Four tips to accelerate sales for SMEs

Sales professionals want to close business as fast as possible. Today, technology and data accelerate business even faster than in the past.

‘Sales acceleration’ describes the modern data and tech driven sales and marketing process which shortens the sales cycle. By deriving insights from the data and using technology to deliver those insights to the right people at the right time, sales and marketing teams are able to move prospects through the funnel and close deals more quickly.

The ability to now track a potential customer’s activities across platforms and tie those activities together transforms the job of a sales and marketing professional. CMOs and CSOs of larger organisations are – or should be – well versed in this process as a means of growing their prospect list and driving revenue. But actually, there’s a space at the table for many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), too.

If your business doesn’t have a full-scale marketing team and the budget to test strategies, your focus should be on targeting the right customer when they’re ready to buy.

There’s a fine line between business success and failure; for SMEs a quick-to-close deal can sometimes be the difference. You can begin by implementing sales acceleration techniques using software, data and analytics. Here are four key features you should look for when choosing your sales acceleration solution:

Strategic targeting

The adage ‘time is money’ has never rung more true than when running an SME. It’s not about casting your net far and wide these days; it’s about targeted selling to the prospects most likely to purchase.

Depending on the solution you choose, you should be able to build custom lists based off the characteristics of your best customers. This lets you target and spend time focusing on the exact type of buyer you want.

Triggered, real-time alerts

Targeting the right customer gives you the “who”. Triggers, tell you the “when”.

Your sales acceleration solution should alert you to key events at your prospects’ companies – whether that’s a C-suite change or potential acquisition activity. Acting upon that window of opportunity before anyone else will allow you to close the deal fast.

Better, more informed conversations

Buyers need sellers who understand their business. Through the power of data and analytics, sales teams now have insights which allow them to have more targeted conversations, specific to the needs of each buyer.

For example, what if you could monitor exactly what’s trending in the industry you want to target? Maybe there’s an increase in the number of legal actions underway in a certain industry. Or maybe a certain sector is seeing a boom in office openings in one of your target locations. With insights that are easily digestible and related to challenges and opportunities your prospects are facing, you’re able to equip yourself with all the information you need to have more informed conversations.

Pinpointing your prospects’ pain points before talking to them will get you noticed; it’s hard to ignore personal, relatable conversation.

Less time searching, more time selling

The role of a professional sales person is to research the customer, pick up the phone and then sell to that prospect. But how much time is your team actually spending on the research aspect, compared to actually selling? Likely too much, and this isn’t good for making money. Dun & Bradstreet’s recent study showed that sales professionals are spending 128 minutes researching each prospect before contacting them. The solution you implement should automate the most research-intensive tasks for your team.

Sales acceleration can have a profound effect on your bottom line, if used correctly. By implementing sales acceleration solutions into your marketing strategy, you’re able to have more relevant conversations with the right prospects that will allow you to speed up the path from prospect to profitable customer.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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