Today, small businesses have the ability to compete against larger, well-established enterprises. The rise of the digital age has leveled the playing field for all companies to reach and sell to their customers directly. For small businesses, selling like a larger enterprise may seem like a daunting task but with the right tools, processes and data, it’s not only possible but easily attainable. If implemented correctly, these four elements can help you dramatically increase productivity and sales:
A small business needs to employ the right tools with enterprise-level features. However, the key is to understand that selling like an enterprise is less about the features and more about the functionality and usability of those features. Core business tools should be cloud-based to allow easy access for all your employees and ensure consistency across different teams and departments.
Cloud-based software also allows companies to work across all social channels and devices. With this fluidity, teams are able to instantly view and track updates, making it easier to inform customers of recent developments. Doing this keeps your company relevant and in constant communication with one another.
Additionally, implementing and maintaining new software can be costly and time consuming so carefully evaluate its complexity and integration capabilities before proceeding. If the learning curve is too steep, you’ll be wasting both yours and your team’s time. By finding a solution that fits into your existing infrastructure and integrates with other tools that your business relies on, you’ll be saving your team countless hours of tedious work that can be used to sell more efficiently and effectively.
Developing an effective and repeatable sales process is key to scaling any business, regardless of size. By implementing processes that are both sound and well-defined, you create an environment where even new team members can immediately start selling as effectively as the veterans. With set processes in place, it’s good practice to continually monitor, adjust and optimize sales tactics by testing different strategies and evaluating their effectiveness to help improve sales performance across various teams.
Processes also need to work across multiple communication channels to ensure that you capture all sales-related data points. Communicating solely through email and phone calls is no longer enough, since many customers now receive information from other sources such as social media. The processes should be designed to fit modern trends and track information across all potential touch-points. Companies will be able to better identify what is and isn’t working and tweak your marketing goals as you see fit.
One advantage small businesses hold over large enterprises is the fact that they are more personally invested; therefore have stronger bonds with their customers. Organizations are likely to achieve greater success if they can connect with customers on a deeper level, rather than simply selling to them.
Customers may be willing to accept generic messages at the beginning of the funnel but once they’ve expressed interest sales and marketing teams need to personalize communications with them. As you go down the purchase funnel, relevant, customized messaging becomes increasingly important. Adding a personal touch to each message makes it much more compelling for each individual. Doing this makes a huge difference with customers and the results will show.
Data creates new opportunities for automated (yet still targeted) personalization. Historical data can help you identify different customer segments and hone your messages to help increase the effectiveness of your sales outreach. When utilized correctly, data will validate which types of approaches perform best within each audience.
One way to utilize your company’s data is by conducting A/B (or multivariate) testing multiple messaging strategies to uncover insight into the messaging performance. It’s important to make note while A/B testing that the demographics of each group are similar in order to make the evaluations as fair as possible.
Succeeding as a small business is never easy; but by understanding some of the techniques that enterprises utilize will do wonders. It’s highly important to meet customers’ needs through the implementation of new tools, focusing on customer relations and leveraging the data to assess problem areas and adjust direction. By continually refining your processes and communications, you’ll be able to streamline your sales and better compete with large corporations.
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[Image courtesy of Kaboompics]