If you don't have a proven process to sell, then you don't have a proven process to scale. When it comes to sales, most companies don't have a very clear defined process, how money is made or idea about cash flow. How do you improve the sales process in such a pit? Here's a simple step-by-step blueprint. Lets explore, how to improve your sales process and increase business in few simple steps. Add these steps, with your own experiences and know-how, and start easily leading and managing sales within your organization, working towards closures of your product/service. When it comes to the sales process, there's just these 5 easy steps.
Prospecting - The Buyer's Journey
We have the sales process and the buyer's journey aligned. Typically we have the process alignment from the company. The seller, the closer's perspective. We also have to understand sales from the consumer/buyer's perspective. What is the journey that they go through?
Let's talk about the first step. The first step towards sales is prospecting or lead generation. Now it depends on what you do. Maybe the way that you generate leads by cold calling, going out there and bringing clients in. It is perfectly fine if you are working simple leads or you're making processes more sophisticated. If you have a marketing campaign, in place to bring in people, that's more lead generation.
You're adding value to the product, and increasing its market presence. If you're doing content marketing, writing blogs, running ads, doing whatever it takes in your capacity to generate more leads, doesn't matter in prospecting/lead generation.
Now from the buyer's journey perspective, what you're doing is you're building steps to get product awareness. The buyer, the potential customer, don't know who you are, and that you exist yet!
You want to use this step to just make them aware that you even exist. It's basically saying "hey, look at me. I'm here, pay attention to me, right?" That's the awareness your content, adverts or mails generate. Get more awareness, and spend more to get more to Step 2.
The next step in the sales process is qualifying the leads. Now how do you select the right lead? You want to qualify the prospect in terms of 4 things - their needs, time, money and decision maker. Needs, how strong are their needs?
Time, how urgent is this problem? Do they have to solve this problem right now or maybe 10 months from now? Money, are they able to buy? Do they have the resources? Do they have the budget? Number four, can they make that decision or if they talk to somebody else. These are simple four things you'd have to work on before writing back!
That's how you qualify leads. From the buyer's journey perspective you have what we call as engagement. They're just engaging with your product, service your company, your organization. They want to find out a little bit more! Before they don't know you, and now that they're aware, they're taking the first initial step and say "I'm requesting a little bit more info". Just doing the next step makes you engage with the client.
Value Accures to Builders
Step number three, and that is demonstrating value. Now how do you show your product/service really matters to them? Walk them through and show your product. Given them a demo! Maybe invite them to attend a virtual training, a webinar, a live event. However, that you want to do it, demonstrate value for your prospect, and not brag the new features and benefits.
Present them what can you do for the prospects? Now from the buyer's journey perspective, from awareness, to engagement, now we move to interest. Now a client is not just engaging, but actually interested in trying out/purchasing your product/service. You have to understand what the buyer is going through if you want to close them.
Negotiation and closure
Step number four is to negotiate and close. Ge to close the deal. Evaluate what are their terms? How do you plan to get paid? How long are you planning provide the service. Now if you're negotiating back and forth, and not proposal, use your words carefully. Taking about agreement, engage with words that hold value and move on to close the sale.Find your buyer's expectations? Establish those expectations. From the buyer's journey, from interest, it's commitment! Now is the time they are saying yes. And, we keep moving forward.
Delivery and Fulfillment
And the last step which we believe is actually one of the most important steps and that is delivery and fulfillment. Now that you've closed a sale, work hard on how you plan to deliver outcome that you promised to your prospect?
What are your deliverables? This is where you get the referrals. And, how you work on a prospect will help you get repeat business. Most organizations, only focus on the first couple of steps. Or maybe step number four. Who look to just close a SALE. The sales cycle doesn't stop after you close. The beginning is in the end, and as the sales prospect is closed, your work starts with your client.
From the buyer's journey perspective, that's referred as experience. That's the last step. What is the experience you're providing for the buyer, for your client, is extremely critical because you've done all this work during the sales process. One, two, three, four, five. Folks, don't screw it up in the last step!
How do you improve your sales process?
Let us talk some practical examples. Let's take an internet marketing business model, where you are running ads on Facebook, or Google and you are trying to get social attention shouting out "Hey click on my ad", here's next 5 steps.
Step number one. Lead generation. You're trying to generate some leads. What else are you doing? You're trying to get product/brand awareness in the market place. Step 1: Hey pay attention to me. Step 2: Click on this ad. Now the minute the visitor, clicks on the ad, now they go to step number two. Which is engagement! When you land on your website/click funnel, and now clients see what can you do, what are your promises, your offers, and pricing model.
Having enticed by what are you giving away, the user obviously clicked the link hoping to make a deal. Maybe you're giving away something for free, perhaps? A free book, an invitation, a free webinar. That's a lead magnet. You're qualifying the leads. Now to step 3. The next step is you want to demonstrate value. Hypothetically let's say you are inviting your prospects to a free webinar, and demonstrating what can you do. You are giving them social proof, and explaining what is it like to do business with your company, perhaps?
And here you go from now engagement, to interest. If they sit through the entire presentation or the entire webinar, guess what? They are really interested. Now having demonstrated value, negotiate and close. If the call to action is to book a call with one of your closers, find out about the prospect's one single need and do a sales closure detailing your commitment towards helping them do better. From the buyer's journey perspective, we move from interest to commitment. YES! Now that they're committed, they will want to buy. The last step. Don't forget, the stage where delivery and fulfillment is 100% real work. And, from the buyer's journey it's an experience which will be socially shared, and will directly impact your business.
Often ask your clients - What is the experience like to work with your company. What is the experience like to buy from you? You are trying to get some awareness. You're trying to talk to some people, and then you want to get them talking. Engage influencers. Maybe you are doing phenomenal in lead generation. But you're not doing good in terms in demonstrating value. Then maybe your presentation needs tweaking. How can you improve your closing ratio, conversion rate? Every single person who is a qualified prospect, can close two out of 10. If you can't close one out of 10, go back to lead generation. Rethink how you can generate more leads, and how more people will see your presentation?
Last words - Don't neglect fulfillment. After someone buys from you, and lets forsake of argument, assume you neglect them, and you don't deliver on what you promised. There is obviously possibility of few law-suits claiming damages, a bad social perception, opportunity loss, no repeat business, bad social ratings and 0% referrals. So, keep focused on spending quality time in every stage, even after closure. The advantages of getting referrals means you get more business, and obviously you wouldn't like to lose any, perhaps?
Keep working hard. And, stay motivated.