20. An average company loses 10% of its customer base every year
Don’t be discouraged! This is just a lesson in prospecting and staying ahead of your sales pipeline. Stay active and continuously reach out to new prospects and past clients to keep your pipeline full and your team looking ahead.
Simply put, keep prospecting and don’t take it personally. If you lose more than 10%, you might want to explore further to discover why that is. However, if you ask for referrals, market consistently, keep in touch with your existing client, and make the most of the new opportunities that the company and the market might provide for you, the 10% will be a manageable number.
Keep your database accurate and purge it yearly. And keep your marketing department busy with driving new eyes and opportunities to your sales team…and keep helping them to capitalize on each new prospect.
19. Retaining current customers is 6–7 cheaper than acquiring new ones
It’s not a new sales enablement statistic, but it’s just as true today as it was in the past. It’s cheaper to keep your current customers happy than to spend time finding new ones.
Is follow up a scheduled part of your weekly sales actions? Do you ask ‘What’s next?’ with each sales opportunity that closes? Like asking for referrals, staying connected with current clients is low hanging fruit (I dislike that phrase, but it works, doesn’t it?), and doing both will likely produce a 15% increase in business without relying on the company to drive new prospects to you. Make it part of your workweek and practice with other team members before you make any ‘warm’ calls to clients.
If there is encouragement for salespeople to do this, then it must be a priority for a sales manager to check on the actions and the results they are achieving. Be prepared to practice with your team and help them to develop ‘learned dialogues’ that make keeping in touch with clients easier. Knowing that there is value in this sales silo is not as good as taking actions to mine for those opportunities….as actions are the only things that produce results.
18. It takes 10 months+ for a new rep to be fully productive
New salespeople need time to learn and gain confidence. Speed up this timeline by investing in sales enablement strategies, pairing new reps with seasoned team members, and using online training.
As a new salesperson, do you have a strategy and timeline for learning? Is practice part of your strategy? Do you OWN your learning engagement and information or do you rely on your manager to bring it to you? I invite you to make it your own and to measure yourself regularly – not just to know what you don’t know (yet) but to build confidence in what you DO know. And support knowledge with skill as selling an only be practiced to gain confidence. Theory doesn’t get the job done.
If you don’t have an initial training program that covers 60 months, you are missing an opportunity to get and keep new salespeople. Include skills in product and services, selling, technology, communication, managing actions in time, marketing…all of it. As their sales leader, you need to make skill development part of the culture of creating excellence – and be the example of it.
For sales managers everywhere
We have all heard about how pressure creates diamonds as inspiration to be able to learn to withstand it. The ability to deal with pressure effectively is a learned trait, and sometimes the only benefit of adversity and challenge. Pressure shows what is underneath and who we are.
The Dalai Lama said “How we do anything is how we do everything” and that goes for pressure, too. If we cave and implode, get confused and flaky, get demanding and impatient and angry, those are our defaults under pressure. My quote is: “When we squeeze a tomato, we don’t get orange juice.”
When I work with an organization and get push back from employees, I know that I am providing pressure and revealing how that person will behave under pressure.
Training shows you how your salespeople learn and comprehend, take risks and try new things, and how they perform under pressure. How they behave with the pressure I provide shows you how they will behave with a prospect or customer who doesn’t do what they want them to do. So when they show me resistance or indifference, consider that is the same behavior they will show your customer when they say “I’m just browsing” or “I want to think about it.