HELP YOUR EVENT SALES TEAM MOVE FASTER
Venue sales is not an easy gig. Potential clients come in with high expectations and will often look at several different locations before booking a new event with your business. That’s why it is so important to have a great venue sales team. They are the driving force behind the growth of the business, but in many cases they're limited because of unnecessary processes.
The processes they deem unnecessary are the ones that are cumbersome. They take too much time, require frustrating procedures and tracking, and include excessive data entry. Sales people just want to sell, and they usually have a strong disdain for sales software. The perfect balance is a system that doesn't aggravate sales people but also enhances their performance without slowing them down.
If you want to make your event sales processes better and improve the performance of your sales teams, here are a few recommendations:
PROPERLY CAPTURE THE OPPORTUNITY
Venue sales can be different from B2B or B2C sales. In those industries, the most common initial question sales teams ask is about the buying timeline. A venue sales team usually gets this info upfront and can fully understand the timeline necessary for a buyer decision.
Once a venue sales team understands the date, they can work backwards from those dates to further qualify and take prospects through the buyer journey. This journey should be pre-designed.
Since you already know that your sales team will be starting with a timeline, they should be able to map out what the typical sales process looks like fairly easy. Event businesses should take their most successful sales and track what they looked like all the way through the funnel. This can help you create templated maps of how you would like your sales team to interact with prospects. The first things mentioned are most commonly the most relevant. If any of the topics that come up are direct limitations for your events space or involve something that is fixed at your venue, you can more quickly eliminate bad deals (better to know now than once you’re knee-deep in the details).
CONTINUE TO AVOID THE UNNECESSARY INFORMATION
Talk with your sales team to find out the information that needs to be tracked and throw out what is unnecessary. Some of the more typical B2B or B2C elements of “traditional” sales businesses can be safely ignored for venue sales. This is the kind of information that will bog down your sales team and make them despise any process of tracking and data entry. If they feel like the information they track and enter into a system contributes to the businesses’ success, they’re more likely to do it. If what they are required to notate is irrelevant, they either just won’t do it or skate through and provide inaccurate information. This is why so many businesses have databases that are almost completely unusable for marketing and reporting.
MAKE THEM MARKETERS
Sales people often think they are marketing people, but the truth is, they aren’t. Venue sales teams want to see instant gratification while marketers understand planting the seeds and allowing time to nurture. Both are completely necessary to the bottom line. Sales can assist in marketing by directly engaging in effective social media.
Ultimately, event businesses should seek to have their marketing teams work with sales to better leverage their social media. These two should go hand in hand. Sales should provide the platform for the delivery of more marketing data, and marketing should provide sales the content and information necessary to position themselves as a thought leader.
Have marketing design posts or regular processes that will allow sales to participate in social media in a strategic and useful way.
Improving the performance of your venue sales team is always the end goal. When they are bogged down with cumbersome and unnecessary processes, valuable information can be lost or missed, altogether. For your event sales staff to be successful, give them the right tools and only require industry-specific information. Align them with the marketing department to better cultivate their influence in the social media landscape. By combining these key recommendations, venue sales teams will be better equipped for productive encounters with customers (both in person and online).
Any thoughts? Leave your venue sales comments below.