If you’re a good sales and customer support agent, no one can know the significance of constant development better than you. Skills need to be brushed up every now and then. Staying updated with the latest resources on sales and customer support offer the opportunity to improve your skills.
Below are some of the best available resources that suit your needs:
Appealing Sales and Customer Service Books
#1. “Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless,” written by Jeffrey Gitomer.
This piece of work right away lets you go for customer loyalty, skipping the mainstream customer satisfaction. It requires a particular skill set. You can try out the “Customer Service Self Evaluation Test” that comes enclosed in the book itself to check if you possess the required skills.
#2. “Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal” by Oren Klaff.
If you work in sales, you must be knowing how important coming up with a good pitch is. In this book, the author shares his own way of pitching, the same way that earned him $400 million. The book gives the skeleton of the key points every successful pitch is required to hit, along with advice on how to hit them.
#3. “The Effortless Experience” written by Matthew Dixon.
Based on the data collected from hundreds of companies and over 0.1 million customers, the author and his colleagues debunk common customer service myths in this book. In fact, they are of the notion that reduced customer effort truly drives loyalty. Also, the author outlines different ways for you to give a better customer experience.
Best Available Websites & Blogs on Sales and Customer Support
CloudTalk is known to maintain a pretty decent blog for both sales & customer support professionals. If you offer phone-based support to your clients, it will prove to be really useful to you. There’s a topic or two for everyone.
#5. The Sales Blog
The name ‘Anthony Iannarino’ must be a really familiar one for you if you’ve been working in sales for some time now. Not only is he the author of the famous “The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need,” but he also publishes daily insights on his blog.
Hubspot happens to be the inbound marketing leader, all while offering a great pool of resources on a variety of subjects. Information-rich and regularly updated content on sales and customer service can be obtained.
Intercom is essentially a platform that offers to message and can be used by both sales as well as support professionals. The blog shares rich insights and tips that you can benefit from. It offers a variety of subjects.
Interesting Sales & Customer Service Podcasts
#8. The Advanced Selling
Podcasts from The Advanced Selling series are characterized by a short summary, which helps you decide at once whether there might be something in it that you can learn from. This series, which was hosted by Bill Caskey and Bryan Neale, has been the longest-running sales podcast ever.
Accelerate! Hosted by Andy Paul is aimed at accelerating your sales performance. Andy’s interview podcasts are published regularly and happen to get you a deep insight. If you run a pretty tight schedule and can’t afford to make enough time to listen to entire episodes, you should check out “key takeaways.” It’s a must-try, given his guests are true sales experts.
#10. The Modern Customer
Hosted by Blake Morgan, her interview podcasts feature industry leaders. In fact, her podcasts share a lot of helpful ideas that are insightful, focussed on building customer-centric companies and bending technology to your advantage.
Unorthodox Sales & Customer Support Tools
#11. Using Leadfeeder to check out your website visitors
Leadfeeder is the ultimate destination for you if you’re looking for leads. It lets you find out companies that visit your website, plus the details about how they found you and what they’re looking for. Now that you know they might be interested in your product(s), you can now easily approach them with a suitable offer.
#12. Using LiveSession to learn how visitors interact with your website
Now that you have the answer of “who,” it’s time to venture into “how.” LiveSession lets you see how they actually use your site. It records each and every user session so that you can easily spot missed opportunities, potential mistakes, lead capture forms, pricing pages, and many more.
#13. Using Albacross to convert anonymous website visitors into actionable leads
Albacross helps you identify and track visitors on your website. You’ll gain an in-depth insight as to which pages interest them the most, their way of interaction with your site, plus various ways they can be contacted later on.
#14. Using Harmonizely to schedule appointments
A sales agent must possess the ability to schedule meetings, product demos, and consultation. Scheduling appointments manually takes a lot of time and effort. Thankfully, you can very well automate the appointment scheduling process for your business with calendar-based tools like Harmonized, thus allowing your prospects and customers to book a meeting with your sales reps.
#15. Using Livespace to keeping different sales process in one place
CRM or Customer Relationship Management helps to keep all communication within your sales team and your customer in one place. Thus, it can rightly be said that it deserves to be in the heart of every sales process. With Livespace, you can better forecast your sales results, introduce new agents to the sales process quicker, even close more deals with the same leads.
#16. Using CloudTalk to offer phone-based sales & customer support
Phone-based support holds great significance for both sales & customer support agents. CloudTalk is a must-try if you want to offer the best possible service. CloudTalk assists you in making and receiving more calls than before, thereby providing the team with increased opportunities to solve problems, make sales, close deals. Also, it can be integrated with other tools to keep your customer data consistent and up-to-date always between the different systems.
#17. Using Help Scout to stay in touch with your customers
When talking about communication, no one can manage all of your conversations with your customers better than Help Scout. Being a powerful messaging platform, it lets you access every single message received and sent by your customer support team to customers. Thus, it keeps everyone informed, updated, and on the same page.
Other than these podcasts, blogs, and tools, how can you improve your sales skills?
There’s hardly any profession as competitive as the sales profession. New challengers show up with a product similar to yours even before you can clearly think you’re hurling down to the bottom. The whole thing is so dynamic and ever-changing, it’s a challenge in itself to keep up. It doesn’t matter if you’re new or you have built up a reputation; there is simply no room for trial and error.
Below mentioned are some tips to boost up your sales performance and keep running in the competition:
#1. Identify your mission.
Always begin by gaining a clear understanding of your business. You should have a clear answer to the following questions –
- What is it that you’re the best at?
- Who needs your services?
- What is the best and most effective way to approach these prospects?
- How far are they willing to go in terms of pay?
Answering each and every question is important. If you can’t think of an answer right away, always seek clarity and vision. A blind horse can’t run in a race, for it won’t see the hurdles or the finish line.
#2. Breaking down the mission into defined goals.
Specific goals are to be laid down. Write down activity goals that are under your control –
- Calls made per day,
- Proposals made per month,
- Referrals on each call, etc.
Once you’re done, it’s time to set result goals so as to measure progress and track/monitor them closely –
- Sales per month,
- The amount earned per sale,
- Profit made per sale, etc.
Both of these types of goals lets you focus your attention in a particular direction and work towards it.
#3. Always sell to the needs of customers.
You should always assume that your customers will only buy what they need and not everything you have to offer. To convince them of that need is your job. Put special emphasis on those features of your product or service that help reduce costs and solve customer’s problems and issues. At times, you can even reposition your product. For example – you sold a customer LED bulbs for their brightness and eye-friendliness; now, stress upon LED’s durability, lasting value, and power savings. Creativity in sales and marketing is the key to success.
#4. Make and maintain desired attention.
Favorable desired attention can be brought upon by factors like –
- Effective marketing,
- Efficient Referrals,
- Strong sales skills
- Strategic questions
Once brought, it’s a challenge to maintain it. Responsible follow-up, follow-through, and heavenly level of customer service are the factors that help in maintaining attention.
#5. Always sell on purpose.
As you’re trying to make a sale, make sure you know both what to do now, what to do next, and the reason you’re doing it at every step along the way. You must be clear with self-asked questions of –
- Who is your target, and why?
- What have you planned to tell them, and why?
- What have you planned to ask them, and why?
- How does your proposal look like and why?
- When have you planned to ask for the order?
The key is being sure of yourself at every step of making a sale. If you’re not confident enough or you have residual doubts, always seek training or guidance. It’s better to take time to sharpen the knife, than fight with a blunt one. Sharpen yourself.
#6. Ask, listen, and act likewise.
These three words are the mantra for success in sales.
- Questions: Creative, planned, relevant, and direct.
- Listening skills: Must possess highly developed listening skills or must be a trained listener.
- Take action: Response that proves that you effectively listened to the customer and want to make the sale.
#7. Always the responsibility, never the credit.
It’s important to see yourself as the team leader. When the company looks up to you, you give them direction, and they support your effort. In order to build a strong support team, always be willing to go the extra mile whenever needed. Credit should always be given to the team for everything that goes right. Blame should always be taken when things go wrong. These are work ethics.
#8. The basics should be clear
No matter how good you are, there is always scope for improvement. Work on your weaknesses. Aim at doing the things you hate to do. Foster creativity, sharpen your fact-finding and presentation skills. Imagine the perfect salesperson, according to you, and strive to become that ideal.
#9. Maximize your time.
Every activity has to be tested for its importance and urgency. Create a decent schedule and live by it. You’ll have a record of productive hours spent. Try maximizing it.
#10. Modify attitude
Your attitude is in your own hands. Win over your fears, break beliefs that stop you from being your best. The way you think drives your commitment and confidence. Always be aware of what you think – do away with the unproductive ones, foster productive thoughts. Commit to change.