Sally the saleswoman is responsible for growing sales for her company’s accounting software package. She knows the product inside and out and even passed her CPA exam recently to help illustrate her deep accounting knowledge and give her instant credibility. The company gave her six months to bulk up sales by 15%, a tall order for any product. Here is how Sally exceeded her sales goal and her commission expectations.
- She called on her classmates from her CPA preparation class to ask for advice on finding referrals. Note that she didn’t ask for referrals, but asked for help on getting referrals – that’s a fine line, but an important one to take heed to. By asking for this type of help, Sally let her classmates relax their guard and offer advice. Her classmates are mostly practicing CPA’s, so there is no competition for software sales to worry about.
- Next Sally poured through as many press releases as she could that dealt with companies that she already sells into and companies she wants to sell into. The releases that had anything to do with a need for an accounting package were treated as lead material. If there was good financial news, Sally called to congratulate them and see if their current software was up to the task. If there was bad financial news, Sally called to explain how her software helped another company save money and brought it back into the black. Expansions – does their current package have easy extensibility? OK enough, you get the picture.
- She attended a trade show to gain insights into how her product stacks up against the competition. This allowed her to easily handle any objections where the competition was brought up as an alternative. Although, as discussed in another article, she was careful not to downplay or insult the competition to her clients. That strategy will get you no where fast.
- At the same trade show, she presented a paper on using enterprise accounting software to streamline costs and minimize project cost overruns.
- Sally bought ad placement from Google’s Adwords to help rapidly spread the word about her product.
- Finally, she cruised LinkedIn for leads into companies that she wasn’t able to reach with the above methods.
The result of her efforts led to a 21% increase in business and the hiring of an assistant to help her manage all the extra business.