In the traditional sales role, a full pipeline of potential clients is essential to remain employed. Since the answer ‘no’ is far more frequent than ‘yes’, thought is to be given to how you can win the game and earn the sale. Winning refers to not only receiving commissions along with bonuses but also alleviating the stress.
If you are having a slow start with your sales career, take time to experiment with the types of companies that appear to hold an interest in what you sell. Attempt to make contact with small shops and large corporations plus everything in-between. Pay attention to the industries that have your attention because these will be the more enjoyable clients.
The next item to consider is whether to go after the smaller companies where decisions take less time, or the corporations where the wait makes you wonder if it’s worth it. There are always two sides to every answer. While it’s true smaller companies take less time for a favorable decision; the amount is a fraction of what a larger organization will provide. On the other hand, while big corporations have the big bucks, multiple people involved in the decision-making process will come to a decision very slowly.
At the time I was selling business equipment, I wanted to sell to one of the giants to have on my resume. After endless conversations with the many vice-presidents, I came to believe they weren’t able to decide on what to have for lunch. Even worse, the people in charge of the purchasing department preferred another vendor. Frustrated but determined, I visited the person in the basement.
The summary of the experience is everyone has decision-making power. The gentleman and I respected one another, and accordingly, he made a strong case for his company to purchase from the one I represented. One year later, my goal was finally achieved. The Fortune 100 company was near the top of my resume.
The experience taught me three key lessons:
- Have a mix of companies in the pipeline
- Maintain an overflow of new potential clients
- Keep notes in a CRM system to stay on top of previous conversations and to do’s
And for entrepreneurs, it’s wise to check metrics of other varieties, too. Instead of competing with peers, we need to compete with ourselves to see continued improvement. For further insight, read “Do You Check Metrics?”
We each have to recognize where our time will be well-spent. Dealing with small companies proved not to be worthwhile for me. I saw the corporations as the differentiators for standing out to earn awards and gain the next new job.
However, those companies of moderate size proved to be the best on several levels:
- The sales cycle is reasonable and proves to be time-efficient
- The income is good
- Medium size companies are more likely to become a loyal clientele.
Client loyalty is the secret to maintaining a full if not overflowing pipeline. Whenever a need arises, they call you. Of course, it always helps to remain in touch and on a friendly footing. When the relationship properly builds, you earn a returning and referring clientele. The income is good, stress is alleviated, and your pipeline is always full. And this is how I came to define the Smooth Sale!
Pipeliner CRM empowers salespeople to keep their pipelines full. Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.