Distribution Industry Survey Results: Learn How Successful Distributors are Using Targeted Marketing
The data is in on targeted marketing in the distribution industry and we're going to…
Timely, standardized sales follow-up can make the difference between success and failure in your large bids and quotes. Harvard Business Review reports that companies that follow up within an hour of a request are seven times as likely to have meaningful conversations with decision makers as those that followed up just one hour later, and 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer. Simply initiating a follow-up process as quickly as possible eliminates much of your competition.
How do you build a consistent sales follow-up process. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Salespeople using a codified follow-up process always know the correct steps to take at the right times to be competitive in every stage of the sales cycle. Your sales reps are using a process to follow-up today; however, if it is not systematized, you have no way of measuring successful processes and pushing them out to the rest of your team and eliminating unsuccessful tactics. You also have no way of knowing if your sales reps are consistently applying these successful behaviors to every opportunity.
What are the standard elements that lead to a closed sale? With SMP’s Bid/Quote Closer you can define a standardized follow-up schedule for all bids, quotes, projects and opportunities and automatically create those follow-up activities for your reps.
Every distributor has their own sales process, and every opportunity is unique, but there are critical elements every company needs to have in place.
With SMP’s Bid/Quote Closer, you can determine a threshold for the size of the bids and quotes for which you want to create activities and track for better management. This is important because not every bid or quote is large enough to warrant your full process and attention. In fact, you might find that tracking smaller, faster-closing opportunities is a distraction. You can adjust the threshold up or down later to track more or fewer opportunities and projects.
Sales reps who lack product knowledge often lack the confidence to consistently follow-up on opportunities and certainly lack the ability to add value to their customer interactions. Answering your prospects’ questions as quickly as possible positions your company as the expert partner they need. It also builds trust and credibility as you work to establish a deeper relationship with them.
This can be a great way to work with your vendors. Your vendors can help you strategize larger deals and provide product education to your reps. Most vendors have training documents, product literature and even videos that help you make fast connections during your sales opportunities.
Be sure to schedule regular reviews into your sales reporting and meetings for these larger projects and opportunities. By tracking the stages, activities and success rates, you will be able to consistently improve the performance of your entire sales team in addition to improving your close rates for individual sales cycles. Don’t hesitate to step in where training, leadership or management contact is needed — your primary job as a sales leader is to coach your team to greater success.