‘Back to basics’ is such a common refrain that it doesn’t always get its due. Without a strong foundation everything crumbles. The foundation for sales is a solid sales process. Your sales process is your roadmap – how you create it and how you use it can be the difference between running off a cliff or getting to your destination.
We have put together 5 steps that should be part of your sales team’s standardised sales process to make sure your sales team are working from the same steady base. Once the foundation is set, you can then begin to tailor it to your specific goals and needs.
1. First contact
The client approach is the first time your sales team reaches out to a client. It could be in person, over the phone or online. It is the first chance they get to form a client connection and the basis of a relationship that should strengthen as they move down the sales funnel. If you use a centralised data tool, make sure your sales team is aware of exactly where you client is at in your sales funnel and that they use the centralised tool to analyse what works and what definitely doesn’t.
If the client is a referral, mention the person you have in common, if the introduction was at an event talk about that together. Finding mutual interest can help in building that client connection putting you both on the same page.
Be sure to talk about who you are and introduce how you think you could help them. Be genuine, honest and positive in your interaction with your client. Everyone can sniff out a porky pie and our instincts normally tell us who to trust, so don’t lie or even embellish, most likely your potential client will feel something is off. Remember, first impressions are quick to form and hard to shift. If you create a positive and comfortable environment, it will help move them onto the next stage.
2. Solve the client’s problem
Figure out your what your client needs by finding out what their problem or barrier is. The easiest way to do that is to use active listening and gather any useful information to inform a data-driven approach to your sales. Having a place where centralised data is accessible for everyone can make this a smoother sales process for present and future clients.
Ask your client about their goals and listen for where your product or service could help them get there. Use open-ended questions to encourage your client to move past yes or no answers. Talk about the ethos of their business to get a deeper understanding of their approach. Reflect back to them what you are hearing to be sure you understand but also to make them feel heard. This can help to deepen your connection and motivate the sale.
3. Time to sell
The previous step was about listening, this is the time for you to speak.. All the data you gathered in the previous stages can now be used to show how you can support your client to reach their business goals.
They came to you with a goal and you have the thing to get them there. Demonstrate the value of your product or service to move them onto the next step in the sales process.
4. Always close
You have made the effort to get to know your customer, their business and goals. You have offered them the information they need to move closer actually selling your product or service.
Now it is time to close the sale. Your focus here is to get them to commit and overcome any sales objections they may have. Use the data you collected in previous steps to pre-empt any potential sales objections and plan to show them in fact how your product or service will resolve their problem.
5.Follow-up and review
This final step, if done correctly, can help to cement customer loyalty and leave the door open for return business. After you have closed the sale – make sure you follow-up. Yes it’s one of the most annoying parts of the sales process, but it is crucial for return business. Ask if they are satisfied with the product or service, make sure they know they can get in touch anytime with questions they may have. At this point you can also ask for any referrals they may have in order to start the sales process all over again. It is also good to look back over the sales process to see what worked and what didn’t and make sure that data is collated and used not just for individual members of the sales team, but for the business as a whole.
Visit our blog to learn more about how to identify customers with the most upsell potential or the rise of remote working. For more information on how to streamline your sales processes take a look at our sales accelerator tool.