Executives are constantly scrutinizing sales metrics and setting new targets for the number of self-generated leads created, number of new opportunities and conversion rates. But do they spend enough time setting company policies that can actually improve some of these KPIs?
Take close rates, for example. Many organizations "think" they know how to improve close rates. They may shorten contract terms, provide more appealing payment terms or lower the fees, but oftentimes, these provisions are only made during the negotiation stage and often with an expectation that the new client will also be flexible in some of their terms. While these can be effective in helping to close a deal, there are more proactive strategies that can be used.
Listening, Hearing & Executing on Client & Prospect Feedback
If an executive were to find out how much time their staff spends compiling and evaluating Sales KPIs and compared that to the time that is spent on "Listening, Hearing & Executing on Client Feedback," they'd find that the time spent evaluating metrics far outweighs the time spent proactively enacting new policies and procedures that are aligned with client feedback.
I'd propose moving the solicitation, evaluation and execution of Client (and Prospect!) feedback to the top of their leadership agendas. How is feedback being collected? Who is responsible and owns that feedback? Who will conduct cost analyses on the value of implementing that feedback? Who will then work cross-functionally to see it through? And very importantly, who will communicate, and thank the client or prospect or made the suggestion.
Placing more emphasis on client feedback will not only help sales improve their close rates. If done properly, it will also improve your product/service set, improve client satisfaction and improve client retention rates. If the organization's new focus on client feedback implementations is done well, it will also provide more client referrals and testimonials--the most valuable asset an executive can have in its arsenal.
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