Sure, relationships rule in the world of sales. But when push comes to shove, it is almost always about the number of calls you make each day. As I work with sales people in companies large and small, there seems to be a common theme these days…sales people “think” they are making the appropriate number of phone calls to make goal and they are not. So, how do you know? First, as a sales person, stop lying to yourself. It is easy to track and determine the number of outbound phone calls you made today. Next, as a sales manager, listen and track.
Sales people, determine your call to close ratio. How many phone
calls does it take for you to get that phone call to a meeting and then
the meeting to a proposal and then the proposal to a sale? You make 20
calls and get one meeting. Ok. Not bad. 1 in 10 meetings close to a
sale. Ok. If your goal each month requires that you close 20 sales, you
will need to make 400 calls and have 200 meetings. Yikes! So, what are
your next steps? Making 20 calls to get to one meeting is not horrible,
but you need to tighten up that gap. Increase your quality of call.
(More on quality below.) Share success stories; offer the prospect a
reason or incentive to let you in the door. Next, you need to have great
meetings. Know your prospect. Now, what you can do to make their
life/job better. Go in with a goal in mind. Listen with intent to learn
the clients’ needs. Do not pitch! Great media sales people talk 20% of
the sales call and listen and ask questions during the rest.
Now, before we go any further, lets answer the question about quality
vs. quantity. Every call needs to be of good quality. Quality is
another piece of the puzzle. What to say? How to say it? Are you
meeting a need? Leaving a voice mail that offers a solution? Etc,
etc. But, BUT... very often sales people will say, I would rather make
10 quality calls than 20 bad calls. Dah. Don't make 20 bad calls.
Make 20 great calls! If your "get to a meeting ratio" is 1 in 20, leave
19 great voice mails too.
Sales Managers, if you can hear
a pin drop in your office, you have an issue. Unless all the sales
people have doors of steel that are sound proof, you have an issue.
Outbound call volume might be your single greatest issue. With that
said, a call is not a call. Great sales calls require skills and those
skills come from training. Instead, most sales people simply pitch
features, advantages and benefits. As Stephen Pia once said, your sales
people need to become meeting maniacs. They need to get those calls to a
meeting. Sales is a numbers game and the more meetings, the more
chances of closing. Are you tracking their calls? Are you listening to
their calls? Are they asking the 10 critical sales questions? (Ask me
for more on the 10.) Do you review their calls? Do you make them use
your CRM system?
All in all, when sales fail, it comes down to
what I like to call the 5 P’s of successful sales: Product, People,
Process, Pitch and Price. When any of these are in “off”, sales can be
off as well.
So, get under the hood and figure out why the engine is not running smoothly.
About this blogger: Ryan Dohrn is President and founder of Brain
Swell Media, an internet coaching and consulting firm that helps
business owners and publishers make money online.
Ryan R. Dohrn
Brain Swell Media LLC
Follow him on Twitter.com/ryandohrn for daily tips and advice.
Swell Media, LLC is an interactive media consulting firm. We focus on
five key business areas; online strategy consulting, website
development, search engine optimization (SEO), video production and
online sales training. We provide business owners and publishing
companies with the tools and resources they need to optimize their
presence on the Web and boost revenue.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
When reviewing a web site I like to ask, “Ok…. so I am here on your site… where does the publisher want me to go?” I really ask myself, “Ok site designer...guide me. Do you have a path you want a user to follow? This is so important to your ability to keep a user longer on the website. Why is time on the site important? If the national average is 1.5 minutes and you are 4.5 minutes, that is a sell-able piece of data that your sales team can use to generate revenue. To determine this path, perhaps you want to print out your website and draw a path with a marker. Or, even better, ask a reader to use a marker and draw a line based on where their eyes go on the page. This natural eye path is often destructive to your ability to create a great web site that makes money.
Our eyes are naturally drawn to movement and color right? So, where are these located? Do you use color and movement to keep the users eye on a path to success? If you want them to engage your editorial what do you do to draw them to the editorial? “Well,” you might say, “we have a navigation button on top that says 'articles'. Come on…really? You can do better than that! I know you can.
When laying out your site start with the basic premise of left to right. Ask yourself, what are the 4 main things I want the user to see and then make a decision. Then use left to right, color and movement to keep them on the path to doing what it is that you want them to do! Now, they click…ok, good. Now what? The interior pages of your site are often worse than the main page. What are you doing on that page to drive them deeper into the site? Where do you want them to go? Use left to right, color and movement to keep them on the path to doing what it is that you want them to do next.
When it comes to the web, people like guidance. Tell me more. Show me more. Ask me to engage with you. Show me the way!
This can be a fun exercise for you and your team. Have fun with it, but remember that this is serious business. Publishers that get this simple concept down will not only drive up time spent on site, they will also often triple their page views.
Ready to make your website a revenue-centric money making machine? We can help. Brain Swell Media offers you a complete website review in less than 30 minutes at no cost to you. We will then present you a plan to fix, grow and make money from your website. Contact us today.
Monday, April 04, 2011
The beauty of the web is also its worst nightmare for publishers as a one-person website from a garage, with excellent SEO, sinks its teeth into your web traffic. Your goal should be to create more unique visitors to your website than the circulation of your magazine. It is at this point that publishers begin to see significant revenue from their web presence online. To that end, you need to create the perfect SEO plan to drive maximum traffic. There is no more perfect way than proper SEO.
Let’s discuss three factors we have found to be most important in regards to SEO success after optimizing hundreds of web pages for publishers.
First, site structure in relationship to key search terms. What are users searching for and then how is your site set up to deliver back relevant results for those terms. For example, you are a website about parenting advice. You have optimized your pages for the term, but when a user gets to the site, do you present your site so that parenting advice is the menu, the navigation, the section, the pictures, the videos and the final thought the Google bot remembers when they leave your site? All in all, you need to follow what Google has said from day one, if you want great SEO rankings, build a great site that is easy to navigate and clearly promotes your topic set.
Second, what are you doing on a monthly basis to create “chatter” for your website in relationship to your key terms and key phrases? Facebook and Twitter are not enough to create the “chatter” needed to get you noticed. “Chatter” is often defined as the overall popularity you have online. Meaning, how often are people online talking about you, your magazine and, most importantly, your key terms? The mechanisms to create effective “chatter” are vast and deep. This type of organic cheerleading must be an important part of your plan for SEO success and it must happen daily.
Third, deep links and the trust factor. We have found deep linking to be vital to your overall SEO success. Deep links are links to pages on your site beyond the main page. In this same topic is the search engine friendly structure of your page names. Creating links from external sources is great, but creating links to pages deep in your site has been found to add some serious boost to your efforts especially when the structure of your page URL incorporates all we have mentioned above in this article. These deep links will also dramatically affect how the search engines trust your site. Websites with a ton of deep links from “trusted” websites almost always fare better in the rankings. There is no definition for what constitutes a “trusted” web site, but we have found that other media sites, sites with .org and .edu in their name and sites that have been online a long time seem to be more trusted than others
Of course, we all know there are more than three things you need to do to be a success with SEO online. But, the first step as a publisher is often the hardest… realizing that you just might need some help with SEO. The very best webmasters can often miss some important marks in shooting towards SEO success. If you do not create the perfect SEO scenario, someone else will and then they will win the game.
Ready for an SEO check up? Brain Swell Media offers you a 10 point review in less than 30 minutes at no cost to you. We will then present you a plan to fix, grow and make money from your website. Contact us today.