June 20th, 2012
When trying to grow your business, a large portion of your time is spent chasing down leads and attempting to convert conversations to sales. If you don’t properly qualify your prospects before you begin the sales process, you may waste your energy on the wrong type of prospect.
Qualifying your current book of business and creating profiles will help you maximize your sales process and ensure you are targeting the right type of business for your future efforts. This single step can not only save you tremendous amounts of time, but it will also ensure your return on investment from each prospect is healthy.
Just how do you qualify a sales lead?
First, you need to identify your current customer base by creating profiles for each client. This will help you quantify what constitutes a “good” prospect for your company. These profiles should include how you initially made contact with the client (warm lead or cold call), company characteristics, how the sales process worked for each one and how much interaction you’ve had with them since that initial sale. You can also include personality information on each client, as well as anything special you had to do to make that sale.
Once you have your existing clients profiled, you can begin creating profiles for all of your new prospects. You’ll already have an idea of what type of prospect works best for your sales approach and this will help you drill down to the prospects that will be most likely to buy your products or services.
Whenever you get a new lead, that initial conversation should be geared towards discovery of their needs, what they plan to do to meet those needs and what your role in this process will be. This information is vital towards creating their individual profile and will help you create an individualized strategy for each new prospect.
While every prospect is different and will have different needs, once you have your profiles done, you’ll have a better idea of which type of prospect will be most likely to buy. You’ll streamline your process and be able to focus on your sales conversions, instead of chasing after leads that are unlikely to pan out.
June 7th, 2012
In the past, contractors were employed to fill in for vacations, handle sick calls, and help during busy times. Times have changed! From the reception desk all the way to the CEO suite, specialized contractors with unique skills sets help companies solve strategic business challenges.
With many contract assignments stretching to longer-term engagements, hiring managers and department heads are looking for new ways to motivate contract staff. The challenge is that what motivates your full-time staff, may not work for contractors. Here are a few tips you can use to motivate your contractors:
- Review your on-boarding process.
All too often, contractors are brought in, put at a desk and expected to perform. This might work okay, but for better results, devote some time to bringing them up to speed on your company and their project. Explain how their role fits into helping achieve larger company objectives, and supporting the existing staff. Outline specific expectations and check back frequently to answer any questions they may have. You’ll find that spending a bit more of your time up-front will reap a lot of benefit.
- Make them feel welcome.
Before a contractor arrives, inform your existing employees about his or her arrival and the reason for bringing them on board, encourage your staff to introduce themselves and include the contractor into office social functions. Making the contractor feel more welcome will help break down communication barriers and lead to better results.
- Help build the contractor’s confidence.
Provide contractors with tasks that compliment their skill sets. Put them in a position to succeed and offer the tools and resources they need to exceed your requirements. Don’t be afraid to share their successes at company/department meetings. This will go a long way in making contractors feel like a valuable part of the team and motivate them to perform at an extremely high level.
- Consider ‘TEMP’ a forbidden four-letter word!
‘Temp’ carries negative connotations. Today’s ‘temps’ are more akin to highly skilled and sought after ‘free agents.’ They have a unique set of skills that are in high demand and have chosen a career that provides flexibility, excitement and new challenges. So, this isn’t just a ‘temp’ job; this is their career. Encourage your staff to refer to your new contractor by name, not “the temp.”
Combining these strategies will help you motivate your contractors, get jobs done in less time, and help your operation run more smoothly.