6 Steps to Creating a Sales Process that Works
Follow These 6 Steps to Implement a Sales Process That Will Invigorate Your Brand
Whether you are the CEO of a start-up just beginning to spread your wings or the leader of a solid brand looking to shake things up, a sales process is crucial to a healthy brand. Having guidance for yourself and your sales team keeps all members active and working towards the same goal.
These 6 steps will ensure your sales process is working for your brand.
1. Early Customer Outreach
Start early and try often. Even if you are a start-up that does not have a dedicated work space yet, or a brand that is thinking of launching a new service, start reaching out to gauge your market. Spend a week picking up the phone and cold-calling your potential customers to get a feel of how best to communicate with them.
Pro-Tip: Be flexible, not everyone has time for a phone call. Consider email and text communication as well. Work with your customers on a one-on-one basis!
These early calls will let you know what your customers are up against and how you can help them solve problems. You may even notice that you need to tweak your products or services before the sales calls really begin. As leader of your brand, you should take the reins on these early calls then hand it off to your sales team.
2. Qualifying Criteria
Not everyone is going to need you, so it’s important to not waste your time on people who aren’t a good fit. Establish qualifying criteria for customers, that way your team already has an idea of who needs the help of your company.
Consider things like:
- Does your product solve some of their issues?
- Does your product save them money?
- Does your product save them time?
- Is your service in their budget?
- Are they using a competitor?
- How fast can they make a buying decision?
Once a qualifying criteria is established, reach out to an example customer. You may see that the criteria needs to be tweaked or expanded. This should always be a developing process.
3. Create a Short Sales Script
A good sales script is not written in stone. It’s a conversation that lets you guide a customer through your sales process from start to finish, while showing them the value of your product or service. They should not feel like a robot is talking to them on the other end of the line. Scripts should be informed points that every customer needs to know.
A good sales script will include:
- Qualifying questions
- A walk-through of features, pricing and next steps
- Asking a meeting
There should also be a section that helps manage customer expectations and objections as well as a way to proceed to the next steps.
Pro-Tip: All good sales scripts start with a knowledgeable staff. Your team should know the ends and outs of the product or service they are selling. The more they know, the more effective the sales process in general.
4. Set Periodic Goals
All team members should have an expectation from the outset. How many deals are you expecting the team to close in a given time? After that is established, ask yourself what they need to get the job done. This should take the form of hard figures.
For Example: How many calls will it take to lead to a sale? 3 to 5? How many leads translate into a closed deal? 15 leads for every one sale? How many emails, etc? The answer is different for every industry. You have to find your own answers and share your expectations with your staff.
After you’ve established the base numbers (through trial and error) plan to raise your sales goals by 10% each month.
A sale doesn’t end with the close. Your sales staff must be able to hand-off to the support team and integrate your new customer into the fold. As you develop your sales process, be sure to be in constant communication with your other brand members to understand how customers are doing.
6. Grow and Improve
Once the sales process is in place, that doesn’t mean it’s final. It should never be final. As your brand grows and expands, so will your sales process. Don’t settle for “it’s working.” Make sure you are looking for ways to improve; involve your team and constantly check in to see where improvements can be made.
Once you have established a process, it’s a good idea to do a trial run. Walk through a simulated sales process. Start with finding a lead and end with closing the deal and handing the “customer” off to the support team. Find work colleagues who understand the challenges of being a customer and a brand in your industry and try out your entire pitch.
With a sales process, practice will make perfect. Doing a few trial runs will help your team identify any issues with the process and course correct before finding real leads.