4 Ways to Prepare Your Sales Team for the 2021 Fiscal Year


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No matter what industry your company might be in, there’s a good chance that next year doesn’t look that good as far as sales are concerned. If you run a company that relies primarily on B2B sales, then you’re probably concerned about the fact that even larger organizations seem to be hanging on by a thread.

Those sell exclusively to consumers might be concerned about the fact that so many people are still out of work and therefore don’t have much in the way of spending money. It’s gotten to the point where statisticians believe that 40 percent of sales leaders have missed their annual revenue targets. However, there’s no reason that your sales team can’t dramatically improve these numbers next year with the right kind of preparations.

Check out these crafty techniques you can use in the coming months.

1. Upselling, Downselling & Cross-selling

All of the major online retailers who weren’t already using these techniques have adopted them over the past year or so. Upselling, downselling and cross-selling merchandise helps to move products to customers who wouldn’t otherwise buy nearly as much. According to one survey, promoting a more expensive version of a product or service right before checkout can encourage purchase of said merchandise around 60-70 percent of the time.

Cell phone industry executives might be the kings of this kind of marketing. When consumers go to buy a new phone, they’re sure to get an offer for a more sophisticated model. If those same consumers seem uninterested in even a mid-range product, then these same executives might try downselling their products. Namely, they’ll offer a less expensive version right as the customer is getting ready to leave. By upselling goods when it looks like someone is sure to buy something and downselling them when customers aren’t as receptive, your sales team can increase the total volume of merchandise sold.

Cross-selling refers to the practice of selling related products to consumers who’ve already purchased something else. Many electronics companies sell people an extended warranty whenever they buy something, which has been one of the more profitable forms of cross-selling. In more recent years, companies have relied on recommendations widgets when people are shopping online to show them other merchandise they might like. You’ll want to make sure that your sales team has this kind of technology in place to ensure that you’re poised to take advantage of it.

2. Take a Proactive Approach to Customer Interaction

Sales team representatives tend to respond to customer inquiries on a reactive basis. You’ll want to get together with your team to lay a more proactive approach out. Modern customer service platforms make it possible to create a series of managed steps that you can use to deal with any situation that might arise while you’re interacting with your customers.

Some experts feel that analytics technology might be able to predict nearly all problems you might run into simply by looking at preexisting customer service data. Chances are that your company already has a large collection of sales data that you could be building on but haven’t yet monetized.

3. Offer Educational Resources Even if People Aren’t Buying

You may find that the current economic climate has left nearly all of your potential clients cool to your team’s message. However, you can still reach potential leads by offering them something of value without actually giving them a pitch. Infographics, blog posts and guides can all help to illustrate that your company is prepared to solve their pain points while also drawing them in by providing them important information they were looking for anyway. This will ensure that they keep coming back for more, and eventually they’ll buy into your brand as soon as they have the resources to do so.

4. Building a Crisis Recovery Plan

According to one study from Deloitte, only 49 percent of companies have some sort of risk management plan in place. You want to be sure that your firm is ready for whatever might happen in the future. Plan a meeting with your sales team where you go through the possibility of several different types of crises that could rear their collective ugly heads.

You’ll also want to consider workflow and supply disruptions. Countless manufacturing processes have been stopped dead in their tracks because of supply problems over the last year, and you don’t want to rely on any fragile workflows to get products out the door and into your customers’ hands. You may want to revamp some aspects of the sales process to reduce your reliance on anything that could potentially get disrupted by the next major crisis situation.

During lean times, you don’t want to cut your promotion even if things don’t look so good. Make sure to refocus your marketing and sales efforts. Your firm should be able to weather the storm and regain at least some of the traction it may have lost in 2020.

Philip Piletic
I have several years of experience in marketing and startups, and regularly contribute to a number of online platforms related to technology, marketing and small business. I closely follow how Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud and other rising technologies grew to shape our everyday lives. Currently working as managing editor for a UK tech site.


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