Thomas Watson from IBM famously said: “Nothing happens until a sale is made.” I couldn’t agree more. Sales is essential for every organization, and as a Sales professional, the more often you can sell, the more the revenue that will come to your organization.
Businesses thrive when they understand the importance of sales. They will dominate the market when they know the core principles required to create, package, and market their products or services to the satisfaction of their customers.
Amazon, Apple, Google, Walt Disney, Tesla, and Nike understand the core strategies and principles required to attract and cultivate customers’ loyalty around their brand, and that’s why these organizations are thriving in the market place. It is imperative for organizations that want to succeed not only to create top-notch products or offer high-quality services, but they must also understand how to make more sales and gain market shares.
To achieve the objective of making more sales, every business leader must understand the five essential principles for developing deeper connections with the customers so that they can continuously make sales.
Here are the 5 Ps of Sales:
1. Perspective: You cannot truly solve a problem until you understand the problem. As a sales professional, do you know your customers’ pain points? How does a day in the life of your customer look like? What kind of relationship are you cultivating with your customers? Is it mainly transactional, whereby all you want to do is just make the sales and leave once the deal is closed? To be successful, you need to treat your customers like your partner. You must understand their pain points, their struggles, and make all efforts to alleviate their concerns.
You have to live through a day in the life of your customers to see and understand their perspectives. Amazon makes the customers’ perspectives its focus, and the company was rewarded with more loyal customers. Amazon understands that the customer would love a one-stop-shop to buy anything from bedsheets to electronics, and they made it addictive by making it easy to shop on their platform.
So how do you manage your customers’ requests? Do you treat them well enough that they will be willing to open their wallets and buy more from you? Remember, your customer success is closely tied to yours, seek to understand your customers’ problems, provide solutions that will alleviate their pains. Ensure you make it easy for them to use your products or services, and you will have more opportunities to sell to them.
2. People: Walt Disney is dominating the mass media and entertainment industry because of the value it placed on people. When you go to any of the Disney theme parks or resorts for vacation, you can be guaranteed an experience that is second to none. Disney wants people to have such an awesome experience that they would be willing to come back in the future, and also share the experience with others.
Whether in the movie theatre or in the comfort of your home, Disney is working to ensure you get the best form of entertainment through their multiple TV shows and program lineup. Behind the awesome experience that you get from Disney, are the teams that work in Disney. They are specially trained about what to do, and how to do it such that they will create great memories for the customers.
So, do you want to make more sales? You should start with your team. How competent are they? Does your team have the right skills and experience? Do you have the right synergy within your team to ensure that the team can get the job done? Every organization must ensure that they train their team to carry out all the necessary functions to make the business run properly.
Disney understands that having the right people in the team will significantly influence the outcome that they get in terms of providing the right customer experience and making sales. So also, every business leader must ensure that they have the right people in the right position, working synergistically as a team to deliver results.
3. Process: How easy or difficult is it to use your product or services? Apple put a great deal of attention to simplicity and ease of use when developing their products. People love simplicity, and that was why Apple’s iPhone is such a success because it is so easy to use.
Tesla understands the importance of a simple process for making sales, and that’s why they got rid of car dealers, and they deal directly with their customers. What is your established process for attracting and retaining your customers? Are your processes adding value to or making it more painful to deal with your company?
Every organization should have process improvement teams that will be responsible for assessing the company’s processes and find opportunities for simplifications to achieve improved efficiency. Why would I transact business with a company that will take two weeks to deliver an order when I can get a competitor that will deliver under a week?
A competent process improvement leader should put the customers’ needs at the forefront and should start by getting customers’ input and feedback using surveys, questionnaires, and any available tools. The days of sitting back at the office corner to craft solutions without customers’ inputs are over. Do you want to make more sales? Start by improving your processes, make it easier, not difficult to deal with your organization.
4. Product: Of course, there will be no sales without products or services. What are the products or services that you are bringing to the marketplace? How do they address your customers’ needs? How do you develop your brand such that your customers will become your “unpaid” ambassadors and will be willing to promote and talk about your products? Nike has been able to dominate its industry through constant innovation and its ability to promote its products by being able to get ordinary customers and professional athletes to become loyal customers.
Beyond making great products, every business leader must also know how to brand their products and must be able to promote those products. Apple is exceptionally skillful at this, whenever they roll out any new products, they know how to engage their customers and convert them into “unpaid” ambassadors to spread the message. Nike paid millions every year to professional athletes to get them to use Nike’s products and at the same time, become staunch advocates of Nike products. If you want to make more sales, start by making great products, but don’t stop there, you must develop a loyal customer base that will willingly talk about and promote your products.
5. Profit: I would rather sell a thousand products and make a million-dollar than sell a million products and make a thousand dollars. At the end of the day, your company’s performance will be measured based on how profitable the company is. This is why it is extremely important to pay attention to paying customers. Yes, you should treat all customers nicely, but all customers are not equal. You should know your paying customers, ensure you focus your attention on them, and explore ways to support them so that you can do more business with them. You’ve got to think outside the box to do this well. You will need to examine your customer’s portfolio and check what more ways you can partner with them to do more business.
Pareto’s 80/20 rule holds true when you consider sales and profitability. This principle is true for almost anything you can think about. For example:
80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers
80% of road traffic accidents are caused by 20% of drivers
80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers
80% of wealth is owned by 20% of people
80% of the results you get come from 20% of the efforts you applied.
Ultimately, you can get the results you want with less effort; you have to identify where you need to focus your efforts. Think about this in your business, identify the 20% customers that provides the highest profitability. Focus on them. Partner with them. And you will be able to make not only more sales but also boost profitability.
Business exists to make money, create your business strategies around these five principles, and you will able to stay competitive and attract more loyal customers to your brand. If you use them effectively, you will dominate the market, and you will have customers promoting your brand, and they may even be willing to stand in line overnight to do business with your company.