Is your team struggling to hit their sales targets? Perhaps your business fails to gain consistency in sales and develop reliable sales forecasts. Well, don’t rush to blaming your salespeople – it could be your sales process!
As a business owner, you may have developed some rock-star sales skills that have helped you grow your business significantly over the years. With this growth comes a need to employ a team of people to do the selling. These people need you to pass on your sales skills (Sales DNA) through a clearly defined sales process that will yield results time and time again. Without one, your scaling up business might have a difficult time forecasting and hitting sales targets, which could result in sluggish or even negative revenue growth.
What exactly is a sales process?
Your sales process details the specific steps that your sales team follows when ‘selling’, and goes into the detail of the sequence of activities, questioning, dealing with objections and closing. It’s your selling ‘recipe’. If your team follows the recipe, you know you’re selling well, as you have tried and tested it.
How do you develop a sales process?
- Document, in detail, the current key steps you follow when you sell or engage with potential customers.
Then, you need to think very carefully about how you would like each step of that process to work – go into detail. Ensure that your sales team knows and understands:
- the choice of words to use in the conversation with a potential customer/client
- what tone of voice is appropriate for the process
- the right questions to ask
- the introduction to start the sales process
- timing of engagement with a potential client – e.g. time taken to respond to sales enquiries
- the top five things about you and your business
- the top five things about your products
- that dressing professionally is important.
Keep the following in mind, while you develop your sales process:
- Be deliberate and make small changes to yield big results
Whether your sales process is short (with one or two questions) or long, each step in the process needs to be deliberate in its contribution to converting a sale. Leave nothing to chance.
One single step in a sales process may not make a sale but if you stack up all the steps; each step clearly thought about; it will improve your closing rate. Think about it this way – if your average conversion rate is two sales out of ten quotes then all you have to do is get one more sale, and you will be growing your turnover by 33%. That’s a significant jump and it’s happened with no additional sales resources, marketing or advertising expenses. It’s a matter of ensuring that your sales team understand the process.
Build your sales process around the customer
As you develop your sales process, it’s critical to think about things from the customers perspective – what would WOW them? The most common pitfall in the sales process development occurs when companies sell in a manner that is convenient to them. Stop to think about:
- What would work best for the potential client?
- How can my product impress the client?
- How can I enrich the client’s purchasing experience and give myself a better chance of success?
A great sales process is one of the most efficient ways to grow sales, as it drives improved conversion. Even a 10 % increase in conversion can have a very material impact on sales.