Tried-and-tested sales techniques to move leads down the sales funnel quicker: Part 3

Achieving steady sales growth

The first part of this series covered the prospecting stage of the sales process, followed by the second part, which focused on perfecting your sales pitch.

The last part of this series will focus on tips to have a frictionless purchase and further retain customers to keep sales numbers up.

Achieving steady sales growth

How to ensure steady sales growth

The most successful sales people are not just hard workers, they work smart too. Here are some tips to ensure you keep getting steady results from all the initial work you’ve done, and don’t have to go through an unending cycle of prospecting, pitching, and sealing the deal.

Streamline the checkout process

According to a study, The New Sales Imperative by Harvard Business Review, companies with an easy buying process are 62% more likely to win a high-quality sale.

Though this may appear very basic, the most common reason for cart abandonment is friction during checkout. The most reported issues are:

  • Unexpected processing or shipping charges

  • Complicated site navigation

  • Being forced to create an account and a long signup process

  • Lengthy forms

  • Lack of information

  • Security concerns

Simplifying your checkout process and offering live chat on your website and mobile app can help increase your sales a great deal.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the workforce to handle a huge influx of live chats. Zoho SalesIQ comes with a near-human AI chatbot called Answer Bot, which uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) and a library of Business Terms to understand customer queries and respond using your built-in knowledge base. You can also make necessary details accessible right within the chat window to which prospects can refer before reaching out.

Create an effective onboarding process

The sales journey doesn’t end with a transaction. Following up with emails on how to use the product and motivating customers to make the most of the product completes the funnel.

Periodically ask customers for feedback

With live chat on your product, you can provide stellar support when customers reach out, but what about those who don’t? Just because they don’t raise issues, it doesn’t mean they don’t have any. According to research by customer strategy expert Esteban Kolsky, 91% of unhappy customers who don’t complain simply churn.

So, in addition to having dedicated departments on your live chat for customer issues, periodically ask for feedback on their experience with your product. This way, not only are you able to retain those who otherwise would have left silently, you also get testimonials if they turn out to be happy customers.

Another solution is setting up instant messaging channels so that customers can contact you from their preferred apps and don’t have to stay online until you respond.

Develop relationships with your customers

Without developing and maintaining customer relationships, you will always be in a vicious cycle of prospecting and pushing them through the sales funnel.

Existing customers are an excellent source of recurring business. According to the book Marketing Metrics, the probability of selling to a prospect is only 5-20%, while that of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%.

So find ways to keep in contact with customers even after you close a deal. If it feels appropriate, connect with them personally or on social media, get to know them outside of business, and become more of a peer or a friend rather than just a salesperson.

Ask happy customers for referrals

Maintaining customer relationships not only increases repurchases, it also gives you new qualified leads who have a higher chance of converting. According to a report by Review42, 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know. 

The sad part is that while 91% of customers are ready to provide referrals to a salesperson they like, only 11% of salespeople ask for one. 

But before asking, make sure they’ve had enough positive experiences with you and your brand.

How to handle sales rejections

Even after following all the sales techniques, you may still get a “no” from prospects. Facing rejection after spending weeks or months building a relationship, investing both time and resources, can be gut-wrenching. Overcoming sales rejection is a real challenge.

We don’t promise to help turn a no into a yes. But here are some ways you can handle sales rejections better.

Make sure it’s a definitive no

You may face rejections at multiple stages in the sales process, but prodding a little further can tell you if it’s a strict “no” or just a “not yet.”

Some prospects who may be interested might have budgetary issues or a contract with a competitor that prevents them from buying at that time. In such situations, it’s a good idea to ask if you can reach out when their finances are better or after their contract ends and then agree on a timeline.

Another reason for a sales rejection is that your product may not have a feature that they need. In this case, keep their contact and reach out if your product has an upgrade in the future.

Make at least five attempts

Persistence is key in sales. It’s well-known that 80% of deals require at least five interactions.

But don’t push them away with too many and too frequent calls or emails. Space them out and ensure that each interaction adds value to them. For instance, follow up your meeting or call with an article or ebook that addresses their pain points.

Avoid the Sunk Cost Fallacy

The Sunk Cost Fallacy is a phenomenon whereby people are unwilling to give up on something into which they have already invested time, energy, and resources, thus wasting more resources that could be used elsewhere.

Don’t get sucked into this. Instead, see a definitive rejection as an opportunity to refine your sales process. 

If at any point a prospect gives you a definitive “no” or is stuck in a stage for too long despite your efforts, stop wasting more time on them. Instead, send a final break-up email. If the prospect was interested but hadn’t gotten around to responding, this should spur them on. If not, you know the deal is off.

Handle sales rejections with grace

Don’t change your attitude towards a prospect when you know it won’t lead to a sale. Rather, handle the rejection gracefully. Thank them for their time and leave them with some value addition. This way, they still have a good impression of you and your business and will likely think of you if they need a similar product or service later.

Believe in yourself

When you’re confident, people are drawn to you, and when you can win them over, you can get them to buy from you.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but sales slumps and rejections can turn sales professionals weary. It’s important to remain positive, especially during tough times, because prospects can tell when you are not confident, and it will affect the deal.

You should also compare your sales rejection rate with the industry standard and that of your company to know if it’s your sales techniques that need correction or if it’s an industry or company-wide problem.

Review your performance

Finally, evaluate your performance. Find out what’s working and what’s not. Analyze your sales data, call recordings, email trails, and chats to make improvements to your sales strategy.

Zoho SalesIQ comes with detailed reports on visitor data, agent performance, and more.  We also have a Zoho analytics integration that gives you detailed insights and lets you merge cross-functional data for end-to-end multi-functional analytics.

Conclusion

With this, we end our sales tactics blog series. Have you tried any of these techniques? Let us know how they’ve worked for you. Do you know any other sales techniques that we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.

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