It seems obvious, doesn’t it? Of course sales growth is going to have a positive impact on your bottom line! But how can you leverage your resources to improve sales volumes consistently?

The Four Parts of the Sales Process

You and your staff can directly impact these four elements of your sales process: the volume of sales, your conversion rate, the average sale value, and the length of the sales cycle. This post is all about increasing your sales volume, primarily by generating more leads.

Marketing is a Prerequisite for Sales

This is the best of marketing and sales working together. But I’m afraid it’s a numbers game; to increase sales volume you need more leads (generated by targeted and tracked marketing). Which with a robust qualifying system (ahem, your sales skills) become more qualified leads. Which are further transformed with some marketing and sales expertise into opportunities. And that’s where successful salespeople are separated from the rest.

Feeding the Beast 

It’s a given that you must continually feed the pipeline to increase sales volume (see more in ‘Feeding the Beast’). You’ll likely want to try a variety of ways to generate leads, some offline and some online. You’ll need to invest some resources to generate new leads with some regularity. But like a lot of things in business, there is no easy, one-size-fits-all answer.

How Good is Your Lead Generation?

What do you do with these email addresses once you have them? You engage the people who own them. Regularly, with compelling content. You provide something useful. You answer questions and you make it easy for these people to find answers. You share the insights you’ve learned. You tell relevant stories. You share your humanity. Oh, and you keep adding more people to this group. All the time. Because if you aren’t generating leads to qualify, it’s very difficult to close sales and grow your business.

Outsourcing Marketing Makes Sense

Marketing takes time, both to put into practice and to yield results. I believe that your best sales asset is YOU and therefore you should be outsourcing much of your marketing (I know this great small business marketing firm, Popcorn & Ice Cream, wink, wink, nod, nod!) so you can spend your time selling. The skill in moving those leads through the pipeline is real, and for entrepreneurs, personal.

Compelling Questions are Instrumental in Increasing Sales Volumes

But how do you qualify all these leads effectively and move prospects along the funnel to an eventual close? You’ve got it! Compelling questions. Those ones that don’t just develop and improve rapport, but make your prospect think in terms of his needs while answering in terms of your needs. These very same questioning skills apply to qualifying prospects as they do to sales conversations with identified opportunities.

Some clever marketing programs will enable prospects to self-qualify, and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are running the sort of small business where you being in front of a lead makes the difference between a qualified prospect and a bunch of leads taking up valuable space in your MailChimp account, I’m always going to recommend you (or a trained member of your team) get involved personally.

Find more sales tips and strategies in Kim’s blog, ‘Substance & Style’.

Kim Fredrich helps professional women conquer their fear of selling so they can win more business.

She’s also the Sales GURU at Hera Hub DC and holds office hours on Mondays between 12:30 and 2:30pm.