By Muhammad Dalhatu
What is a Sales Strategy and what are the fundamentals of sales? This was the subject of a two-day conversation and NAMIP sales workshop facilitated by Carl Davis, Managing Director of MemeBurn this month. The workshop focused on equipping newsrooms with strategies to generate revenue through the sale of various products and services. According to Carl, although markets vary depending on the region, the basic principles of a sales strategy always remain the same; it is a method of selling your product that empowers your sales team to position your organization in a distinctive and meaningful way to target customers.
The fundamentals of sales can be divided into 5 key areas:
- Identifying leads/clients by understanding their audience profile.
- Securing a sales meeting by building a value proposition, benefit statement, and hook. In layman’s terms, presenting the client with a clear demonstration of the valuable services or products that you can offer.
- Planning and conducting a successful sales meeting, including creating rate cards and following a structured plan.
- Commoditizing and pricing your product effectively.
- Developing and maintaining a strong sales pipeline to ensure a steady flow of prospects and customers.
With the following fundamentals, you can close sales that not only bring value to the organization but also help you generate revenue. Let’s go over the strategies for landing a sales deal.
First, developing sales strategies starts by creating an audience profile that resonates with the client’s needs. To sell the right products to your customers, understanding their needs and preferences is crucial. This applies not only to individual customers but also to brand partnerships. It’s important to know what your potential clients are selling and how your products can help them reach their target audience. To achieve this, you need to identify the pain points of your clients and offer solutions to their needs. Ultimately, your goal should be to help your clients increase their return on investment.
During meetings with clients, it is essential to ask them questions about their needs. By doing so, you can understand their pain points and suggest relevant and pertinent solutions. What sets successful salespeople apart is their ability to naturally close deals. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on improving your closing rates by understanding the needs of your clients and proposing solutions that meet those needs.
When presenting your offerings to clients, it’s important to highlight the placement of their products and customize your approach based on their requirements. Whether you’re showcasing your content for sponsorships or partnerships, make sure that your information is easy to understand, flows well, and that the products are presented in the best possible manner.
The importance of developing a Client Database
During our session, Carl provided us with a step-by-step guide on how to create a client database, starting from a prospect to a qualified lead. According to Carl, a prospect is an organization or a potential customer that fits the ideal customer profile of the audience but has not yet shown interest in their products or services. On the other hand, a qualified lead is an organization or potential client who has expressed an interest in your products or services.
When building your database, it is crucial to acquire the contact information of decision-makers in the organization, such as CEOs, Managing Directors, Owners, and Marketing Directors.
It is recommended by Carl to create a database of at least 100 leads before initiating the follow-up process with each client. During the follow-up process, it is vital t to understand the decision-making unit (DMU) of the client, which comprises influencers, and gatekeepers. This understanding is crucial as the network of the DMU can often influence the actions of the decision-makers within the organization or agency.
Once you have developed a client database, the next step is to create a smart calling card that serves as a template for key discussions with the client. This template should include discussions on your client’s business, advertising objectives, how you differentiate yourself from competitors, the twelve-month goal of working with the client, and your unique selling point. It is important to keep your calling card short and concise.
Rate Cards & Value Proposition
What are Rate Cards? – Rate Cards are an important tool to showcase your products and services, as well as any special offers you can provide to clients beyond just banner and ad placements. These rate cards also include your pricing points, making them a crucial element in closing deals. Developing a clear strategy for your rate cards is key to success. When contacting each client, make sure to know what you can offer to the client by assigning a monetary value to your offer, but refrain from sending your rate cards on the first contact with a potential client until they show an interest in working with you.
While preparing to meet with a client, it is important to ask needs-based questions to uncover their pain points and determine how you can add value to their business. This is an opportunity to prove your value proposition and demonstrate your expertise. It is crucial to speak with confidence when interacting with clients, as your tone of voice can convey your personality and account for 87% of the impressions people form about you. Therefore, it is essential to lead clients to make informed decisions, rather than rushing them.
Buying Signals and Closing Deals
During our training session, Carl also guided us on how to identify buying signals – the actions that potential buyers take that indicate they are close to making a purchase decision. Here are some examples of such signals:
- Head Nodding: When a client consistently nods their head during a sales presentation, it means they are in full agreement with you.
- Orientation: When a client begins to ask questions about your product or service that relate to implementation or usage, it’s a good time to ask for the business.
- Negotiation: If the client starts to discuss discounts or prices, it clearly indicates their intention to do business. Answer their questions and ask for the sale.
- Debating Options: Help the client see the best option for them by asking them a series of questions and involving them in a discussion about the benefits they will gain.
- Non-Essential Haggle: Cut to the chase and close the deal.
Developing a fundamentals-based sales strategy can lead to successful deal closures, revenue generation, and added value to your audience and organization. This can be achieved by building relationships and spending quality time with your clients is essential to making sales. Rushing through meetings defeats the purpose of meeting face-to-face. Take the time to thoroughly convince your clients and prospects that your solution is the one they need to solve their problem.