You’re back in your office, having just returned from a morale building, fist-pumping session of sales training with your entire sales team. The question now becomes this: how do you build on the momentum you achieved during the training, ensure that the tactics are used successfully, the new sales process is followed and get a good return on your investment?While sales process implementation is not a simple task and may require more of your time now than you’d like to attribute to it, the rewards justify your investment and payback comes much sooner than you would think.The proof is in the numbers.After training his team on one of the top ten sales methodologies/process, I spoke with a colleague who I have worked with in the past and who has implemented sales process several times. He is currently the Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing at an information services company in New York City. Here’s a sampling of the results he achieved after six months of implementation:When he first joined the company, his sales team was at 60% of quota. After implementing his sales training program and new sales process, the team’s productivity rose to 95% of quota.His pipeline (in dollars) grew by 68% and the number of deals grew by 100%, much of which he attributes to his new sales process.His top performers were at 75% and 88% of quota initially – that increased to 124% and 122%, respectfully.90% of his team improved their productivity.His philosophy is that unless a company continues to train and manage their business according to the sales methodology and process they choose, the initial investment in the training is wasted. The sales force won’t accept it as standard operating procedure, they won’t use it, and there is no derived benefit.Since he had such great success with sales training methodologies, I asked him what he thought the biggest benefits of implementation are for sales managers. Here are some of his thoughts:Once the sales process is in place, the entire organization is speaking the same language, from sales to marketing to operations to executives. Both sales person and manager speak the same language, providing you with a common ground that allows you to manage more effectively.As a manager, you gain much more control over forecasting and sales cycles than you ever had before. You can identify more readily when something will close and your forecasting accuracy increases immensely.You can also manage your pipeline better, for both short-term and long-term opportunities. The process that you follow will help your sales people qualify better and focus on deals that are “winnable” so the ratio of wins to losses increases.Once your sales process has been implemented, a sales manager now has the tools to recognize and head off potential performance issues. If a sales person isn’t filling a pipeline 90 days out, you can easily recognize that and you won’t have any surprises as the sales cycle proceeds. You’ll be able to work with the under performing sales person and head off potential problems.You can also determine where your sellers are most productive – whether it’s prospecting, qualification, negotiation, proof steps, or closing. My colleague discovered by looking at a pipeline report that someone on his team didn’t have any experience with closing. The sales person built a great pipeline, but had just passed leads before. The sales manager was able to work with the sales person to increase their close rate.My colleague told me that implementing a sales process greatly contributed to the success of his company’s revenue growth and that tools and processes such as pipeline management, sales process management, sequence of events letters, and action plans are key. Simply put, he said, “It’s all about controlling the sales cycle and making it more predictable.”I asked my colleague what advice he would give fellow sales executives who had just put their people through formal selling training based on a structured methodology and it was this: be relentless! Relentlessly manage your people using the methodology, because if you don’t believe in it and if you don’t manage your people to the process, they are not going to adopt it. He also added that while implementing might be a time consuming task to start, it’s well worth it once you’re up and running. Moreover, his numbers certainly support that statement.He also wanted to pass along this thought: make sure you have executive support because things might be worse before they get better. You’re going to use a sales methodology to relentlessly clear out your pipeline and you’re going to get a real wake up call. You’ll find that there are things in the pipeline that shouldn’t be there, but then, you already know that, don’t you?Remember how his pipeline grew? It’s almost impossible to achieve those results without full implementation of a sales methodology. It’s worth it in the end and the proof is in the numbers.If you’re ready to implement, here’s what I would consider the top 5 things you should kick off right now. They will take a little time, but they’re the initial steps that are needed in order to get your people on the road to success.1. Territory Reviews – Start scheduling weekly individual “Territory Reviews” and do this for at least 90 days. Make this an event that no one is exempt from. This is your opportunity to coach your sales people on the “how” to do in order to be successful and not just the “what” to do.2. Pipeline Analysis – Have your sales people grade their existing pipeline according to the sales process steps you are asking them to adopt. Make sure they take an honest, hard, realistic view. Remember that this is not about being right or wrong, it’s about everyone using the same process for selling. This is your opportunity to get them started on speaking a common language.3. Identify the Top Opportunities – Mutually identify the top 5 – 10 opportunities and have your sales people prepare tactical plans to convert them to a status in which decision-makers have agreed to evaluate your products and/or services. Use role plays here to help sellers be prepared to ask good questions to identify prospects goals, problems and needs, and obtain necessary measurements and metrics.4. Document the Process – Ask your sales people to document the results of their sales calls in a letter they can share with their buyers and a preliminary evaluation plan. This provides them with a powerful communication tool for keeping in alignment with prospects and gives you something objective to review when coaching the seller on the opportunity.5. Create a Development Plan – Determine the health of each salesperson’s pipeline and help them create a business development plan to fill their pipeline to obtain revenue goals. Help them calculate how many new opportunities they need to put in their pipeline each week and help them devlope a prospecting plan to reach that level of activity.
Writing Enticing Sales CopyIn order to get your business up and running in the right direction, writing relevant sales copy is one of the biggest defining factors in the earning potential of most businesses. Writing sales copy is no mystery, but if you don’t have the skills to sell through the written word, your business will suffer as a result of this. You might need to find someone who can do this for you so that you can maximize your income. However, using copy writers will be extremely costly. If you are just starting out, you are not likely to be able to afford this kind of cost at the outset. The problem is, without good relevant sales copy, your business is less likely to reach its full potential.So, what should you do? Our advice is to learn how to write stunning sales copy yourself! However, before you can write a winning formula, you must identify your market, whilst keeping in mind that there is likely to be some serious competition, unless your product is new and unique. Be sure to describe your product’s uniqueness stating exactly how this will meet the needs of your prospects. Also, there is likely to be some overlap, that is to say, if you are writing sales copy to sell a particular item of clothing, to men, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any interested female parties and or other groups. So you must choose your language with this in mind. Sport is a good example of this as many women are now participating in some sporting activities such as football and rugby, which traditionally have been male orientated activities.Here, even the colour of your sales copy matters, since, pretty pink sugary copy won’t appeal to most manly men and only some women for example. You could help yourself by seeking out other similar products and checking out the colour and style of their sales copy. Have you noticed how supermarkets make their own brand products to resemble famous brand products? Well this is a tried and tested formula that works. Note how certain colours have become synonymous with particular products. For example cornflakes with red, yellow, green and orange, sugar with blue and white, cleaning products with lemon yellows, purples, blues and reds depending on the ingredients used.Manufacturers use colour to give an impression of the ingredients used. For example, there are a lot of washing powders and washing up liquids which use extracts of various fruits and flowers and are colour the same as those fruits and flowers to denote their presence in particular products.The next thing to keep in mind is that, to write killer sales copy which will laser target your customers, the headline and the salutation, should make a genuine claim, a promise to deliver that which ties in with your prospects needs, aspirations and interests. Also, the benefits and solution should run like a motif throughout your sales copy subtlety reminding the reader what is on offer and how they can benefit from it. For example, here the offer is information on how to help you write effective sales copy, the solution being, that you the reader will increase your customer base resulting in a raised volume of sales.It is important to get this right, as it is no good writing brilliant sales copy which will sell products which are not up to the mark, as this will only result in many customers asking for a refund. If the product has some minor flaws, be up front about this as this will gain your prospects respect and will save you time in the end. If there are things you feel that you need to hide about a product, then you really should consider whether you should be selling or promoting it.Deliver a Clear MessageYou must deliver a clear promise and your sales copy should maintain a clear consistent unmistakable and irresistible offer. Your choice of words should make the reader internalise what is being set out before them. Powerful words take us on a journey and stimulate our desire, but you should only use them if they genuinely describe your product.Effective words invite us to think carefully about what’s being said. Persuasive/descriptive words create the opportunity for us to make an informed decision without feeling unfairly induced to do so. Writing sales copy is like a type of rhetoric on paper which stirs up emotion and courses people to take action based on what they understand. Here, the action you’re looking for is orders resulting in confirmed sales.Avoid speaking in jargonPut simple, if your intended audience can’t understand what is being said, at best they’ll dismiss you. Moreover, they won’t trust you and will not make any purchases at all, nor will they ever recommend you to anyone else. In fact, they are more likely to share a negative opinion about you as opposed to anything else. This is not to say that jargon doesn’t have its place. For example, if the jargon is subject specific as in medicine or law, and you are writing sales copy for these audiences then you should use the expected language to communicate your message. To do anything other than this will look like you don’t know the subject well enough.How Long Should Your Sales Copy BeIn short, your copy should be as long as it takes you to fully lay out your offer, explaining the good that it will do. In the words of Ted Nicholas “Sales copy can never be too long, only too boring” so keep it interesting because if you bore your prospects you won’t get any sales at all. You need to make sure that you engage them with your first few words or they will be gone forever.You can often gage how long your copy should be according to the cost of the products or services. You are promoting. For example, if you are selling an item for $5.000, you are going to need to write enough sales copy laying out the attributes of the product or service. This will help convince your prospects of its benefits and the solution it is going to provide to their problem. This will result in sales for your company. Don’t assume that the product will speak for itself; you will need to do the same even if you’re promoting luxury items.In many industries, generating interested leads is a big part of the business. In cases of services and high end products in particular, your chances of selling directly from a single page sales letter are fairly slim. This is why a well thought out sales process, starting with a prospecting letter to qualify leads, can prove to be a very effective strategy when trying to sell high-end products and services. A good sales letter will draw in qualified prospects that have read your sales copy and understand what your company has to offer. You could of course write a simple sales letter which direct prospects to a website where you have put some more detailed sales copy.Emphasize the Benefits That the Reader will enjoyMake sure your sales copy emphasises all the benefits of what you’re selling together with your unique selling point, (USP) without pressing too hard for an immediate transaction. Make sure your offer isn’t sounding too good to be true, or that the cost is not too low as both of these will prevent your reader from making a purchase. Having the ingredients of well written truthful sales copy together with a compelling offer and strong call to action will usually deliver the desired response from prospects as long as the product is as good as you say it is. In fact, the best result s come in when the product or service is even better than you have stated.Promote New Products or ServicesWhen you are promoting a new product to existing customers, you should keep in mind that these are hot leads, since they are already familiar with your company. For this reason, they require a particular type of sales letter, designed to help you maximize the lifetime value of these customers. The art of the sales promotion letter sent to existing customers is one which should never be over looked. A good technique is to make special offers explaining that this is because they are a valued customer. You should of course always continue to give extra perceived value for money. On this basis, you will continue to hold the attention of your customer with the possibility of further sales.As well as emphasizing new ways your business can help your prospects, continue to remind your existing customers of what you’re already doing for them. Relate the new benefits of your product launch to the benefits your existing products and services are already giving them. Continue to remind them why they use your company, instead of the competition. You’ll get the best results when your sales copy continues to link and make references to new and existing benefits and how they compliment each other. This will certainly give current customers a concrete idea of how your new offers relate to the reasons why they already buy from you and will encourage new customers to come on board.Limited Time promotions and offersIf you’re not offering a new product but running a limited-time promotion, or simply reminding the market of your company, be sure to emphasize how taking advantage of your offer requires action within a limited time period. For example, a discount on a gym membership allows customer to enjoy an even better value for money than usual, but this extra special offer will end on a specified date not too far into the future. By doing this, you know that most of the sales you are going to make are likely to be in by the date you have stated. Make it clear in your sales copy that the offer will not last as this is much more likely to course a reader to respond immediately after reading your sales copy, rather than putting your offer aside for later and never returning to it.This is a useful sales technique, but it must be genuine. Here, we advise that this be a genuine time limited offer and that you should withdraw the offer at the end of your specified time limit. There is nothing to stop you from offering the product or service again in the future. Using a time limit as a way to induce people to make purchases is likely to result in a lot of money back requests and is likely to expose you as running a dishonourable outfit. Even if you do manage to make sales as a result of this, you won’t enjoy any repeat custom or referrals.Writing Sales copy for an Online BusinessWhen writing sales copy for your business’s website, it is essential that you write sales copy which can easily be found by search engines. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an essential skill for success in online businesses. If you don’t know how to optimize your copy you will need to learn how to do this. The cost of a professional to do (SEO) will be high, but it is not something you should over look. It could help you beat the opposition, so I’ll give you a brief outline of what you can do to improve your chances in the absence of a professional SEO copywriter. As I’ve already said, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization’. SEO is the technique of generating traffic from the search engines, (in particular Google) to your website.These visitors are interested in your products/services because they have been searching for them using search terms which correspond with your website. Writing sales copy for a website will involve writing copy in such a way that it will achieve two important goals: The first being to get visitors to come to your site via search engines. The second goal is making sure that plenty of qualified visitors who are more likely to become your loyal customers also visit your site. These visitors are more likely to become customers since they are definitely looking for your content as they have arrived via a search of the key words you have used in your sales copy and Meta tags.I hope that this article will help you in achieving this yourself! One of the main skills of writing sales copy for your website is ensuring your copy uses what are known as long tail keywords which are typically 1 to 3 words long and may form a short phrase or be part of a longer one. E.G. ‘Home grown business’ or ‘Grow your business from grassroots up’ Avoid using single generic terms such a health or gardening as these are unlikely to bring many qualified visitors because they are 2 generic terms. Note, that if you are paying for your traffic using words which are generic terms will bring lots of unqualified visitors costing you unnecessary money. Including long tail keywords at the right percentage of 1% to 5% in your copy is the method which will bring good results.Carefully written Website Sales CopyWhen producing sales copy for your website, using long tail key words of 2 to 3 words will usually maximise your potential to complete sales. This is very important and must be researched carefully. Also make sure your copy has the same keyword as any ads, articles, slides, etc. that you have and produces and relates to the same products/services. Your keyword density, that is your main keywords/ phrases should make up no more than 2% to 5% of your body copy. More than this percentage will course the search engines to become unresponsive ignoring your sales materials all together. Also, for this reason, your key words must relate directly to your products/services.Title and Description Meta TagsIf your sales copy is for your website, you also have to pay particular attention to your title and description Meta tags. To briefly explain, your meter tags are concealed within the (HTML) hyper text mark-up language at the back of every website. You can see an example of this by going to any website and right clicking anywhere on the main body of the site and choosing ‘view source’ from the dropdown menu. You will find the Meta tags at the top of the source code. These are extremely important for two main reasons. The first is that search engines look at these tags to determine what your web page is about, which will determine where it will appear in terms of index page search engine rankings.That is, your website could appear in 1st, 2nd or 3rd position on page 1, 2 or 3, etc., the main keyword/keyword phrase for each page on your website should be included in both the Title and Description tags. Clearly, position 1 on page 1 in any search engine ranking is the best of all and is where you should aim to be. The second reason why these tags are so very important is that this is the copy a reader will see when your page comes up in search engine results.There is a direct correlation between your Meta tags and the key words used in your web sales copy. So, the key words for these Meta tags need to be compelling, as this has the effect of maximizing the number of searchers who actually click through to your site from the search results. Since you can’t have a face-to-face meeting with every prospect or customer, your sales copy must be compelling. It must convey honesty and trust worthiness to the reader and must also lay down your authority in your line of business.If you have a proven track record, be sure to emphasize this in order to build expectation and trust. You should also make use of genuine testimonials if you have any. If you are promoting someone else’s products as an affiliate, then you can utilize their testimonials.Trust You InstinctAfter a little practice you’ll know if you’re getting it right as your words will create feeling and emotion as you write them. You will begin to experience taste, small, sound etcetera as your words dance and skip on the page in front of you. Of course this all depends on what you are writing about. For example, writing sales copy about a fragrant spa wouldn’t usually create the emotion of a freezing cold rainy day. Similarly writing sales copy about citrus bath oils, gels and soaps may create the emotion and fragrance of walking through a leafy orange grove with its brightly coloured fruit all around you!! Always remember, it is being able put yourself in the role of the reader which will enable you to write winning sales copy which sells products.Your Sales Copy Should Always Include Every Possible Means of Taking PaymentFor example: ‘Please look over the enclosed materials and order form which you may return in our self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. Please make cheques payable to P.J Farnham and sons coach tours & water parks Ltd. We also accept all major credit and debit cards. Please see enclosed order form for full payment details. Alternatively please visit: Insert your (URL) to complete your order online’.Finally, if you keep the following important components of composing your sales copy in mind you will be successful. You need a clear and compelling offer, an explicit transaction that you are inviting the reader to make. Here’s an example of an offer: “For a one off payment of $37 you can have delivered to your door a complete expert exercise course which will have you toned and buffed inside 8 weeks!!” An attention-grabbing headline, which offers the customer a solution and satisfies their desires, needs wants and aspirations.A specific and irresistible offer, which is clear and the customer, understands exactly what is being offered. A strong call to action must tell the customer exactly what to do next to reach the solution for their problem and or fulfil their desire. E.G. for further information please visit: your URL. P.S. Your (postscript) should remind the reader why they must take action. End with a further call to action. This is the second most read part of your sales copy after your headline and you should use it to your best advantage.Here you should show the reader the advantages of taking immediate action which could be, that they receive extra products or services if they act swiftly or by a specified date. Or act immediately to receive a voucher for two to enjoy a free spa at Get fit quick Leisure Centre for example.Congratulate yourself; you are now able to write high impact sales copy that delivers. Let us sum up with a quote ‘The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement’ so always strive for the next level.We wish you the very best of Luck in life and also in your business endeavours!!