July 2009: How to Boost Sales with Brand Power
You have a sales force. It may be 100, 50, one, or just you. How many prospects can the average or even exceptional sales professional connect with in any given day, week, month and year? The number ranges depending on the nature of the product or service being sold. But whether it’s a low cost product or an expensive custom service, there are only so many hours in the selling day (roughly twelve, 7am to 7pm). In that timeframe, no matter how organized, no matter how much they strategize their week, a good salesperson can interface with a fixed number of people on a given day.
Let’s say you’re selling a product or service in the $20-50,000 range. On a prospecting day, when they have no scheduled appointments, proposals to write, or paperwork to process, a good salesperson will connect with 100 prospects at best.
Assuming they spend 7.5 hours selling:
- 50 are 1 minute calls (person not there, or voicemail)
- 40 are 5 minute calls (brief conversation)
- 10 are the ones they connect with (average call time 20 minutes)
Of the 10 they connect with, they might set three appointments. That’s their day. And that’s assuming they have the scheduling liberty to block 7.5 hours of uninterrupted calling time.
What about the several hundred other clients and prospects comprising that sales person’s target market? What about the many opportunities they just can’t get to? Let’s face it, if your sales person is not calling on a target prospect, a competitor surely is. Or think of it this way, wouldn’t it be great if a prospect called you for a change? And here’s another point: In a recent poll we conducted, respondents acknowledged leaving 20-50% of new sales opportunity with existing customers on the table simply by not maintaining regular communications.
That’s where the Brand-Sales e-Toolkit an important role, as a huge magnifier to the salesperson’s reach and effectiveness. Brand touches, points where a prospect actively engages with a brand’s messages or communications, can substantially improve a sales person’s performance, productivity and overall effectiveness. Given that it takes seven brand touches on average to convert a prospect into a client, why should the sales rep have to shoulder the entire burden? It’s an opportunity to take some of the legwork out of the salesperson’s hands, and let the brand do some of the heavy lifting. After all, most sales professionals that I know love meeting and closing; but, they hate prospecting.
The Brand-Sales e-Toolkit involves the “pre-development” of a series of e-touch point tools. Each component of the toolkit is totally aligned to deliver a uniform and cohesive brand presentation.
|•||Case Studies||•||Industry-Relevant Quotes|
|•||Recent News Stories||•||Recent Testimonial|
|•||White Papers||•||New Product Introductions|
|•||Company Updates||•||Special Appearance Announcements|
By pre-developing a series of e-touch point tools, you have given your salespeople a convenient arsenal, fast to deploy and ready to go. Now, instead of grunting out prospect contacts one by one, your sales team can power deploy your brand to 1,000s of contacts, giving recipients multiple ways and opportunities to respond (call you). At the same time, you’ve enabled your sales force to be far more efficient, as it allows them to prioritize their focus on the most desirable and contacts for in-person contacting.
Using the Brand-Sales e-Toolkit, a Seven-Touch Plan targeting VIP prospects would look something like this:
- E-mail Introduction (Week 1)
- Call (Week 1)
- E-mail promotion or e-brochure (Week 2)
- Call again (Week 2)
- E-mail recent news item or white paper (Week 3)
- E-mail relevant case study (Week 4)
- Final call (Week 4)
- Filter prospect into ongoing e-news communications database . . . move on, and in time a significant number of these contacts will find their way to you.
The Brand-Sales e-Toolkit represents pure alignment of sales and marketing. After all, if you’re a small or mid-sized business, ALL of your marketing dollars should be allocated to creating sales opportunities.
Working this way allows you to:
- Effectively manage your brand, and how it is presented to the marketplace
- Provide your sales team with a tool kit that they can deploy to a greater reach, fast, and with more effectiveness
- Substantially multiply the number of brand touches each member of your sales team can make over a given period
- Vastly magnify the total prospect pipeline, and the likelihood of increased sales dollars.
- Totally align your sales effort with effective brand communications