Are you an entrepreneur or a sales leader in your company? You know something is not right with your business, your numbers are stagnant, and sales representatives seem busy but achieve little.
Does any of these ring true about your business operation experience:
- No increase in sales
- Customers feel they have made a bad buy
- Your customer data is insufficient, incorrect, and in multiples
- The sales and marketing team are not in concert
- Customers leave a bad review
- It takes very long before a prospect responds
- Your prospects accidentally fall into your business
- Communication with the prospect is lagging and poor
- You don’t know when the customer is ready to buy
- You cannot determine who is your prospect
As an entrepreneur and sales leader, experiencing any of these 10 hypotheses, only shows you have a broken sales process?
What is a sales process? A sales process is a cycle of steps that a salesperson takes to move a potential buyer to a paying customer. The sales process usually consists of these steps: Prospecting, Qualifying Leads, Assessing Needs, Pitching Product, Handling Objections, Closing, and Follow-up.
Solving the problems above needs you to adopt a detailed and working sales process or scrutinize your present process for lapses. An accurately delineated sales process will ensure the business bureaucratic bottlenecks are kept at the barest minimum. The marketing department focuses on its end of business and sales do the same, and whenever there is a hand-off of the client, it is as smooth as possible. Defining each stage in the process will help in tracking each deal and which stage takes the longest time and where a deal gets stuck, finding this will help in applying measures to speed up the cycle. Below are the detailed steps in a working sales process.
This is the first stage, where you determine your ideal customer profile, identify potential buyers, and make initial contact.
There are two types of prospecting, they are Inbound and Outbound prospecting.
Inbound prospecting involves creating quality content like newsletters, social media content, webinars, and eBooks where you ask for contact information. To download it, a person just needs to enter their email address. Once they enter it, they’re officially a prospect.
Outbound prospecting, on the other hand, involves “building a list of potential prospects, that is, people and companies that could benefit from your products or services and reaching out to those prospects through cold approach methods. Examples of outbound prospecting include reaching out to relevant LinkedIn users, asking for referrals from existing customers, and cold calling.
Inbound prospecting tends to be more effective and result in better leads, however, the key to effective prospecting is to look at the data and figure out which specific techniques work the best for your company and make them your mainstay.
The second step is to qualify each lead to determine whether they’re a fit for your business and whether they should be pursued actively, or if they still need some nurturing.
To achieve this, you’ll need to determine specific information, such as:
What is their overall interest? Scale on a percentage
What is it trying to accomplish? Does your product fit?
Their pain points
What current solutions they’re deploying
Is your contact a key decision maker?
The question you’ll need to ask to efficiently qualify the leads are:
What’s your number one goal?
What’s your role in your company?
What’s the size of your company?
What’s your budget?
You can add your company-specific questions too, in a bid to efficiently and successfully qualify leads, to know which ones to focus on and which ones to nurture.
- Assess Needs
This step builds upon the second step two aims at gaining a firm grasp on what exactly it is that a lead is looking for in a solution. At this point, you will strictly be dealing with qualified leads who have a legitimate interest in your brand.
Now, you thoroughly assess the lead’s needs so they can pitch the right product, you achieve this by asking detailed questions, like: What’s the number one problem you’re looking to solve? Can you tell me about your current situation? What types of solutions are you looking at? What do you like about your current solution? What don’t you like about your current solution? What are your main concerns?
Developing a template helps in achieving a certain level of homogeneity. Stick with the right set of questions that work, as this will allow you to get to the bottom of each lead’s needs.
- Pitch the Product
This is a very important step in the sales process, your pitch must be sound, as it determines the conversion of the prospect.
This step is typically when a salesperson gives a formal presentation or demonstration of the product/service for the prospect. This step needs some level of expertise, the reason it comes deeper in the sales process and is reserved for more serious prospects.
It should not be approached as a one-size-fits-all type of deal where a salesperson gives the same pitch over and over. The key to success is to make it very relevant and personalized to each specific lead. The main points like the core benefits of your product/service should not deviate, but the details should be modified to connect the offer to the needs of each prospect individually.
Taking important notes of everything a lead previously divulged should be used to tie everything together and hit all the right notes.
- Handle Objections
Lead objections should never seem like unexpected curveballs that throw you off your game. Instead, they should be anticipated and viewed as an opportunity to maximize conversions. After all, if you can seamlessly overcome objections and instantly put a lead’s mind at ease, the odds of them buying increase.
- Close the Deal
This usually varies from one company to another, but it typically involves the prospect agreeing upon a particular pricing plan and getting the green light from key decision-makers. This stage of the sales process effectively requires you to take a systematized approach that you can utilize and repeat every time.
- Follow Up
The final part of the sales process is for you to stay in contact with a customer to ensure everything has gone smoothly and strengthen the relationship. This stage focuses on transitioning customers to the team responsible for onboarding and customer success. This is integral to building loyalty and can help you earn valuable referrals later on down the road.A fresh and data-driven perspective can help you identify your sales process inefficiencies and remedy sales opportunities that you may have missed. See how we can help your business build/adopt an effectively 100% converting sales process.