Do you want to increase sales? Yes? Well, you’re not alone. In all likelihood, you’re limited by the amount of time you can spend finding, targeting, and building relationships with prospective customers. Give yourself – or your sales team – a boost by hiring a freelancer to do your legwork so you can connect with your customers.
You can start by making a list of all your current sales-related activities. Then, list all the things you’d like to do… if you just had the time. Chances are, a number of those tasks can be completed by an Elance provider.
To help spark your brainstorming session, here are just some of the ways a freelancer can support your sales team and help you grow your business:
Research your market.
Market research can help you understand and act on the dynamics of your local or global market, on market trends, and on customer satisfaction with the products and services in your area. In short, market research will help you understand who and where your customers are, and how to meet their needs. Before you devote critical resources to opening a new sales territory, expanding your services, or promoting a new product, make sure a market exists. What you “know” may or may not be supported by the data a skilled researcher can uncover.
Create a lead database.
A freelancer can help source partners or affiliates, drive traffic to your website, collect information from prospective clients, and research, identify, and pull together contact information for key decision-makers within your industry. Pass on a description of the criteria that make a prospect more likely to buy your products or services to help the provider prioritize your leads. Instead of searching for qualified potential customers, you’ll spend your valuable time making contact and building a new business relationship.
Hand-write thank you notes.
A personal touch goes a long way. What means more to you: A pre-printed form letter or a personalized hand-written follow-up or thank you note?
Create a winning presentation or proposal.
Whether you land a new client may hinge on the quality of your proposal. A provider who can help you communicate complex ideas using an effective presentation can make a difference. You provide the information – they’ll provide the presentation. Or, have a freelancer develop professional presentation and proposal templates that you can pour customer-specific data into.
Answer e-mails and calls.
If your marketing campaigns generate customer inquiries, someone must respond as soon as possible – and if it’s a phone call, someone must be there to answer it. But – should that person be you? A freelancer can field the initial queries, answering general questions and provide information based on the materials you provide. You can then follow up with hot prospects and provide detailed information where necessary.
Perform a competitive analysis.
To grow your sales, you need answers to questions like:
- Who are my main competitors?
- What are the similarities and differences between their products/services and mine?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of my competitors’ products and services?
- How do their prices compare to mine?
- How should I best plan to compete: Offer better quality services, lower prices, more support, and/or easier access to services?
- What should I do to create a competitive advantage in my marketplace?
The answers to these questions will help you better understand how to promote and how to run your business. Experienced researchers use offline and online sources to help you define strategies and market positioning that help you stand out from the crowd.