Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Sales Team?

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Sales Team?

Source: Unsplash | Austin Distel

Sales are at the heart of what most businesses do, and without a strong sales team, even the best products in the world won’t reach their intended market. But getting the most out of your sales team is a fine art, one that requires a mix of technological savvy, emotional intelligence, and people skills.

If you want to improve the overall performance of your sales team this year, here are a few things you can do to encourage more effective engagement, better use of leads, and a more collaborative approach to sales.

Invest in Lead Management Tools

Sales is all about reaching people, which is why most sales teams have access to a significant number of sales tools to help them generate leads and cultivate them effectively. Sorting leads and determining which are the most promising is time-consuming, and it is all too common for sales reps to spend precious calling time trying to decide which lead to contact next.

When it comes to making sales more streamlined, sales engagement platforms are one of the most effective ways to ensure your sales team can focus on what it does best: talking to potential customers.

Sales engagement platforms use a variety of different time-saving tools, such as queue-based lead routing, auto-dialing, and automatic email population to ensure that your sales reps are automatically being fed the best lead possible, which means they don’t have to spend a lot of time deciding who to call next.

If you think your sales team could benefit from a more streamlined approach to lead routing, you can learn more at VanillaSoft about the benefits of integrating a sales engagement platform into your operations.

Foster a More Collaborative Approach to Sales

There is a common misunderstanding in the world of sales that you can get the most out of your team by encouraging competition between sales reps. Films like Glengarry Glen Ross portray sales as a dog-eat-dog world in which every representative is fighting for their slice of the pie, and while this might make for good cinema, it’s a terrible way to run a sales team.

When reps compete against each other, they think about personal success first, and success of the firm second. But any experienced team manager or business owner knows that it is the bottom line of the company that matters most; incentivizing your staff to withhold valuable information from each other in the hopes that it will give them an edge is a poor way to encourage overall profits.

Instead, you should encourage your team to work together by sharing information and pooling talents to maximize the total number of sales. This will not only increase the likelihood of an increase in overall business, but it will also foster a more pleasant work environment, which makes employee retention much easier.

A well-functioning sales team is one of the biggest assets a business can have. Making sure that your team is operating at the highest possible efficiency means investing in the tools and training that will unlock your staff’s full potential.

If you believe your sales team isn’t performing as well as it could, upgrading to a sales engagement platform, and encouraging a more collaborative workplace are all proven methods for taking your sales team to the next level.

Why Embracing Technology is Critical to Sales Success

Why Embracing Technology is Critical to Sales Success

(Image Credit: everythingpossible / 123RF Stock Photo)

For most people, sales are considered more a game of knowing how to read people, and how to convince them to buy what you’ve got. It’s an art that only the best “people person” can master. But the best salesperson understands that certain scientific tools can help when it comes to this art. Technology has become more and more critical to sales in the modern age. In fact, over 82% of top-selling salespeople cite sales software as critical to their jobs, according to a LinkedIn survey in 2016.

Evaluate and Decide with Data

One of the biggest uses of technology in sales today is gathering data to help sales teams make better decisions. Data on what customers want, what they buy, when they buy it, how often they buy, and much more, is vital for sales development. And what’s more, the use of data collection in sales has changed the way customers expect to be treated. Now, with so many sales teams relying on personal data to better sell to individuals, customers expect to be treated with personal touches. Emails with a name included, sales triggered by GPS location, and much more are all a part of the way customers now expect to interact with businesses.

According to Activayte, there are four main benefits to using technology to collect data on your customers:

  • It helps you maintain consistency. Your customers will always know exactly what to expect because your relationship with them will be standardized based on the data you’ve collected. For example, you won’t be asking the same repeat customer over and over to sign up for a new customer deal when they visit your website – the website will automatically recognize that they’ve been there before.
  • It helps you develop organized contacts and accounts that can be classified into profiles. This allows you to build email campaigns and message templates directly to targeted members of your audience.
  • It helps you integrate the many points of sale into a single experience for the consumer. This means that they can seamlessly switch between mobile, desktop, and in-person shopping at their convenience.
  • It helps you better understand what your target market is, and how you serve them. That allows you to set better goals and measure your success.

The Future of Sales Technology is AI

Wondering what the wave of the future will bring for sales professionals? Artificial intelligence is the next thing on the horizon that will change the way we sell to consumers. AI in sales can make administrative tasks, like sending out automated emails and categorizing data, much simpler. AI can also help you determine what deals should be invested in, and which should be passed up, by analyzing market data, predicting outcomes, and more. For sales teams, this means you could, for example, accurately predict the outcome of potential promotions based on your customer history.

Together, both present-day and future technology are working to make sales even more effective and easy.

Practical tips you can apply now to improve retail store sales

Practical tips you can apply now to improve retail store sales

You want to increase your retail sales, that’s a given. The purpose of any business is to bring in paying clients, and the best way to accomplish this is through marketing. If sales are low, then perhaps there’s something wrong and you must figure it out fast.

In our competitive world, getting results is all that matters. Take note that successful retailers aren’t more intelligent or talented that you are, they just learned to do things effectively while making money in the process.

Check out the practical tips below that you can apply to improve your retail sales.

Start advertising more. Sometimes businesses cut on spending for their marketing when they should actually be spending more. It’s good to increase your marketing efforts during slow periods of sale since the entire industry will be looking out to get the most out of a decreased market share.

The best way to do this is through social media that’s connected to your business website. If you still don’t have social media presence, then now is the best time to create pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube – basically the channels that your business will benefit from.

As to your website, all promotions from your social media channels should directly go to a specific page on your website. Any business owner worth his or her salt knows that a website is a necessary investment. Start by doing a domain name search to help you name your businesses’ website name and address. A good domain name and hosting provider should be able to guide you throughout the entire steps of taking your business online, so don’t hesitate to ask for their assistance and to make use of their other tools and integrated guides.

Assess your pricing strategy. When buying and pricing your products or services, always consider the cost of goods and that your retail shop is constantly making a profit at the price point. Your product price must always be competitive while still making a profit for your business. At the end of the day, the appropriate price is the price that your clients are willing to pay for your products or services.

Improve your store’s looks. Consider leveraging on cross-merchandising techniques and impulse sales opportunities. Small changes like different lighting fixtures and creative cardboard displays may be added to attract passing customers. Try playing videos for product or service education, entertainment, and any other promotional or upsell tie-in. A lively store is always a customer magnet.

Aren’t we forgetting something? Of course not – it’s practising good customer service!

Great customer service has always been a major factor to increase sales regardless of the season. Be sympathetic to your customers to know their wants and needs. The next step is to educate them about your offerings. Lastly, let them know that you appreciate their loyalty or business. Consider offering value-added products and services.

Next, educate them about the products. Finally, let your customer know that you appreciate their business. Offer value-added services and products. Create a mailing list by asking for contact information from each customer. Remember, the customer is looking for an experience and not just a product.

End Note

That’s it! Apply these practical tips to retail store and watch as your sales improve. Best of luck! Have any other tips to share your fellow business owners? Share it with us.

The Product Photography Tips You Need to Know

The Product Photography Tips You Need to Know


eCommerce is popular, with consumers making so many of their purchases online. It’s also simple for entrepreneurs and business owners to create their own eCommerce site within a few hours, and be ready to sell to people around the world.

There’s just one thing to consider, and that’s the photography. The product images you use on your eCommerce site are extremely important, and they’re ultimately what’s going to sway your consumer in one direction or the other, but what do you do if you’re a novice at taking product photos?

You might also want to do it all yourself, particularly if you’re on a tight budget and hiring a professional photographer just isn’t feasible for you.

There are some tips you can follow to make sure your customers are compelled to buy from you.

Show Products in Use

First and foremost, this isn’t so much a technical tip as a content tip. When you’re adding product photos to your eCommerce site, don’t just show the product in its packaging. Try to add images of it in use. For example, if you’re highlighting men’s haircare products, show it being used on men’s hairstyles.

People are visual, and it’s things like this that can help you stand out from the massive amounts of competition in the eCommerce world.

Use the Right Equipment

In the past buying a professional-quality camera might have been out of the question, but now DSLRs are getting so much more affordable. If you have an eCommerce site with a lot of items, or you plan on taking a lot of pictures, it m ay be a  justifiable expense.

Even if you’re not ready to take the plunge with a new camera, consider using something the VSCOCam app which will turn your smartphone into something ready to take a professional-quality photo.

Also, think about using a tripod, particularly if you have smaller products. You can use a tripod with a camera or your smartphone, and it can help make sure your pictures have the right depth of field.

Use a White Background

When you take product photos, you want the focus to be entirely on that photo, which is why you need a white background. Even what seems like a small detail such as a subtle texture in the background can take away from the impact of the image.

With a white sheet of paper or fabric, you can give yourself the perfect backdrop.

The Light

Finally, you’ve probably heard it before, but to get the best digital photos, you need the right light. Natural light is almost always best, and if you can use it, do it. Taking product pictures in natural light in the early afternoon tends to be best.

You want to keep shadows soft as well, which you can accomplish by taking pictures near a big window or going directly outside.

Adding a flash diffuser to your camera can also help soften the light and prevent unsightly hard shadows.

This might not be a full course on product photography, but these are some must-have tips that can get you started.

The Essentials for Increasing Sales

The Essentials for Increasing Sales

Success in sales demands a careful analysis of factors that create and build sales. This can be attained by utilizing incredibly intricate sales software creating by sales gurus like Mark Stiffler. It also demands that you find way to get and keep your sales team at peak operating capacity so they always are ahead of the competition. To get your team motivated to grow sales try these tips.

Tell your sales team where things stand

Some companies are reluctant to tell their sales team how things are going. They may let them know if a sales quota is reached and if someone is having an outstanding performance or someone may get fired one day because of poor performance but overall the team is not kept informed of how everyone is doing. This is the absolute wrong approach. The sales team shouldn’t be in the dark about how sales are going.

The top companies are much more likely to report on non-quota sales performance, focusing not only on sales-to-quota achievements, but also on qualitative goals that identify how well team members are selling. By opening up both your sales tracking approach and statistics to everyone, you letting them see who is doing well, and poorly and get the chance to discuss why. It fosters teamwork, healthy competition and gives those who are excelling an opportunity to be praised.

Provide great incentives

Every sales department needs a great incentive program at its base in order to get the team motivated to sell. Sales people typically gravitate to the position mostly because of the compensation package and so having an enticing one will go a long way to getting quality people on your sales team.

If there is a need to really push sales to another level whether temporarily or for an extended period of time, a good idea is to temporarily increase sales incentives. By offering more money, additional time off or a great gift is another great way to give employees a push toward meeting a higher goal. Studies have shown that non-cash incentives can be more effective than cash incentives so consider adding great trips or dinner at a top restaurant or show tickets as part of the incentive mix. This idea will get people talking and if the prizes are the right ones, everyone will push sales harder to get them.

Make it a Friendly Competition

Sales people are innately competitive, so if you play into this character trait, it can have a great positive effect on sales. Coming up with a competition that is both fun and rewarding will really be a hit with your sales department. More companies are utilizing a team competition where the pressure is on multiple team members and an option of winning gets shared and the response is generally very positive.

Weaker sales people may not feel that they have a chance to win but coupled with others on a team, they might get energized and motivated. There’s nothing quite like a little healthy competition to put the drive back into sales. The result is total team involvement, leading to increased sales and productivity.

Communicate the big picture

Smart businesses understand that getting employees to buy into the big picture is beneficial to growth. It is one of the things that gets people excited makes them feel like what they do actually matters in the success of the company.  So providing employees with a sense of the big picture can be a powerful tool for motivating them.

The goal should be to show them their role and importance to the success of the enterprise and then provide a clear path for them to fulfill that role. Focusing on their individual opportunities for advancement and specific benefits is most effective.

Use these tips to ramp up sales in your organization.