In today’s difficult economic climate it is more important than ever for companies to maximise their new business sales opportunities. Clever gimmicks and slick sales or marketing tactics might provide a short lived boost to sales but for sustained long term growth, a strategy of consistent product development that is championed by a quality sales force will provide the results time after time.

The sales process is far from an exact science but certain fundamental criterion need to be met before any sale is likely to be successful. Having the right product /service, knowing your target market, that target market knowing you, correct pricing and the right sales strategy will ultimately lead to a company’s long term success.

Continually developing, updating or upgrading what you offer to your customers, or potential customers, will give your sales a continuous momentum. Adapting or tailoring your product or service to appeal to a new market type may open up new, untapped opportunities for sales. Potential customers need to know that you exist, so marketing and advertising yourself through focused, monitored mediums will showcase your company whilst allowing you to gauge what works and what does not. Keeping your company and its product or service in people’s thoughts could give you the edge when their needs demand it.

The sales process needs to be considered during all aspects of your business, from concept right through to delivery to your customers and beyond. Convincing those customers to commit to you instead of your competitors,  whose offering might be similar, will be down to numerous factors, not least the skill, hard work and ingenuity of your sales staff. They need to be well versed in your market sector thus able to empathise with your customers, showing how your unique selling points best suit those customer’s particular requirements.

Whether you are the cheapest or most expensive it is essential to show value for money.  Now might not be the time to increase prices but is probably not the time to reduce prices either. Your sales staff needs to believe that they are selling a value for money product /service because if they don’t believe it, your customers never will and will never buy.

Your sales staff need to be inventive in their approach to obtaining new leads by the use of local knowledge, industry, personal and social contacts, customer recommendations, marketing and advertising and any other acceptable means they can  further their opportunities to find new customers. The more quality leads they make, the more quality sales meetings that they have, the more sales they are likely to bring in. They also need to be motivated, incentivised and managed so that they achieve their targets, which should have been laid down by your management team to drive the business to where you want it to go.

An economic downturn is not a time to hide away and hope, it is a time to look forward and forge new opportunities. Adopt a positive sales approach, adapt your business offering to suit business needs, improve your sales through hard work and invention but above all do not forget to celebrate your successes.