A crack sales team of seasoned professionals securing millions of dollars worth of sales. It’s a business owner’s dream.
On the surface, it may seem like building a great sales team takes the skills of a well-practiced human resources professional. But that’s only partly true. The other critical factor that will dictate your team’s success is the quality of sales materials.
The topic may seem unglamorous, but the tools you put into the hands of your salespeople do make an impact.
But that’s obvious, isn’t it? Good sales materials lead to effective sales people, which leads to increased revenue.
So the better question is, When’s the right time to update your sales materials?
There’s a simple answer to that question. When sales materials don’t work, update them.
Insight Into Sales
Let’s work backwards from this proposition. Unless you have a system in place to monitor calls and emails, you won’t know your sales materials aren’t working until it’s too late. Sales are slumping, salespeople are leaving the company, leads are dropping off—these are signs that your sales materials were outdated five years ago.
Before you have to overcome a serious sales deficit, put systems in place to test your sales materials.
Test. Then Test Some More.
Cold calling and email templates need tweaking to get them right. Here’s a few ways to monitor and test results:
- AB split testing emails let you see real-time responses from leads.
- Call recording lets you track calls to book meetings or demos.
Testing that truly informs your sales collateral should include looking at factors like:
- The best time of day to call or email.
- The online materials that get click throughs.
- The emails with the best open rates or view rates.
Put the Testing Into Action
Let the insights you gain from testing emails and calls inform the revisions you make to sales materials. Here’s how to put better tools into salespeople’s hands:
- Emails. Give the sales team a centralized place (like a Google Doc) where they can access the five main templates they need when talking to leads. Emails should unify your brand and motivate the lead to action. The templates should follow the sales funnel from landing the first meeting to getting a response after a demo to following up and asking for referrals. Then, the salesperson can personalize the emails based on the contact he has with the lead.
- Cold calls. Face-to-face meetings and phone calls require different sales materials. For cold calls, develop scripts for the sales team to follow as they interact with leads at every point of the sales process. (For face-to-face encounters, the sales team needs a relevant, eye-catching flyer to hand out. A one-page paper that highlights the product or service in a compelling way using clean, simple graphics gets results. The sales team can print it out on any printer, and it’s easier to get a hold of than a complicated tri-fold pamphlet or color flyer.)
Invest in the best possible sales team you can, but make the tools you put into their hands just as much a priority. Remember, these tools represent your brand, and they help your sales team better represent your company, too.