Sales is never just about closing deals. It's about building valuable relationships that help you crush goals, generate revenue, and drive the company forward.
However, building these relationships requires months of constant work and dedication. You need to tailor your communication style to your audience, keep track of the best practices and trends in your industry, and constantly flesh out new ways to engage with customers. Outside sales, in particular, bring a few extra challenges to the table. You need to deal with new territories, clients who may not be ready to respond right away, and an often-outnumbered sales team.
Luckily, there are many strategies that you can use to build lasting relationships in outside sales. In this article, we'll explore some of the most important tactics, including:
Every customer is different. Suppose a business sells office solutions to small businesses, and your target audience is the owners of these companies. While they could all use a reliable printer, scanner, or copier and storage solutions for their documents and files, each firm has its own unique needs and wants.
Note any pain points prospects may have mentioned during previous conversations, and highlight how your products can help alleviate these issues. Start with a brief overview of the company's current situation, then give them tailored solutions using real-world examples that show why your product is really what they need.
Your customers are busy, and it can be hard to stay in touch regularly. However, it's also crucial to stay on top of mind. Customers that are used to hearing from you will be more receptive when it comes time to make a purchase.
Set up regular communications, such as weekly or monthly emails, that update them on your products and services and give them tips for improving their business. Use different channels, like social media and direct calls, to talk to customers one-on-one and get immediate feedback on the information you're giving them. If you've closed a sale, follow up and check how the product is doing in its new home. Constant communication will ensure that your customers are always aware of the value you can provide them.
Set up meetings at the locations your prospects prefer, and make sure to always be on time. If you're late, you could waste your customers' time as they have to wait for your arrival.
Keep a tab of their favorite restaurants, coffee shops, or meeting spaces in the area and book appointments at these venues whenever possible. Always consider their needs when arranging meetings – if they prefer a public place, so they don't have to spend too much time with you, go along with it. This shows that you care about your customers and aren't just interested in making the sale.
Outside sales are often more about the relationship than closing a deal. Therefore, it's important to keep your communications at a natural cadence and not overwhelm your customers with calls or emails every day.
Check-in regularly to see how business is going, but don't bring up any potential purchases unless you sense interest from them. Give them space to breathe, and follow up when you know they're ready to buy. This shows potential customers that you understand the importance of working together as partners, not just trying to make a sale without regard for their needs.
Customer relationship management systems, or CRMs, can help you keep track of your sales workflow and monitor customer interactions. With a CRM tool like Salesforce, you'll be able to see the full history of all the deals you've closed over time, making it easier for you to repeat your success rate with new customers.
A CRM can also help you in other aspects of your work. It can remind you to send out personalized messages, provide you with a list of the best locations for meetings and appointments, and track the progress of deals as they move along in the pipeline. When a sale is closed, update their information to start a new deal and keep track of the various steps in the process.
In-person sales can be exhausting, especially if you have a wide territory to cover. A sales planning app like RepMove can help you optimize your route and save time, allowing you to reach more customers and close more deals.
With RepMove, you can set up a daily schedule that lets you see the best routes for each day of the week. It also gives tips on how to avoid traffic jams or construction areas so you'll never be caught off guard by unforeseen delays. By planning your daily route in advance, you'll be able to make the most of your time and resources. You'll also be able to take on new opportunities as they arise without worrying about missing other important appointments or growing frustrated with a long drive.
To help you manage your sales pipeline, it's important to create a sales funnel that maps out the different stages of each deal. The more precise your funnel is, the easier it is for you to identify where deals fall off and how you can improve them.
A sales funnel typically starts with identifying potential customers and ends with winning their business. In between these stages, deals progress from awareness to interest, evaluation, decision, and finally, close. You can track each step in a funnel by recording whether or not you've reached out to the customer and gotten feedback on their needs and preferences. This information helps you create personalized pitches that target your customers' pain points directly, increasing your chances of closing a deal.
Ultimately, the key to outside sales success is treating each customer like an individual. By focusing on building relationships and meeting their needs at every stage of the process, you'll be able to close more deals and grow your business over time.
RepMove helps you plan your sales routes and focus on building strong relationships. To learn more and to sign up, get in touch with us today.