Sales / Biz Dev

For business development leading to sales, you’ll want to plan your marketing strategy.  At a minimum, you’ll want to determine your target market, their challenges and how your product solves their challenge

s.  This section assumes you have a marketing strategy in place and needs salespeople. Possible reasons for the need include a higher price point, reoccurring sale, or a complicated product.  In that case, you’ll need a salesforce (even if the salesforce is only you).

To get started, you’ll want to have some marketing materials establishing legitimacy:

  1. A website with your domain name.
  2. An email with your domain name at the end.
  3. A one-sheeter (also known as a brochure).
  4. An email template of some sort
  5. A basic script you can tailor to customers (or at minimum talking points.
  6. A tracking system (CRM) to keep track of who you talk to, when and when to follow-up.

Website with Your Domain Name

In this day and age, a site is a necessity, regardless of your business.  It’s how people can learn about you and what you have to offer.  Many web companies can provide easy to create websites, or you can hire someone like me to help you get started.

Email with Your Domain Name

You’ll want your email to reflect email@yourcompany.com and not email@gmail.com or any other of the free email services.

A One-sheeter (also known as a brochure)

You can find a significant amount of information on it by conducting an internet search.  You’ll want to address two questions – 1. Why do they need this product or service?  2.  Why do they need to get it from you instead of your competitors?

An Email Template

If you’re making a lot of calls (via phone), you’ll need an email template to send out the information easily.  You’ll get a lot of requests for information.  Some will use it as a way to appease you, and some will request it because they are genuinely interested and want to verify your legitimacy.  If you’re making in-person calls, you can bring the one-sheeter.  For the email template, if you are going to attach pricing or your one-sheeter, upload it to Dropbox or another cloud location.  Often attachments get flagged and take up much more space in an inbox.  Either way, they’ll need to take further action to open it.  Depending on who you use as your email management software, you may be able to track who clicks on which link.

A Basic Script (or Talking Points)

Most salespeople at the start of their career start with studying a script.  The point is to get a feel for the points you want to cover.  The script involves the following:

  1. The hook (What’s in it for them?)
  2.  A qualifying question.  You want it to be an interactive conversation and not them waiting for five minutes to tell you they’re not interested.
  3.  More questions to further engage them and understand what’s essential for them.
  4.  Features and Benefits.  Features are what your product or service provides.  Benefits are how your features will increase your customer’s business, reduce their costs, or reduce their risk.  How will it change their life for the better?
  5. Closing questions / Next steps.  You’ll want to go for either a close or a next step in the process, depending on what you’re selling.  For example, a $99 product can go for an immediate close.  A half a million dollar sale will require next steps (which probably includes mapping out the organization, purchasing process and timeline).

For example, here’s a generic sales script for a mythical product.

Hello Mr. Customer,

My name is Victoria Brooks. I’m a sales and marketing consultant, who helps companies such as yours increase their business.  My experience includes nearly doubling the attendees for a conference two years in a row and before that, landing a million dollar contract from a 30k customer.  So I have to ask, could you use more business?  (An alternative to it could be “What could you afford to do if you had double the business?”).  You’ll have to tweak it, and that will come by trial and error, also called A/B testing.  (After the question, you’ll pause and wait for their answer).

If yes – Great!  To save you time, I’d like to ask you a few questions about what you are currently doing to understand your needs better and how our product can help. (Because you want to know what challenges they have, what their needs are, and what they are motivated by.  Finding their pain increases your likelihood of a sale. )  No pain, no gain.  It’s true here, too.

If no – Got too much business?  (Some will say yes.  They are small and want to stay that way.  Others will say it’s not a good time, send some information, and some will be cranky because you are the nteenth salesperson that called them today.  Usually, they will tell you.  If they hang up without telling you, it’s okay, too.  They’re not your customer.)

Yes – continued, you tailor your features and benefits to what they described in answering your question.  Mr. Customer, you’ll be glad to know we provide consulting or tactical execution on your behalf so we can help you with high-level planning and you can save money by outsourcing the tasks to others, or we can take on the project leaving you to focus on running your business and your life.

Let’s schedule a meeting to draw up a proposal based on what your company needs.  How’s Monday or Tuesday?  Morning or afternoon work better?   I look forward to meeting you then.  Thank you for your time.

A Tracking System (CRM) for Follow-up

Enter the notes of your call, send the follow-up email through the system and set a calendar reminder for the meeting and you’re onto the next!