It is our belief that your employees can help improve sales at your business by more than 20% if you help them help you. Most business owners don’t really think of their employees as ones who can help them improve sales; however the front line employees – the ones that interact with customers – can make a big difference in improving your business. These employees are talking to and interacting with your customers all the time. They are responsible for making your customers come back by providing great customer service. In short, they are representing your brand and your business.
So what are the specific ways in which your employees can help improve sales? In our experience of running business for 5 years we have come across multiple opportunities.
- They can make your existing customers come back by providing excellence customer service.
- They can also help bring new customers by word-of-mouth from existing ones.
- They can help you up-sell and cross-sell at the point of order taking and payment.
- They are aware of where opportunities exist for improvement in customer service and operations.
It is your responsibility as business owner to make this happen. You have to provide them with the necessary resources and incentives that will motivate them to give their best in front of customers. We have identified below several areas that you need to address.
- Hire best employees. It all starts with having the best employees to work in your business. No amount of motivation or tools will make ordinary employees give their best to their jobs. We provided suggestions on how to go about hiring best employees in an earlier post.
- Give incentives. It’s a human nature to look after the best for themselves; so it is natural that they would want a share of the improved sales if they make it work. You have to put bonus system in place such that any improvement in sales will lead to more money for them.
- Motivate them to give their best. In addition to monetary incentives there are other ways of motivating the employees to give their best. We identified several such techniques in earlier post.
- Provide resources. You cannot expect your employees to know everything about improving sales. It is your responsibility to teach them as well as provide tools that will enable to do their job. You need to look at all aspects of customer service including how to deal with customer complaints to how to improve sales with up selling and cross selling.
- Reinforce the concept periodically. It is not enough to tell your employees once and expect them take action. You have to continue to remind them that they are all in this business together and if the business does well everyone benefits.
Just like your customers can help with marketing your business your employees are another source you can utilize to improve sales. However, most small business owners don’t look at it that way and miss out on the opportunity to harness the power of employees.
Have you used any other methods to get your employees help with more sales?
If your sales team isn’t taking advantage of the latest technology, they should be. From tools to automate follow ups to conversational bots to educate website visitors, technology is changing the sales game.
Below, 10 members of Forbes Technology Council offer their best tips on ways a sales team can use technology to boost their effectiveness.
Clockwise from top left: Erik Gustavson, Venkat Rangan, Mark Chiles, Chalmers Brown, Gurpreet Singh, Mike Crow, Vinny Piazza, Scott Stiner, Andrew Kucheriavy, Chris Ciabarra. All photos courtesy of the individual members.
1. Embrace The Cloud
Sales teams can improve their effectiveness by embracing cloud technologies that help the team become more agile, and by integrating those technologies together to increase productivity. – Erik Gustavson, Bitium
2. Use Key Insights To Accelerate Opportunities
Through machine learning, modern purpose-built sales platforms deliver key insights to sales reps to accelerate their opportunities. Mobile platforms help update accounts and opportunities with intuitive user experiences, reducing the burden of data entry. Managers and directors gain greater visibility into sales activity and are able to forecast and plan their business with greater accuracy. – Venkat Rangan, Clari Inc.
3. Collaborate Within Sales Teams
The use of CRM systems has vastly changed the sales landscape. This came about with the introduction of SalesForce.com and so on. Sales teams can leverage the openness of information to know what the client has been contacted about, and to see how they can further expand business across other franchises. This allows sales teams to work together, in an open manner, to keep from “stepping on toes.” – Mark Chiles, Hart Energy
4. Enhance The Sales Funnels
Technology has helped automate a lot for companies’ sales funnels. CRMs have come a long way, but can always be improved. Machine learning and bots may start to play a larger role in how potential customers interact with sales tech. If a potential customer can have more of their needs met with tech, then sales teams can scale at a faster rate. – Chalmers Brown, Due
5. Build An Internal CRM Platform
A quality tech department can save you the costs and hassles of cookie-cutter CRM subscriptions. It was a proud day when my team canceled ours and switched to an internal platform. Our client acquisition costs instantly dropped to a historic low. Plus, because our service and sales are integrated, we can easily track user experience and interactions to improve our targeting and conversion rates. – Gurpreet Singh, TalkLocal
6. Use Technology To Increase Your Likelihood Of Closing A Sale
The iPad has millions of apps on it to help you make sales faster and easier. For example, we all know that Salesforce helps sales teams , but what about an app like Conference Pad? When giving a presentation, impress your audience with the power of changing each page on all iPads at once. – Chris Ciabarra, Revel Systems INC
7. Automate Email Follow Ups
Automate your follow ups by creating sequences to send a series of emails to your prospect over time. Software like Hubspot Sales allows you to personalize and track each and every message, allowing you to collect data and hone in on the best sequences. – Andrew Kucheriavy, Intechnic
8. Improve Follow Up With Boomerang For Gmail
One effective way to increase sales conversions is to improve follow-up procedures. Fortunately for lead follow-ups via email, there is a Gmail plug-in called Boomerang that allows you to schedule when to send follow-up messages to prospective clients. Importantly, Boomerang also allows you to set reminders to follow up with a prospect. Set automated reminders with Boomerang to drive higher sales conversions. – Scott Stiner, UM Technologies, LLC
9. Use Platforms To Help With Brand Asset Management
There are many ways technology can help sales . Outside common technologies, we use a platform that helps customers with brand and marketing asset management. In turn, by providing desired tools to customers, it helps our sales team create partnerships. This platform changed single orders into lasting print marketing programs. A customer-facing tool can be a sales team’s best asset. – Vinny Piazza, Bay State Envelope
10. Integrate Among CRM, Email And Voice
CRM solutions have come a long way, and there are now services available to make it easier and more efficient for salespeople to update their CRM system straight from email or their VoIP solution. We use Salesforce integrated with Google Apps for Work, and our sales team can easily track accounts, opportunities, activities and more without having to manually enter a lot of data. – Mike Crow, Acumen Solutions