What is the most overlooked technique to improve sales?
I think different techniques will work for different industries but I would say one thing you can never do enough of is research. If you’re prospecting in any real fashion then you will have a relatively long list of names/companies and it isn’t so easy to remember who they are, what they do and why exactly you might be suitable for them. Before you call them again/email them again just refresh your memory, and look over your notes. If you do get to speak to the right person then be sure to ask lots of questions, you can never know enough about a prospect and whether they might buy from you.
I can never get through to the decision maker, what should I do?
Quite often decision makers are busy people and dealing with you might be very low on their to-do list right now. It’s definitely worth asking if there’s someone else you can talk to or when the best time to speak to someone might be. One thing I would suggest is being quite honest with someone on the phone. “I just want to see if it’s something of interest, I don’t like being a pest, I don’t want to disturb him if he’s not interested I won’t call again but I’d like to know one way or the other.” This has proven effective where you can’t even get a reply from a prospect as most people understand you’re only doing your job and it won’t kill them to speak with you if only to give you a polite rejection.
Do you think anyone can become a good salesperson?
I would think so if you have strong communication skills to begin with you can certainly become a good sales person. I think the issue for a lot of people is they never get much of a chance. Due to the soft skill set required to get into sales, there is a high level of churn and in my opinion companies can be very unforgiving very quickly. I think anyone can become good at sales if giving the right environment, training and time.
What do you think of job roles that combine sales and marketing?
Sales and marketing are certainly different disciplines but in theory should be working closely together. In my experience a lack of joint up thinking between sales and marketing is responsible for a lack of conversions. (Perhaps this is a good subject for a lesson series) Technology has made a lot of marketing that was once very specialised (like graphic design) much more accessible now so I think it’s becoming more natural that the role would crossover. I think it’s rare to find someone who could do both, but I don’t think its preposterous to look for.