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    Improve sales performance with Survey data


    When you consider the results of a Hubspot survey, which reveals that nearly 70% of customers said sales reps could make their experience more positive if they only listened to their needs, the demand for more detailed data about customers has never been more critical.

    While a salesperson with just a handful of customers can build a close relationship and gain a reasonable understanding of their likes and dislikes, for organisations with a lot of customers, an effective way to establish this understanding at scales is through the questions and insight provided by an online survey.

    It’s also worth pointing out that no amount of communication skills can help your sales team with their negotiation performance if they don’t have the right information to hand. For example, imagine trying to sell a car to someone without realising they can’t drive.

    Alternatively, with the right information gleaned through a survey, Sales people are able to bertter qualify prospects and subsequently drive up sales conversion rates. According to a recent survey nearly 50% of the prospects a typical sales team tries to sell their products to are most likely to be non-customers. Just think how much more effective these sales teams could be, if they were able to qualify these non-customers sooner.

    Sales surveys: tactics to get more from your sales teams

    Besides helping sales teams to gain an essential insight into their customers, surveys can be used directly to improve the performance of sales personnel.

    • Helping you to tailor your training:

    Training is the cornerstone to any sales team, but if it’s to be effective it needs to be kept up to date and tailored to meet the needs of each sales professional, as we all have different strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, with the use of internal surveys, sales managers can gain a better idea of how everyone is feeling and identify any specific training needs that each requires to improve their sales performance.

    • Setting smarter goals:

    You can always use surveys to gain an insight into your employees’ personal goals and measure how they align with your organisation’s goals. Once you have this information you could then set individual goals to help motivate each of them to perform better. You could also employ SMART methodology, to ensure each goal you set was specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based.

    • Strengthening your sales presentations:

    Surveys and more specifically the data from surveys can even be used to help to make your sales presentations more powerful.

    While findings from relevant studies and industry statistics can help strengthen your survey, the ability to produce similar data from surveys of your own respondents will resonate even more deeply with any prospective customers you’re presenting to.

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    How to enhance your surveys for the best results

    The stronger the quality of your data resulting from consumer research, the stronger the understanding of your target audience and performance of your sales teams is likely to be. Therefore, there are number of considerations to think about when creating your survey.

    • Think about your mix of questions

    As different question types can be valuable in meeting different objectives.

    i. Close-Ended: When all you want are simple, easily measurable answers, your best choice is close-ended questions. Typically, requiring just a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, or a very short response, the most popular form of this question is multiple choice. Sample close-ended questions you might like to use include:

    - Are you satisfied with our service?

    - Out of the three products listed below, which product do you feel the most favourably towards?

    - On a scale of 1-10, how happy were you with the quality of our sales call today?

    ii. Open-ended: Often you may be looking to know more. Fortunately, with the use of open-ended questions, you’re able to get a better idea of how your customers really feel, by giving them the freedom to express their thoughts in their own words. A good example of this type of question could include: “How would you change [product Y]?

    iii. Ranking questions: If you have a number of different products, or several versions of the same product that you’re are looking to sell a customer, you may want to present them as a list of options to your customers and ask them to rank them in order of preference with their most preferred at the top using a drag and drop feature.

    iv. Rating questions: you might also consider using rating style questions to sound out how receptive your customers might be to an upcoming change you’re thinking of introducing to a particular product or service.In such a scenario you could get them to rate their satisfaction with your idea on a scale of 1-10 from really dislike to really like at the top end of that scale.

    For a more comprehensive overview about survey question types and when to use them, you may like to take a look at our‘Ultimate Guide to Online Survey Question Types’ ebook.

    • Think about your design too:

    From your supporting images, to the logo, font styles and colours you use. Your design can make a big difference to your survey’s engagement and response rates.

    i. Images: not only can the use of images make your survey look more appealing, they can help to simplify and strengthen a point you’re trying to get across in a question, which can be extremely beneficial to your survey’s engagement levels.

    ii. Your brand: it’s important that your survey is recognisable, and respondents are immediately able to ascertain that’s it’s from a trustworthy source, if you’re to maximise your response rate. Ensuring that your brand shines through, with the inclusion of your company logo, text font style and brand colours will help meet this objective. You could also think about customising your survey’s web address or using your own sub domain.

    For more information about improving your design and incorporating branding, why not take a look at the dedicated; ‘Survey Design Branding’ section of our website.

    Sales surveys that can boost your sales efforts

    There are also some more niche types of surveys you could consider, that could help improve the performance of your sales teams. Good examples include:

    • Market segmentation surveys

    With this survey you’re better able to understand what different groups within your target market have in common, as well as how they differ, based on anything from their demographics and geographical location to their behaviours and attitudes. From this you’re able to segment your target audience into smaller groups, so you can tailor your sales efforts to better meet their preferences

    • Customer intention surveys:

    From finding out whether they’ve previously purchased from you, to what they are most likely to purchase and when. A customer intention survey can also benefit your sales teams, by giving them greater insight into their prospects buying intentions, so they can adapt their strategy to each customer to maximise their sales.

    Final thoughts on sales surveys

    Customer data and lots of it, are critical to the performance of your sales teams, as without it you’ll always be playing catch up and struggling to meet the needs of your customers. However, by taking a step back to plan and then implement a survey programme of both your sales team and your customers, you’ll soon be on the right pathway to getting the data you need, maximising the performance and driving up sales.

    What is Customer Engagement?
    Employee Engagement Strategies

    About Author

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    Phil Cleave

    Phil is part of the Content team at SmartSurvey and has over 20 years experience in the PR and Comms sector writing for Tech Companies.

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