From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Better Results Today

When we last shared time together, you learned how to create more qualified leads. That lesson flows into what you'll discover today, the things sales people should have done yesterday for the results they want today.

Over the next 2 weeks, our website is moving to a new hosting provider, this will mean better tools to search and use in the membership area. The upgrade will make available new tools that I'll introduce in after the move is complete.

Stay tuned for the next lesson where you'll learn how to secure greater market share with things your industry won't tell you. Meanwhile, reply to this message with your questions.


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

What Sales Should Have Done Yesterday For Better Results Today

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

There are certain things sales people must do in order to develop buying relationships, these investments help you keep and create new customer relationships.

Selling is the process of cultivating and seeding new relationships qualified to purchase certain products or services. Great results in sales don't happen overnight, as an executive, it's critical to understand what sales should have done to get the results they expect.

What sales people in your company should have done yesterday for better results today ...

  1. Focus physical time with highly qualified buyers. Sales can improve their performance by asking for help from the marketing department for lead nurturing. These new interactions are with specific people sales has identified as qualified to buy, but who haven't yet shown any interest in a specific purchase period.
  2. Gain a clearer understanding of product value from the customers prospective. Invest in live product or service implementation so sales know exactly what customers experience. Interviewing a few customers on the phone isn't enough, get down in the trenches with your product to talk with and observe real users.
  3. Say thank you more this year than you did last. Do your customers feel appreciated? Saying thank you is more than just presenting a gift or sending a card, it's really appreciating the privilege you have to serve the needs of those customers who chose to do business with you. Appreciation starts with sales and reinforced by services fulfillment of customer expectations.
  4. Cultivate customer relationships. A relationship is when both parties get what they want, to cultivate a relationship you need to measure and monitor aspects of customer expectations. This sounds difficult, but it's just a matter of asking questions that identify specific desires and serving them in a profitable way.
  5. Know how to use an opportunity management system integrated with a single calendar, and contact management system. No matter how fancy your customer relationship management software, if your sales people don't know how to use it, they won't. An opportunity management system helps sales people stay on top of new business, constantly moving it towards a close.
  6. Faster follow up on inquiries.Sales follows up on fewer then 30% of all leads received, and most take more than 4 days to get a response. If sales people want strong revenues from loyal customers, then they must respond quickly to all inquiries. Target a 24-hour response from email and postal mail, 4 hours for telephone calls, and always schedule a follow up after every interaction.
  7. Work with marketing instead of against them. Across very smart firms, sales and marketing departments have a standing love-hate relationship that is killing your revenues. Sales must ask for better materials from marketing but working together to create selling tools that make their job easier. Marketing isn't just about the creative.
  8. Clearly define the criteria necessary to turn a lead into a qualified prospect. Not only does a sales person need to be clear about what makes a qualified prospect, your entire company must follow the same criteria in every aspect of lead generation. Use profitable customer characteristics that help identify a prospects specific interest, priority, and the period of purchase.

When a sales person does these things, every day they have greater opportunities for new business and stronger customer relationships. Your retention factors will grow, and sales will be more productive. Which of these actions can your team take today?

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