We’ve seen it time and time again – businesses that have a clearly documented sales process generate more revenue.
A solid sales process ensures the team knows the correct process and provide a consistent client experience. Clients and prospective clients will receive the same service no matter which member of your team they deal with, strengthening your brand and building a relationship of trust.
Does your business have a documented sales process? Is it followed by every member of your team? We’ve found the best way to get by in is to include your sales team in the development of your sales process, or review of your current process, to gain valuable insights and ensure they’re on board.
Here are 9 steps to consider when developing your sales process:
1. Product knowledge.
You can’t sell something if you don’t know what it is or how it works. Your sales team must know your products or services inside out. They need to understand the problems that they solve and how they’ll benefit the customer. Never assume that a customer will link a feature to a benefit. It’s the salesperson’s job to join the dots and show the customer the value of your offering. Take Amelia for instance, she doesn’t know how exactly to create a budget, but she does know what a problem can be solved by having a budget in place and is able to communicate that value to our clients.
Prospecting is the ongoing search for new clients who are the right fit for your business. Have you identified your ideal customer? This should be documented in your business plan. When we were documenting who our ideal clients were we started by profiling our existing clients and identifying what they have in common.
It’s essential to prepare before your contact with a prospect or client to build on your product knowledge, assess your competitors’ offerings (in case you’re asked), and clarify your sales presentation. The more you know about your prospect or customer, the better you’ll be able to articulate the value to them personally. Keep your CRM updated with key insights about each prospect or customer and review these before contacting them.
4. Initial contact.
This isn’t an email marketing campaign; it’s a personal phone call or scheduled catch up. Ensure you identify the prospective client’s pain points or challenges they’re facing – what is keeping them up at night? How you engage the prospective client will heavily influence the outcome. Ensure you update your CRM with notes straight after the catch up and schedule any required follow up.
The most effective sales teams sell to the needs of their prospects. Ask the right questions to determine how your product or service can help them, building confidence and trust. Consider some ‘go-to’ questions that will prompt you to subtly convey product information, including how you differentiate from your competitors.
6. The proposal.
With accurate qualification, you can tailor your pitch to meet the needs of the prospect. It’s the same with a proposal – record the prospect’s specific needs in the proposal, demonstrating that you understand their situation and are offering a genuine solution. Have you investigated a proposal solution like GoProposal to streamline your proposals and give them a good look edge?
7. Handling objections.
Don’t be scared of objections; they’re opportunities, not threats. They show that the client doesn’t yet see the value of your product or service, providing valuable insight. Discuss the client’s objections and use testimonials and case studies to demonstrate how your product or service has helped others in a similar position. That being said, sometimes it just isn’t meant to be.
It’s time to make the sale formal. This is where the customer signs on the dotted line and parts with their cash. Identify the closing signals without being too presumptuous. Don’t be afraid to assume the sale but give the client options. Don’t be satisfied by a response of ‘we’ll get back to you’ – consider your response to such comments prior to closing.
9. Follow up / getting referrals.
The salesperson who started the relationship with the client is the best person to follow up. The end game is to build a long term relationship with your client to promote ongoing sales and recurring revenue. Contact the client after a certain period of time to get feedback and ensure they’re happy. This is not an opportunity to sell more to the client (unless they ask), it’s about building a solid relationship for the future.
Keeping your clients happy will also increase your chance of referrals; statistics show a prospect is four times more likely to buy something when they’ve been referred by a friend.
Having a documented sales process ensures consistency within your sales team. How your sales team engages prospective clients, closes the deal and delivers your product or service will heavily influence your brand.
If you need help to develop and document your sales process, get in touch today.