What makes a great salesperson? Is it a suave voice? An ability to read people? A deep understanding and passion for a product? All or none of the above?
Implementing a workable sales process helps create successful and consistent sales in any business. The salespeople are vital to the overall endeavour, of course, but as you move forward and build a salesforce, you will likely see that most successful salespeople use a system that works for them.
So, instead of having salespeople come and go, we recommend you create a successful sales process for your team to use. Here are eleven steps you can take to build a successful sales process:
1. Decide on your sales funnel
The first step is to determine how you will get your prospects and understand your team’s step-by-step actions to guide a prospect to an eventual close.
2. Determine your CRM
Next, you need to understand how you will document prospects, their contact information, where they are in the sales process, any needs or questions they have, who has been talking with them, etc. This can all be contained in one system – the CRM.
3. Set up follow-up systems
Now you need to create follow-up systems. Once marketing has directed a prospect over to sales, how will the sales team stay in touch? Do you give them a call, shoot them an email, add them to the newsletter list, follow up after they’ve read a free ebook?
4. Establish a connection with the prospect
Part of the follow-up system should include establishing a connection with the prospect. That includes getting in one-on-one time and having real conversations with them.
5. Find ways to qualify the prospect
It is vital that you understand if your prospect qualifies for the services or products you provide. Perhaps they can only afford a loss leader but plan to afford your entire package one day. Maybe they need your product or service immediately to take the next step on their journey. Determine how you will find out this information.
6. Discover what the prospect needs
This step is part of the qualifying process, but it is more than “can they afford the product/service?” In this step, you dive deep into the prospect’s needs and if they are something you can provide in your business. If you cannot give them what they need and want – can you provide a quality referral? That may turn them into a referrer themselves.
7. Find out if the prospect can or should close right away – or if they will need some time
During the qualifying process, it’s vital to understand if the prospect can or should close immediately – or if they need more time in the sales funnel. It’s essential to have options for both contingencies, including a system for how you will stay in touch with those who need more time – and connect when they are ready.
8. For prospects ready to close right away, ask for the sale
One reason “closing” is such a big subject is that all of the above qualification and establishment of rapport is not always done. By the time you get to the point of asking for a sale, you should be able to just ask straight out with no awkwardness.
9. If the prospect is not yet ready to close – but able to close immediately, provide them with the information they need to close immediately
This may include offering additional services or the product itself at a discount.
Sometimes a prospect is still hesitant or feels the need to get every scrap of information. Others like to comparison shop. Be sure to provide all information needed, and even offer a discount if one is available.
10. Once the sale is closed, ensure there is a process for passing the client to the correct person in the right department
Once a sale is closed, there must be a process for passing the client to another person and helping them to build rapport with that person. This is an area where some salespeople drop the ball and end up becoming that client’s go-to resource for everything from customer service complaints to questions about the product or service. Keeping the client happy and in touch with both the salesperson and the new team member can help with future up sales, but the salesperson should not be the only individual at the company who has taken the time to build rapport with the client.
11. Test it rigorously. Make sure sales do not fall through the cracks
Test your system and make sure it really works. There will always be a percentage of prospects who don’t buy, but increasing the percentage of your overall sales with small changes and a system that works will significantly benefit your business, particularly if you are scaling.
Putting a system in place, testing it rigorously, and ensuring that your team follows the process can increase your close rates and help your business grow.
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