A winning sales process doesn’t happen overnight. But with a few simple sales tips, you can turn your basic sales process into a winning formula that will improve your business from top to bottom. Here’s how to get there.
Sales Process Basics
We all know the basic steps in a web or phone lead sales process:
Once you’ve acquired a batch of leads, start working through them. Work through your list, cold-calling your leads and establishing a connection.
Follow up with your leads, sending info via email or post, and schedule an in-person meeting, if applicable. Qualify your prospects and nurture the growing sales relationship.
Go for the Sale
Ask for the sale. You’ve done the research and listening work to evaluate how you can best meet the customer’s needs and offered expert advice about the best solutions available. Ask for the sale and address any objections the customer raises.
Close the Deal
Final steps of closing a deal can vary depending on your business and your customers, but often entail last-minute negotiations, buy-in from your prospect’s spouse, going over the details, complying with government regulations, or signing the paperwork.
Obviously, even this basic sales process will work, and you will close deals. But to grow your business, you’ll need a winning sales process and that takes more than just the basics.
Sales Process Refinement
Start refining your sales process and you’ll be amazed how it improves your business. Map out what your sales team is doing and how your prospects are responding. There are four basic steps here to include in your assessment:
Observe Your Sales Operation
Reflect on your last 10 to 20 successful sales. Start asking yourself questions. What sales process was followed for these success stories? Identify the touchpoints with your lead, elapsed time involved in the sale, etc.
Map Out the Process of a Typical Sale
Start mapping out how a typical successful sale plays out within your organization. This will be a more refined and nuanced version of your basic sales process and will begin to reveal what’s happening when your business is working.
Define Actions That Move the Prospect Through the Funnel
Now look at the actions of your customer as he or she moved through this funnel. Identify what caused the prospect to move to the next stage of your sales funnel. Describe this movement in brief, clear-cut terms so there’s no ambiguity about what worked with this customer.
Iterate to Refine Your Process
Finally, keep watch over your refined sales process over the following weeks and months. When your team increases efficiency, when you try a new lead source, and when you expand into new categories, you’ll likely find the need to adjust your new sales process again.
Sales Process Finishing Touches
Refining your process isn’t over just yet. Your iteration is going to be ongoing. Two to three times a year, return to this work-in-progress and identify what’s changed.
To help yourself do that, make sure you’re tracking metrics. What percentage make it to each stage of your pipeline? Where do they drop out? Where does your pipeline get bogged down unnecessarily?
Determine the answers to these questions and refine your sales process further. Then communicate to your team what’s changed. You don’t want to leave it to chance after so carefully setting yourself up for success. In short order, you’ll have gone from the basics to a winning sales process.
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