Salespeople are constantly responding to a competitive market and have to challenge themselves to be more sensitive to prospects’ needs. Regardless of the size of your salesforce, to ensure your business grows and thrives, it’s important to provide your sales reps with a well-defined sales process. It’s a buyers’ market now and control is, largely, with them. As a salesperson, you will respond – unless you are connected with them and have years of a business relationship.
Defining Sales Process
In every business, there is some sort of sales process which is implemented every day, and it may include calls, follow-up emails, and meetings. In simple language, A sales process is a roadmap of those big tasks and day-to-day activities.
Building a sales process is necessary for your company’s success, and is perhaps the most important thing you can do as a sales manager to impact your team’s ability to sell. A comprehensive sales process will help you focus on the tasks and deadlines coming up, and empowers you to spend your time more productively—and close more deals.
Why Sales process important for the business?
The purpose of your sales process isn’t to control your creativity or put yourself into a box when it comes to selling. After all, no two salespeople or prospects are the same. That’s why having a sales process is so important. Every prospect wants different things, and having a sales process helps you decide what your prospects want – from prospecting to qualifying to meeting to closing the deal. By knowing exactly what your customer journey and sales cycle look like, you can spend more time having meaningful conversations with potential customers. Having a sales process also makes it much easier to onboard new employees.
If your sales team is operating without a sales process, you need to do something about it—right now. Fortunately, creating a sales process from scratch isn’t as complicated as it seems. To help give your sales reps a clear and effective path to follow, we’ve created this start-to-finish guide on how to build a sales process.
The first step in the sales process is to identify the right people to sell your product or services. Social media, networking events, and referrals represent the top three prospecting channels today. As a part of your day-to-day sales activities, you might want to focus on:
- Social selling, or reaching out to and researching prospects via social media channels like LinkedIn or Twitter
- Following up with in-person leads, such as those from a recent trade show or conference
- Asking for referrals, or reaching out to current customers to uncover new needs
We suggest dedicating a portion of your day to identifying and reaching out to prospects. Doing so guarantees that you keep your pipeline full of leads and consistently hones your selling skills. Once you have identified a prospect, the next step is to make contact.
75% of buyers expect businesses to fulfil their needs and make relevant suggestions before making contact. Your emails, phone calls, and social media messages all require context that signals why you’re reaching out and what you can do to solve your prospects’ problems. That’s why doing your homework and researching your prospects is critical to figuring who’s worth reaching out to and how to craft your sales pitch.
By using a CRM, you can easily personalize and streamline your outreach without having to waste valuable time. This means reaching out to more prospects without having to do any extra, unnecessary work. A personalized approach increases the chances of closing sales quickly.
Did you know that two-thirds of sales are lost when leads aren’t properly qualified? Qualifying leads goes hand in hand with your outreach process—as your prospects respond, you’re tasked with figuring out whether or not they’re likely to become customers. As you make contact and have conversations with your prospects, you should have an idea of who’s a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and who isn’t. Typically, MQLs are prospects who respond enthusiastically, request more information about your product, or want to move forward with a demo or meeting.
There are a lot of variables involved in determining whether or not somebody is considered a qualified lead. It’s important to keep track of these variables and follow up consistently. This allows you to qualify your leads faster while moving them along the path toward becoming a customer.
Coming up with a sales pitch can be exhausting sometimes. The company has plenty of options on how they want to present their pitch based on their style of selling and the type of product they’re offering, most salespeople rely on a combination of channels and techniques to pitch their leads.
The point here is that there often isn’t a “silver bullet” in terms of your sales pitch. That’s why it’s important to evaluate both existing and potential sales objections to give yourself a sense of confidence when talking through your pitch. Even if you’re in retail and don’t often get to have long conversations with shoppers about their objections, you should still understand them in case these questions ever come up on the floor.
Below is a quick breakdown of the most common sales objections that you’ll likely face:
- Pricing problems, including not seeing the value in your product, lack of budget, or concerns over your product’s pricing versus a competitor’s-
- Lack of trust, either due to pushing too hard or not taking enough time to understand your prospect’s needs
- Poor timing, such as reaching out during a busy time or an inability to decide on a date
- Competitor concerns, such as switching from a competing product or showing interest in one of your competitors
- Approval issues, specifically their inability to make a buying decision themselves (maybe they need to convince their boss—or mom, or dad, or supervisor)
- Product limitations, such as a competing product having a built-in feature which your product lacks (for example, a competitor’s tool doing something automatically which your tool requires users to do manually)
Once you’re able to identify and come up with solutions to these concerns, the pitching process would seem much less of a pain.
This is the most important step in the sales process. Trust is the number one factor in closing a deal. If your leads have any sense of doubt or mistrust, you’re fighting a tough battle.
Imagine that once you’ve gained someone’s trust and they’re ready to be sold to, you can’t rely on your final proposal. That’s why we recommend having a sales qualified meeting where the company could provide a viable solution to their problem and decide to continue the sales process by exploring our products and services in greater detail.
As a side note, keep in mind that even your lost opportunities can be valuable in the long-run. For example, you might discover issues with your product or pricing structure that are turning customers away. Although you want to win as many deals as possible, lost deals are useful learning experiences that can help you improve your sales process over time.
- Follow up
Once you have closed the deal, your job is not done. The follow-up stage keeps you in contact with customers you have closed, not only for potential repeat business but for referrals as well. And maintaining current customers is six to seven times less expensive than acquiring new ones – maintaining relationships is key.
So, there you have it, the 6 step sales process. Is this the right one for your business? Some businesses require a shorter process consisting of 3 to 5 steps and others need a much longer process. Regardless of how long yours is, having a sales process is important to your company’s success.
Want to generate more Leads?
At FunnL, we provide you with the best and fastest growing B2B sales qualified meeting generation. The team involved is highly skilled and experienced and has experience of generating more than 10,000 sales-qualified meetings from healthcare, education, finance, business services, telecom, technology, and the list goes on. Contact us now!