If you are in business, you probably sell….it’s a bit of a no brainer I know. But are you set up to optimise your selling properly by having a structured sales process? The surprising thing is, many business owners that I meet as a business coach sell, but without any real process. This is a but scary I know, so let me give you a sample of things to consider with a basic sales structure to develop.
There are various versions of this model and they can be altered slightly in order and content, but the key objective here is to give you a process to at least start and think about building structure behind.
7 Steps to a Sales Process
Prospecting is all about filling your sales funnel with potential buyers. Some may buy, some may not, but the key point here is to develop a process and strategy to ‘fill the bucket’ so you can start to communicate with them, build your value, show the benefits and most importantly, show if you have an offering that fills their needs. In this stage you develop your strategies for getting out there and capturing the leads. It may be sign ups, free downloads, advertising, seminars, speaking etc.
The key point is that all these opportunities allow you to build your brand presence and to capture the details of the leads.
Once you have the contact information and have built some value some may be ready for the approach stage. This is where they are invited to move to the next stage in your funnel. It may be the offer to attend a session, meeting, workshop, webinar etc. You need to think about how to build this into your sales pipeline.
Following the contact with leads, a process to filter out the ‘tyre kickers’ needs to be established or else your valuable time and effort may be drained on non productive leads, who aren’t in the buying cycle. Qualifying can be as simple as a few qualifying questions over the phone, online or face to face to determine where they are at. Can they afford your offering, are they ready to commit, do they have the time etc.
By filtering out those not ready your sales conversions will increase as you spend time in the next stage with more qualified people.
This is where you are presenting your offering and proposing how your product or service is the solution they need. It may be formally written or verbal, but one key take out is, if this proposal is written, make a time to sit down and go through face to face instead of emailing, as this will allow a higher chance to succeed. Emails get lost in the system and easily deleted or ignored. If you are presenting a proposal face to face you can look out for the buy signals and conduct pre-emptive closes during the process. If presenting face to face, make sure the person you are talking to is the decision maker!
This is self explanatory, but the one area most people do badly at. How do you close the deal. Is it done at the proposal stage completion, do you give them a couple of days to think about it? If you do set a time and date them in the stage above where you will call back for the decision.
There is some debate where this fits into the process, as it may come up in the proposal or in the close. The most important point here is to develop a process where you can overcome ‘buyers remorse’ which a lot of people have and sometimes attempt to get out of the deal after they reflect on it. This can be overcome buy sending some immediate value to them after the purchase, or send the next steps in their process, to distract and get them engaged straight away.
Once the person has bought and is in the system as a client, develop a strategy post sale for a referral process. This may be delayed or immediate depending on what you are selling. This is often associated with a referral incentive or reward, but the key is to have in in the process with steps as to how you or your people can do it all the time.
This is a top line overview of the steps. The business owner, in order t make this work for them needs to determine if this is a fit for the product or service offering and then build a system or process in each stage as to ‘how’ to implement, with the tools, scripts, or online tools to make it work.
Good luck with your sales building process.