Imagine being able to clone your top salesperson. How much more revenue could your company generate? Duplicating your top performers isn’t as difficult as you may think: studies show that companies with a formal sales process enjoy 28% more revenue than companies that do not.
Fortunately, creating a sales process doesn’t have to be difficult. You can leverage your domain knowledge and the work your top salespeople are already doing to incrementally build a sales process and optimize sales.
The goal of your marketing and sales process should be to convey your value proposition effectively and continuously build trust.
As long as you are doing that, you are in the race and you will ultimately win the customer.
Start with a solid foundation: Know your customer
Any top-earning sales person will tell you that knowing the prospect is the top priority. Before you can create your sales process, you’ll want to create detailed customer profiles. Document the characteristics of your best customers – the customers for whom you add the most value and the customers who spread the word about your product or service.
Before creating a process, be sure to also understand the customer buying process in your domain and incorporate the same. Understand the various stages involved in closing the deal, the milestones to be accomplished, and timeframe for the same. Your domain expertise and past experience are the best sources for it. Customers and the market are always changing, so be sure to revisit your customer profiles periodically to ensure your assumptions are still valid.
Step 1: Reach out
Now that you know who your customers are, you need to know where they are and reach out to them. While this is primarily a marketing activity, it has to be an integral part of the sales process of a small business and the sales team must be aware of how customers discover your offering.
Identify channels that allow you to reach out to your customer segment and reach out on those channels – both online and offline. Consider conferences, social media, email marketing, content marketing – anywhere you spread the word about your offering. Map out your points of contact with prospects and note how each marketing activity conveys your value proposition in an incremental way and builds trust.
Try to automate your marketing process involving email, social and mobile channels with a modern marketing automation tool.
Step 2: Establish contact and listen
Once the prospects reach out to your company, the onus now is on the salesperson to establish a contact and take it further. The goal for this first call should be to understand the prospect’s pain points and needs. The prospect should be allowed to do most of the talking. Once you understand the prospect’s situation, you can tailor your offering to their wants and needs.
Different prospects tend to repeat the same few problems and desires, so take the time to categorize them in preparation for step 3. Take time to revise or add new personas for each category of a prospect based on their needs or vertical. If possible, train sales person to specialize in one persona to increase their effectiveness with that type of prospect and refer prospects to those sales reps accordingly.
Step 3: Convey your value
After the sales person has analyzed how your solution can solve the prospect’s problems, you can pitch your offering. Set up another meeting with the prospect. Be sure to involve all decision makers on their side and present your offering as a solution to their problems based on the information they gave you in step 2. Mirror the language they’ve used to describe their issues and desired outcomes. If you’ve developed a solid persona and made thorough notes during your initial contact, you’ll be able to speak to the prospect in the language they resonate with most, which in turn increases their trust in you and confidence in your ability to solve their problem.
Step 4: Interact & Close
Now that you’ve presented your solution to their problem, send a quote or proposal based on the terms you discussed during your pitch. Follow up with them to address any concerns they have. You’ll likely hear the same objections again and again, so be proactive about addressing them. Be sure to note the prospect’s objections in their associated persona for use with subsequent prospects. By answering questions before they present them, you’ll continue to build trust and confidence in you and your offering, which further increases the chances of a sale.
Use a CRM that best suits your needs and automatically log emails or calls to help you communicate better.
Step 5: Retain and upsell
Once the sale is made, the sales process isn’t complete. You’ve got to keep the customer happy. You’ve also got the opportunity to upsell them.
Don’t underestimate the importance of customer retention and upselling. It’s much less expensive to reach the customers you already have than to work with brand-new prospects.
Be sure to give the customer access to resources they need to request support and extract the most value from your offering. Check in with them often to identify any new requirements that may be opportunities for an upsell and handle any issues they may not have shared with your company via the channels provided.
Make it painless: Automate your sales process
Once you have some process in place, you can leverage tools to automate sales process and make it easy for sales reps to follow. Continually evaluate your process and make adjustments as the market, your offerings, and your customers’ expectations change.
With Automate, you can integrate marketing, sales & help desk tools and define process across them. This will enable you to automate customer engagement, acquisition, and retention, thus enabling you to convert more and keep you customers loyal.