A Sales Responsibility Checklist

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As a business advisor, one of the top issues business owners ask for advice on is how to increase sales.  My response is always the same: sales is at the heart of every company, and every employee is responsible for it, but in different ways.

No matter what size your business is, there are several touch points in a sales process, whether that is expanding your services with an existing customer or sales to a new customer.

When you are looking at your company’s sales, don’t just look at the person or people with “sales” in their titles; there is a role for everyone. Here is my checklist for sales accountability, that once checked off, will help you get a clear picture of where your sales infrastructure might need some help, and if everyone in place will help you increase sales.

  • Owner sets the sales strategy
    A sales strategy is usually written to cover a year and might include outlining the focus of what services/products target which customer, acquisition vs. sales growth with an existing customer, and long and short-term sales goals for each, as well as determining the sales cycle and which markets you will go after. A sales strategy lays out the steps and methods necessary for customers in different stages of the sales cycle.
  • Marketing supports that strategy
    Your marketing team or agency needs to create a plan to support this with marketing activities, including promoting your website, creating digital promotions, trade show collateral, social media, phone scripts, presentations, campaigns, sell sheets, banner ads or online advertising as well as list acquisition and management.
  • Execution by the sales team
    Although each sales person has to take responsibility for the execution of the strategy, they need to first understand the strategy and their role in executing it.  You’ll need to work with your sales team or with your Director of Sales to ensure they understand your strategy, and to explain which marketing tools they have to support their efforts. They need to know techniques to handle both customer acquisition as well as customer retention opportunities.  For example, if they are to execute a call-out campaign to new customers, make sure they understand the value proposition and have support materials at hand to provide to the client.
  • Walk the Walk
    From the person who answers the phone and your customer service staff to your technicians and any front line staff, every touch point with a customer or potential customer must be positive and genuine. Each interaction with a customer is an opportunity to make a lasting impression of the value your company brings to the table.  If they are spoken to in a valued and respectful manner, it could make the difference between investing further with your current services or allowing you to speak with them about your new services/products.

Share your sales strategy with your entire team as all your employees contribute, even in a small way, to helping your business grow.  Never underestimate the power of a warm greeting – it can lead to more sales than you might think.

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