The secret of a rapid and stable commercial development lies in a methodical and pragmatic approach. Here are 10 tips for your business development.
Here are 10 tips to help you grow your business.
I. Knowing The Market And Competition
You need to know your market.
Your market is first your customers so know them. To understand them, ask them questions, make inquiries.
The better you know your customers, the better you can meet their needs. For this you should do surveys and market research. You should do it regularly as the market changes, needs and tastes change.
You should also encourage your employees to pass on the information they collect throughout their contacts with prospects and clients. You should set up a feedback system.
Keep abreast of developments in your market by consulting what’s published. You can also query your suppliers and partners who can provide you with additional information about market trends.
You must know the competition.
What offers does it offer? At what price ? What are the characteristics of their products, their strengths, their disadvantages? Does it sell packaged offers? What is their marketing? What benefits does it show in its advertisements? Etc.
Go see their products, buy them, test them.
Check out their website. Follow them in the press, the different media, social networks …
II. Analyzing Your Forces And Your Weaknesses
You should analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your company vis-à-vis the competition.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of key elements for your success:
- Market reputation, reputation, customer recognition of the company’s know-how,
- The speed of adaptation to market needs,
- The quality of the products, the diversity and the scope of your range, the quality of the service, the quality and the speed of the deliveries,
- The quality of the telephone reception,
- the existence of market studies, frequency of presentation of new products, prices, presence on all sales channels (mail order, solicitation, promotion, exhibition, professional days), the existence of a catalog, The existence of a website,
- The quality of the customer’s sales follow-up, the presence of customers through regular contacts, the motivation of the sales force, their competence and so on.
Determine what in the list above is a strength and what constitutes a weakness. Gather your teams and see how you can strengthen your strengths and solve your weaknesses.
III. Localizing Commercial Threats And Opportunities
Threats and opportunities can be of different kinds: changing legislation or taxation, new professional standards, competition (new competitors or, on the contrary, a competitor facing difficulties or disappearing), new distribution channels, a break In costs and prices (delocalization, technological breakthrough in your favor or against you), new technology, a change in fashion or consumption habits, and so on.
You should be constantly listening to the market to feel about what it is evolving and to anticipate the needs and create the products and services of tomorrow.
IV. Defining Competitive Advantages
You must define your competitive advantages. It may be any means, process, tool, method, patent, or other material that you have and that, if properly used, will be able to leverage to out-compete or make up for delays. The goal is to out-compete or to close a gap with it.
Through surveys, refine your offers, your marketing, your commercial communications. Ensure that they are in tune with the wishes and needs of your customers.
Define your unique and attractive selling proposition (USP: Unique selling proposition). A USP is a formula that summarizes your offer. It is unique in that it exists nowhere else, that it is incomparable. It describes how your product is different or superior to any other product.
Your USP is what will push the prospect to buy your product rather than that of the competition. If your product is comparable to that of the competition, it would be wise to create packaged product / service offers that meet the needs of your prospects and differentiate you from the competition. The whole idea is to use a strong message that will differentiate you.
V. Optimizing The Sales Process
See the following files:
You should test your sales process. Test each step, every aspect and see what works best and what works worse. Only test one thing at a time, that is, you should only change one factor to see if the results are better or not. If you test several items at once, you will not be able to tell what the improvement or decrease in results is due to.
VI. Trust Achieved Customers
It costs up to 10 times cheaper to sell to an existing customer than to acquire a new one.
It costs up to 3 times cheaper to sell to an unconverted prospect than to acquire a new one.
In addition, the turnover achieved with loyal customers is often higher than that achieved with a new customer. The same is true for the margin.
It is therefore vital for your sales and margins to retain your customers. The main rule is that they must feel considered, which means that:
- You must know them well.
- You must establish a privileged relationship with them.
- You need to make your customers feel unique.
You have to keep this rule in mind in everything you do at the marketing and commercial level.
Encourage your customers to be loyal to your business. You can set up bonuses or gifts for regular customers like for example a free product after ten products purchased or ten orders placed. You can also make them special offers. You can offer them advertising gifts to your company logo. Or offer them the shipping costs.
It is key to your profitability to retain your current customers but you must simultaneously prospect and acquire your future customers because it is with new customers that you will develop your turnover.
VII. Prospecting New Customers
As seen previously, your marketing approach should bring you many prospects to start with. But this should not prevent your salespeople from doing prospecting.
Here are some steps to follow to organize the door-to-door sales:
- Define your targets: You must analyze your best clients in terms of turnover and profitability (location, sector of activity, turnover, workforce, contact person, etc.) in order to define your typical clientele to prospect.
- Get files: There are many providers in this area, do a search on Google.
- Organize phoning: your salespeople can do half a day or two a week making appointments with new clients or you can have business assistants that will work or you can outsource this to an external provider .
- Define his message and get the right contact person: see the practical sheet The sales interview and the steps of the sale .
- Obtain the face-to-face meeting: the relational and the expertise (see the practice sheet Sales techniques ).
- Developing a network of business contacts: existing customers, relationships, networks (employees, social networks, directories, professional associations, etc.), major projects, contracts in progress, etc.
- Keep abreast of the market and the opportunities: read the press or the specialized press, talk with your customers, your suppliers, your relations, your collaborators.
VIII. Perfect Trade Teams
A good salesperson will not only ensure you important sales but it will give you valuable information about your products, customers, market evolutions, competition.
So in the first place, you need to make sure to recruit valuable trading. It’s not that simple, you will say. How do you recognize a value merchant? Here is a tool that will help you succeed in your recruitment. .
The second point concerns the skill of your sales people. Make sure they also have the qualities of exceptional salespeople. If this is not the case, have them take training.
A good salesperson is a bit like an athlete or a top athlete: he must train, practice. From time to time, salespeople come up against difficult clients, difficult situations that they do not know how to handle, or objections or questions from clients they do not know how to answer. They must be prepared to deal with such situations or reactions and to respond appropriately.
The solution is to have a sales manager or a sales manager who deals in groups and individually with your sales people. On the one hand, he has to animate and motivate his troops, but he must also help each salesman individually by seeing how he is going, if he has encountered situations he has not managed to manage, Chess, etc. And it must remedy it by communication or by exercising the commercial.
Ix. Rationalize Through Customer Relationship Management Tools
The time of your salespeople is precious. Save it: Streamline and automate the management of your prospects and the follow-up of your customers. For this you need a CRM software.
There is a multitude, for all budgets. Analyze and define your needs and requirements and choose. Good CRM software will allow you to keep track of your clients, know when to call them back or visit them, know what to offer them and when. It will also allow you to process all incoming requests without losing a single one. It significantly increases the efficiency and profitability of your sales department.
X. Driving To Dashboards
Without dashboards, you are like a pilot without radar: you do not know where you are going. On the other hand, with the right measurement tools, you will know if your commercial actions are bearing fruit, you will detect trends in advance or market reversals, you will always be ahead of the competition.
- The first thing to do and define exactly the numbers you need: CA and margin per customer, product, commercial, geographic area, number of new customers acquired, number of sales made, average number per sale, number of sales Appointments made by commercial and total, etc., etc., etc.It’s up to you to see what numbers are necessary to drive the development of your sales. It varies from one sector to another, from one company to another. Take the time it takes to determine them. If you do not have the right indicators, you may not quickly see changes and changes in your business or in the market.
- The second thing to do is to assign each of your collaborators one or more of these measurement indicators. Generally a sales representative will have for figures of measurement of its activity its turnover or the margin released or the number of sale.
- The third thing to do is to define the reporting period. Generally reporting is done monthly. A longer period is discouraged so that you can quickly remedy a falling product or help a commercial who runs less well. On the other hand, in order to improve the responsiveness, you could fly by the week.
- The fourth thing to do is look at these numbers every month (or every week), analyze them to find the origin of a decrease in order to remedy or increase it in order to strengthen it.