Contemporary Analysis

Data Science

How to Convert Leads into Referrals

In "Lead vs Referrals" I talked about the difference between a lead and a referral and why referrals are superior to leads, but the question arises, "How do you get people to refer you instead of giving you leads?"  The answer is purposeful and tactful coaching.  The best people at getting referrals do not get them by accident.  They ask and coach.

The first step is networking.  You must have a business network that is actively looking for leads for you.  They must be the types of colleagues that are in the right place.  After all, sales is just two thingsBeing around the people who want or need to buy your product, or being around the people who are around the people who have the want or need to buy your product.  Many people try to do this at the networking event.  It usually goes something like this: "Hi, how are you?.  Will you please refer me because I do x,y, and z and it's fantastic."  This is technically selling which is one of the big no-nos of networking.  See point two in "Why Networking is important and Tips for Success."

Leads vs. Referrals — Knowing the Difference.

If you can effectively develop relationships your sales efforts will go from good to great. However, it is important to understand the difference between leads vs. referrals. Most people who get leads from business relationships, think they are referrals and that they have succeeded. This is not true. There is a difference between a lead and a referral. Understanding this difference will change the way you call, email, or text leads, and a large difference in how you get the business from that person. Let's look at the difference.

Effective Sales Process: Be a Billboard in a Crowd, a Therapist 1 on 1

This post is part of a series of interviews with experts in business intelligence, sales management, marketing, customer retention, management and strategic planning.  Everyday, the CAN team interacts with clients, mentors, and friends who are leaders in their fields, and we started this series to share their expertise.

One of my mentors and friends in sales, Vanessa Shoemaker, recently reminded me that salespeople need to be a billboard in a crowd, and a therapist 1 on 1. She reminded me of how easy it is for salespeople to get focused on being either a billboard or a therapist, instead of both.  Billboards piqué people's interest to learn more. Being a billboard is essential to stand out in a crowd and to get meetings with new prospects. Therapists learn about people and their needs and wants, then prescribe the right solution. Being a therapist is essential to understanding your prospects enough to build trust and recommend solutions that are going to provide them the most value. (Related Post on Qualifying) A billboard says the right things, a therapists asks the right questions.

Contemporary Analysis: Focusing New Salespeople

New salespeople often struggle to focus on the right opportunities, and this often keeps them from meeting their quotas or closing unprofitable deals. However, new salespeople should not be faulted for their lack of focus, because generating an ever increasing number of opportunities is an essential responsibility of a salesperson. It is up to sales managers to focus their teams on the right deals. At CAN we use the following techniques to focus our inexperienced salespeople so they start closing the right deals as quickly as possible.

Make Employee Feedback Believable

Why and How to Develop a Reliable Sales Team

Every company has to have sales.  Most companies have a sales team, however very few companies have a true sales system.  Unfortunately without a sales systems companies are not able to sustain themselves during downturns or pursue aggressive growth trajectories.  The reason that most companies don't have a sales system is because there are significant barriers to entry in time, money and talent.

Why and How Using a CRM is Important

As a business owner and sales manager, I have found using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management System) to be priceless.  Its designed to keep me from becoming overwhelmed by the exponential growth of my sales team and their prospects, deals and customer service cases.  While I have used several CRMs, including SalesforceSugar CRM and Zoho CRM, at CAN we use 37Signal's Highrise.  We use this one because its values align with CAN's values.

If you are building your sales team and sales systems, I recommend that you quickly adopt a CRM, or Customer Relationship Management System, because it will allow you to manage your company's most important asset, your customers.  As a sales manager, how you acquire and maintain relationships should be a top priority in developing your sales system. The difficult part is that no customer wants to be treated the same; every customer is different, Download our Case Study.  You need to quickly adopt a CRM if you can answer yes to any of the following:

  • Do you plan on writing personalized emails to your customers?
  • Is it important to you to remember personal details about your customers?
  • Do you plan on having more deals, customer service cases, contacts and customers than you can remember?
  • Do you plan on having multiple people working sales, marketing and customers service?
  • Do you plan on coordinating multiple departments, including sales, marketing, customer service and operations, in order to meet the needs of your clients?

Insurance Client Stories-Contemporary Analysis

Scaling 1 to 1

Stop Persuading and Start Selling: How to Qualify Your Clients

Their are a lot of salespeople that are confused about their roles as salespeople.  Salespeople do not exist to persuade, manipulate or pressure us to purchase things that we don't need.  Their job is to connect people to the resources (people, services, and products) that they need to do our jobs and enjoy their lives.

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