Understanding Your Customer to Improve Sales
One of the major derailments a company can encounter during the sales process is a disconnection with the customer. Leakage in the sales pipeline can occur at many points, but one of the easiest ways to lose a customer’s attention is to be out of synch with customer interests and business trends.
Obviously, it is impossible for a sales person, manager or CEO of a company to know everything about every customer. Each employee is busy fulfilling his or her own role at the business. Memorizing the likes and dislikes of twenty, thirty, or more customers, staying up to date on industry trends for customer businesses, being on trend with the latest marketing and sales techniques, and managing personal professional growth would require much more than a 40 or even 60 hour week.
There are techniques that companies can adopt as part of the sales process to tailor it for each customer segment without assigning an entire research team. For starters, each sales person can create a news-reporting database to receive industry highlights and headlines each day. There are a variety of free services that can be used such as Google News or Flipbook. Keywords and terms can be selected to funnel news anecdotes that can be harvested for marketing messaging.
For example, a broker at a bank could setup daily alerts for new stories about new regulations in the mortgage industry. Content from those news stories can be used in email, direct mail, social media and text messaging campaigns to current and prospective customers alerting them to changes they might be affected by. By calling attention for the customer to a situation they might have otherwise been unaware of, the sales person creates a scenario where he or she appears to be doing the customer a favor rather than just pushing a sale.
Additionally, three or four times a year, sales managers can attend conferences related to customer industries to learn about new trends, common problems that need to be overcome and other insights that can be shared with the entire sales team to help increase sales. By spending a few days getting to know what issues are important for customers, a business can use that data as an inside track for perfecting the sales pipeline.