Everybody wants a silver bullet.
In old stories and movies, a silver bullet could magically kill werewolves, vampires or other monsters that had been terrorizing the local village. But in the real world, silver bullets aren’t magic; they don’t even work as well as lead bullets.
Salespeople are constantly looking for a magical phrase or trick or tactic that will help them win more sales. We want to be very clear: there is no “silver bullet” sales tactic, no words that will cause everyone you approach to buy from you.
However, there are some sales strategies that work better than others. And in our experience and research, the number-one most effective way to increase your sales is to improve your targeting.
Again, this isn’t a magical solution. It’s going to take lots of hard work. But organizations that do the hard work of targeting and segmentation often find that they are able to increase both their sales and their profitability.
How to Improve Your Close Rates
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In order for targeting to work for you, you’re going to have to figure out which are your most profitable prospects. A lot of companies get into trouble by trying to be all things to all people. Or they rely on internal opinions about the “ideal customer” instead of doing actual research.
If you want to develop much more meaningful and profitable targeting, you’re going to have to take an in-depth look at your current sales. Ignore the things that aren’t working well and focus on the kinds of deals that perform best for your company. Analyze which salespeople, which products, which types of customers with which attributes are generating the most profit for your company on a long-term basis.
Answering those questions is going to take some time, but the SellingBrew Tutorial on targeting your most profitable prospects can help.
At the end of the process, you’ll have a much better idea about which prospects you should be going after and which solutions you should be offering them. When you tailor your marketing and sales processes to target your best customers, you’ll find that all of your sales metrics improve at once. If you’ve done your homework right, your close rates, cycle times and profitability are all going to improve sharply.
The market will tell you what things your company does well—but you have to be willing to listen. When you focus on replicating things that are working, you’ll have the best chance of increasing your overall sales performance.
Targeting isn’t magic, but in the long run, it’s a whole lot more effective than a silver bullet.