Look to Internal Referrals for the Secret to Sales Success

What if you could find new business using a powerful hidden sales team that’s already at your disposal? Employees within your own company are one of the best sources of new business – and have the most untapped potential. Really.

Homegrown Sales Sources

I am always amazed when my clients discover that a person in their San Francisco office has an ideal contact for their Atlanta, Prague, or Shanghai offices. I was conducting a sales training call with representatives from my client’s Chicago, Portland, Toronto, and Los Angeles offices. One of the sales managers in Portland described a new client he was about to win. His counterpart in Los Angeles said they were doing business with that company in Southern California. The two decided to link up and work on a selling strategy together.

You would think that with advances in databases and technology, these two salespeople would have discovered their common client well before our call. However, in this case – as in many – the offices were fairly autonomous, and they did not have processes and accountabilities in place to collaborate across offices and optimize a prospecting system.

It’s time to think beyond yourself, your sales executives, and sales support as the only members of your team. Think beyond your immediate team, and beyond your geographic office. Think about the obvious: Think of everyone within your company or organization as a much-needed, ready-to-be-activated resource to grow your business referrals- exponentially.

A Winning Strategy: Look Within

Salespeople within your company have huge potential to help you expand your reach. They know people in your territory – in the companies you are targeting. Everyone, regardless of their role in the sales organization, is part of your selling team. Your employees and co-workers can help you tap into more industry knowledge. They may have insight into an organization’s culture, structure, or politics – and may be a surprisingly valuable sounding board to discuss account strategy.

The fact is, the best resource for potential new business is all around you. Everyone in your organization knows dozens and maybe even hundreds of other people. Who do you think understands the value of your organization better than the people who work there? And who could possible have more invested in your company’s success? Your job will be to bring everyone into the sales process. Start by finding out who they know. To do that, you need to help everyone in your organization understand that they are part of the selling team – whether they have an official sales title or not.

Where did your fellow employees work before they came to your company? Who is their next door neighbor? Who is their brother who works at your prospect company? Spend the time to talk to them, learn about their history, and what is important to them. Help everyone to understand that as sales increase, your company – their company – prospers and their job becomes more secure.

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