Systems and processes allow for repeatability and scalability. If you’re selling something, you’ll need more than just a good understanding of your product, your target market and your competitors. Creating a definitive sales process could help you delineate the areas that’s holding you back from closing your deals.
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A defined sales process forms a vital part of building your business correctly, and ensuring that your sales team is targeting the right clients. So what is involved in a killer sales process? It comes down to the following points:
1. Know your product or service
Know what you are selling and how it can add benefit to your client. In many instances, new ventures fail because the product or service has no value to anyone.
By quantifying the bottom line influence for your clients – how your product or service can save costs, add sales or add benefits – you’re already half way there to winning them over. If you are not clear on what you are selling, how can you expect your clients to understand?
Related: 5 Steps to grow sales
2. Know your client
This is a very critical phase. Failure to know your client, such as not knowing what they do or what industry they are in, will lead to a break in the sales process stage. It is your duty as an entrepreneur to know all there is to know about your client.
Deals often fall flat because you don’t really know who you are selling to. Ways you can learn more about your client include company websites, annual financials, LinkedIn pages and media articles.
Knowing your client involves client engagement, which is the most exciting and complex stage in a sales process. When engaging with a client, the following should be considered:
- Qualifying your client. It is essential that the client you approach needs your product or service. Don’t try to sell ribs to a vegetarian restaurant. Failing to qualify your client and targeting the wrong clients to sell your product or service to is a waste of your venture’s resources. Ask questions such as, are they in the industry that you are selling in? Do they need your product or service? Do they have the budget and can you speak directly to the decision maker?
- Use the leads that you generated from your marketing efforts. When clients respond to an advert, promotion or social media campaign they are interested in the product or service you have to offer. These are the best leads and need to be acted on quickly.
- Use your network and drop names. Warm or smart calls are the best way to introduce yourself to a new client. You can immediately build credibility by being associated with someone.
3. Have the slickest sales pitch ever
There are many ways to skin a cat and similarly, there are many ways to pitch to a client. Below are a few guidelines you can attempt to ensure that your pitch is a success:
- Arrange a meeting for your product or service demonstration, don’t do it over the phone.
- First impressions last, never go into a meeting or demo with an untested presentation or product demo. It must be slick!
- Don’t over-sell.
- Present your proposal as well as your Terms and Conditions.
- Manage expectations. Many new businesses often over promise and under-deliver. This undermines the long-term viability of a business.
- Deal with decision makers.
Related: 6 Signs that you’re ready to hire
Lastly, never stop learning how you can improve your sales process and any part thereof. This includes:
- Managing your pipeline on a daily basis.
- Constant follow-up with your clients.
- Learn and re-learn by asking what could have been done better.
Some of these points may seem very obvious but many business owners often forget these fundamental steps in building a successful business. It’s important to revisit your sales process continuously to ensure that each step is executed perfectly. This will ensure continuous growth and sales for your business.