In sales, it’s not just about talking the talk. It’s about walking the walk.
What the heck do we mean by this?
Even though your team may talk a good game, if your numbers aren’t where they need to be, it’s time to take a good, hard look at your sales process.
Because improving sales performance relies on understanding the factors that affect sales at each stage of the process.
And even though it can take years for salespeople to perfect this art, there are five things you can do today to start walking the walk and improving your sales performance.
- Analyze your sales performance
- Guiding questions for your sales performance self-audit
- Take advantage of data
- Deliver value based on your customers' needs
- Here are some questions to ask your prospect and help deliver a valuable offer:
- Get personal with your prospect
- Three tips for establishing an instant connection with your prospect
- Offer personalized interactive demo experiences
- How interactive demos improve sales performance
- Follow up with prospects
- Using interactive demos to improve your sales performance
1. Analyze your sales performance
You’ve acknowledged that there’s more you can be doing to increase the odds of converting new customers.
Well, that’s half the battle!
So, to get started, you’ll need to analyze your current sales process and conduct a self-audit.
Why? Because this will help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Guiding questions for your sales performance self-audit
To perform a self-audit, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions like:
1. What are your goals and how do you measure success?
2. How do you prioritize your time to make the most of it?
3. What can you do differently today to improve your sales performance?
4. Are you prepared for objections?
5. What is the best way to stay organized during a busy week without being overwhelmed?
6. Are there any tools that can help with productivity, organization, or data? Is there any sales performance optimization software that might be worth trying or learning about later?
Take advantage of data
Now, it’s time to get into the data.
One of the best ways to improve B2B sales is by analyzing and leveraging data.
Because collecting data at every step of the way lets you quickly find any problem areas within your sales process.
Usually, the data we extract comes from CRMs, but email automation only tells part of the story.
If you want to go deeper and make an effective action plan to improve sales performance, you must collect data throughout the entire sales cycle from start to finish, including the demo phase.
At this point, you might be thinking to yourself that it’s super hard to collect and analyze large amounts of data.
But don’t worry. There are automated solutions that provide easy-to-digest visual dashboards and graphs to help you analyze your sales process.
Remember, every piece of data is essential — you never know where you’ll find your next opportunity and start improving sales performance.
That being said, you don’t only need to know when something goes wrong. You also need to find out what’s working for you and your team.
2. Deliver value based on your customers’ needs
You cannot improve, we repeat, you cannot improve your sales team’s performance if you don’t have an in-depth understanding of your customer.
Sales reps should know how their product will enable prospects to achieve their short-term and long-term goals.
The more you understand your client’s challenges and needs, the better you can position your product as a solution for their most significant pain points.
That’s why asking the right questions is crucial in helping you craft the perfect pitch and is a simple way to improve sales performance.
Ask follow-up questions to help bring up your prospect’s feelings or thoughts and potentially expand the sale scope.
On top of this, make sure you are actively listening and focusing on the prospect’s answers to help you deliver a value-based offer. When in doubt, remember the 80/20 rule: listen first, then speak.
Here are some questions to ask your prospect and help deliver a valuable offer:
1. What are your objectives/goals?
2. What problems are you facing?
3. What are your expectations?
4. What would you view as a success?
5. What’s the next step, and by when?
Discovering your customer’s pains and setting expectations can go a long way in helping you improve sales performance and shorten your sales cycle.
3. Get personal with your prospect
To build a relationship with your potential client, you need to lay the groundwork. And that means establishing trust and a rapport.
Connecting with your prospect personally increases their willingness to buy from you and helps improve your sales performance.
You can research your prospect’s social media accounts before meeting them — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Why? Because social media profiles say volumes about the individual. You can leverage these tools to connect and improve sales performance simultaneously.
If you don’t have the time or consider it personal to dig into someone’s social media accounts, there are some alternatives.
Three tips for establishing an instant connection with your prospect
1. Drop the sales voice — Prospects pick up on this immediately, and it can destroy any chances of establishing trust or respect.
Instead, focus on being genuine. Connecting with a natural-sounding person is easier and will go a long way in improving sales performance.
2. Make it about the prospect — To reiterate what we already mentioned, focus on the prospect 100% of the time. One of the simplest ways to improve sales performance is to address their problems and how you can make their lives easier.
3. Ask a provocative question — It’s a good idea to mention two or three industry challenges you’ve observed and ask the prospect if they can relate. If they can, you’ll seem like more of an authority figure on the subject matter.
If they can’t, your solution might not be a good fit. But that’s ok. This will help you better understand which opportunities to invest time and resources in.
4. Offer personalized interactive demo experiences
We’ll keep saying it until we’re blue in the face: GENERIC DEMO EXPERIENCES SUCK!
The most common way people decide whether they want to buy from you has a lot to do with how the prospect feels during the sales process. In fact, 53% of prospects said the sales experience is what made them make a purchase decision.
Imagine you’re a prospect looking for your next SaaS product.
You’ve narrowed it down to two companies, one of which has a personalized and interactive software demo that shows exactly how the solution will solve your problems, while the other relies on a slide deck demo.
Which demo experience would be more appealing?
It’s clear interactive and personalized demos have the upper hand and can be super valuable when it comes to helping optimize your sales performance.
How interactive demos improve sales performance
Delivering interactive and personalized demos provides customers with a more true-to-life product experience. But the benefits of these types of demos go beyond this.
Using interactive product demos can help you gain a new layer of insights and data that you can use to boost your sales performance.
Traditional CRM and email automation can give you some data, but infusing data and insights from the demo phase allows you to fine tune your pitches going forward.
Because gathering data and insights into precisely what parts stood out and resonated best with individual buyers gives you a better idea about what to focus on during future interactions.
5. Follow up with prospects
You’ve given an amazing demo.
Alright, alright, alright!
But to close the deal, there’s a good chance you’re gonna need to follow up with your prospect.
Only about 2% of sales occur in the first meeting. So, following up with prospects frequently is one of the most important things you can do to improve sales performance.
Not to mention, lead generation is complicated and expensive, so being thorough with every lead is essential.
So, it’s a good idea to use email marketing tools to help you follow up.
Just remember these demo follow-up emails also need to be personalized.
Using interactive demos to improve your sales performance
We’re not going to sugarcoat it: it’s a tough market out there.
And the only way to succeed and improve B2B sales performance is to understand your customers’ needs and provide answers to their pain.
One way you can show that your product is the answer to prospects’ pain is by using interactive and personalized product demos.
With a sales experience platform (like Walnut), it’s easy to create exactly these kinds of demos at scale and collect essential data at every sales process step—data you can leverage to close more deals.
What are you waiting for? Click the “Get Started” button to start improving your sales performance!