is going to react is the client themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask them their thoughts on the follow-up process. As you work on your follow-up process here are some helpful facts:
- 50% of all sales happen after the 5th contact, but most reps give up after just 2. [InsideSales]
- 83% of prospects who request information don’t buy for 3–12 months. [MarketingDonut]
- 70% of salespeople stop at one email. Yet if you send more emails, you have a 25% chance to hear back. [YesWare]
- Sales pros who try to reach leads in one hour are seven times more likely to have meaningful conversations. [HubSpot]
- 35-50% of sales go to the company that responds first. [InsideSales]
- 95% of buyers chose a company that “provided them with ample content to help navigate through each stage of the buying process.” [DemandGen Report]
- On the phone, your tone is 86% of your communication. The words we actually use are only 14% of our communication. [ContactPoint]
- The ideal voicemail message is between 8 and 14 seconds. [The Sales Hunter]
- 33% of email recipients click on emails based on subject line alone. [Convince and Convert]
Companies can succeed or fail based on brand awareness. A company can’t sell its product/service without first getting its name to circulate among consumers. Among awareness is its ability to help companies differentiate their product offerings from those of its competitors.
Setting up an effective brand strategy isn’t always easy. Society is constantly evolving, and consumers’ attitudes are always changing. Many brands have been able to stand the test of time through implementing various strategies including, branching out through various branding methods.
To create and manage key brand assets, firms launch a variety of brand-related strategies. Knowing the options you have available is the first step in creating a winning brand strategy.
Brands can be owned by manufacturers, wholesalers, or retailers. Who owns the brand is a deciding factor in how to go about creating a branding strategy.
Manufacturer brands, which are the majority of brands marketed in America, own their brands and therefore have more control over their marketing strategy. Manufacturers can choose the appropriate market segments and position for the brands and can build the brand themselves, thereby creating their own brand equity.
Retail/Store brands develop the design and specifications for their brand and use to have to contract with manufacturers to produce the product. More so today though, retail firms are developing private-label merchandise and using this merchandise to establish a distinctive identity. Manufacturers are now more willing to accommodate the needs of retailers and develop co-brands for them.
Choosing whether to partner with a manufacturer or manufacture your own brand is a tuff decision. Both sides have their perks. All we can say is do extensive research into different manufacturing companies to figure out which brand ownership strategy would be best for you.
Naming Brands and Product lines
Naming a brand and product lines is one of the most crucial parts of the branding strategy. The name you chose should be readable and writable, unique, short, punchy, and memorable, and should evoke an emotion, feeling, or idea. That’s a lot to ask of a name, but they’re all essential factors.
Organizations must decide whether it wants its business name, brand name, and product name to all be the same or different. The rule we go by for brand and product names is, the more products vary in their usage or performance, the more likely it is that the firm should use individual brands. Organizations choose between family brands and individual brands.
Family Brands: Using a firm’s corporate name to brand all its product lines and products. When brands are sold under one family brand, the individual brands benefit from the overall brand awareness associated with the family name.
- Example: Kellogg’s uses its family brand name prominently on its breakfast brands (Kellogg’s Special K bars, Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Kellogg’s Pop Tarts, Kellogg’s Eggo Waffles).
Individual Brands: Using individual brand names for each of its products. This gives products individual identities that are not easily seen as being under one umbrella.
- Example: Kellogg’s also uses individual branding. Kellogg’s owns and markets Keebler, Cheese-It, Morningstar, and Famous Amos under separate names.
Tough decisions have to be made. You will never know exactly how a product will perform without first releasing it to the world. There are, once again, advantages to both sides. Through company, competitor, and consumer research, you can get a better idea of which strategy would be best for you.
Companies often use the same brand name in a different product line. This strategy has several advantages.
- Colgate and Crest started out selling toothpaste but have since started selling toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other dental hygiene products.
- Kellogg’s has branched out from the cereal company. Its strategy of branding the corporate name into the product name has allowed it to introduce new products quicker and more easily.
- Trying Neutrogena’s brand extension, Neutrogena Wave power cleanser might encourage consumers to try Neutrogena’s core product lines of cleansers and moisturizing lotions, especially if their first experience with Neutrogena was positive.
Sometimes companies try too hard to stretch the limits of brand extension and end up creating a major fail. Fortunate for us, those companies fails are valuable lessons for us. Here are some examples of companies that were unsuccessful in their brand extension strategy:
- Cheetos Lip Balm was based on the idea that if you like Cheetos, you would want to wipe it all over your lips.
- Colgate Kitchen Entrees were microwavable frozen dinner entrees that shared the name with the famous toothpaste.
Companies must consider several factors when planning a brand extension strategy.
A firm can choose to market two or more brands together on the same package, promotion, or store. Co-branding can enhance consumers’ perceptions of product quality through links between the firm’s brand and a well-known quality brand.
- Example: Yum! Brands combine two or more of its restaurant chains, A&W and Long John Silvers, Taco Bell and KFC, etc.
The co-branding strategy is designed to appeal to diverse market segments. Two companies’ markets can, however, be too different. Example: Burger King and Haagen-Dazs found their customers to be vastly different.
Creating a contractual arrangement between firms whereby one firm allows another to use its brand name, logo, symbols, and/or characters in exchange for an agreed upon fee. This practice is common for toys, apparel, accessories, and entertainment products, such as video games. Licensing is an effective form of attracting visibility for the brand and thereby building brand equity while also generating additional revenue. One risk, however, is the dilution of a firm’s brand equity through overexposure of the brand.
To rebrand, companies will change their brand’s focus to target new markets or realign the brand’s core emphasis with changing market preferences. Companies often have to spend tremendous amounts of money to make tangible changes to the product and packages as well as intangible changes to the brand’s image through various forms of promotion. This strategy has high costs and risks, some of which can remake or break a brand.
Brands add value for both consumers and sellers to use to their advantage. Having a brand helps facilitate purchases, establish loyalty, protect from competition and price competition, and affect market value. Having a strong branding strategy, one that consumers will love gives a company a huge boost.
Information gathered from Grewal, Dhruv, and Michael Levy. Marketing. 5th ed., McGraw Hill Education, 2017.
Need more information on whether or not to create a sales campaign? We’ve put together a quick list of insights into the advantages and disadvantages of sales campaigns.
Think a sales campaign would be great for your business? Learn how to get started in Create a Winning Sales Campaign.
Confidence and strategy – the two things you need to create a successful sales campaign. Sales campaigns are used as a strategy to boost the sale of products and services in a limited amount of time. The purpose is to inch current leads closer to making their purchase or to grab other consumers’ attention to notice you and convince them to buy.
Check out this list of strategies and tips that will help you create a winning sales campaign.
1. Know who Your Audience is
Knowing your target audience is an essential part of creating and delivering a campaign, whether it’s a promotional campaign, marketing campaign, or sales campaign. Harvard Business found that 85% of 30,000 new product launches in the US failed to generate desired revenue due to poor market segmentation. Imagine where those products could be today had they used their money and resources to target the correct market.
There are many ways to find your audience. It does take some extra time and effort, but it will eventually pay off as marketers who have used segmentation in emails have seen a 760% increase in revenue. Learn how to find your target audience in Find Your Target Market.
2. Create Killer Content
Marketers have minimal time to grab the viewer’s attention. Those initial couple seconds make or break the consumer’s decision to interact. Creating killer content will ensure that the consumer is going to pay attention to your campaign.
To create effective content, you must think like your customers. Understand what they like, dislike, what they want out of a product – the values, benefits, features they look for in that product. Relevant content reflects an understanding of your consumer. Once you know your consumer, it’ll be much easier to create content that will grab their attention.
The best content is that of which the consumer can picture what it’s like to be a consumer you’ve already helped. Storytelling is becoming among the most popular type of content.
Know some facts:
- Subject lines with more than 3 words experience a drop in opening by over 60%. [ContactMonkey]
- Email marketing has a two times higher ROI than cold calling, networking or trade shows. [MarketingSherpa]
- 58% of your audience will stop watching video within the first 90seconds. [JoegGirard.ca]
- Viewers retain 58% of what they see but only 10% of what they read.
- After a presentation, 63% of attendees remember the stories told. Only 5% remember statistics. [Dan & Chip Heath]
3. Follow up
All your time and effort so far will go to waste if you don’t follow up with new and existing prospects. In the content consuming world we live in, consumers can often forget what they saw, which doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t interested.
Follow-ups can act as a reminder. With so much on everyone’s plate and lots of content to process daily, a nice reminder can often jump-start the person into action.
Follow-ups also allow you to gain an understanding of a consumer’s hesitation and work to persuade them otherwise. They build credibility and allows you to tell prospects more about your business rather than them finding information on their own.
Nurturing your prospect through the decision-making process gives you the advantage and helps you persuade them to make the final decision to buy.
4. Get Personal
An effective campaign will speak directly to the person’s wants and needs. This means you need to break your target market down even further. Create different content for different segments and get even more personalized for different targeting.
Micromarketing or one-to-one marketing is the most specific you can get, tailoring a product or service to suit an individual customer. While this would be best, it’s often not practical. That’s why we suggest using a concentrated targeting strategy. This strategy involves selecting a single, primary target market, and focusing all your energies on providing a product to fit that market’s needs.
Personalization is key. It makes the consumer feel like you care about their wants and needs. Something as simple as including their name in an email is personalized enough to increase the chances of them opening and engaging with your campaign.
5. Build familiarity
Design touchpoints around your target market to build familiarity and leverage yourself above others. Seeing your company here and there will create familiarity with your product/service in the consumer’s eye. While a consumer might not need your product or service at the time the touchpoints are delivered, it will stick with them and done right, reappear when you need it to most.
Consumers are more likely to buy products and services from companies they have seen before.
6. Use the data as you go
With automated reports and analytics, we can see our campaign progress in real-time. There is no more guessing or waiting months for results. Utilizing reports through social media, A/B testing, google analytics, etc. will help you improve your sales campaign.
Given enough data, you can adjust your campaign in real-time (make sure you’re getting, at the very least, three weeks of data before adjusting). Alter your approach, tweak your segmentation, and add new mediums to create an even better sales campaign.