The marketplace has become more competitive than ever. If you don’t stand out from the others, if you don’t have the most effective ways to sell, your business can all too easily become extinct tomorrow.
Today, I’m going to give you five tips on how to improve your sales process and increase business.
These tips come from my experience leading and managing over 100 active closers within my organization who are closing deals for my own products and services. When it comes to the sales process, most companies don’t have a clearly defined process on how money is made or how cash is flowing.
So how do you improve the sales process?
Watch this video about the 5 steps to improving the sales process.
Here is a simple blueprint. First of all, you have to understand when it comes to the sales process there are five steps. You have the sales process and the buyer’s journey.
So you have the process coming from the company, which is the seller’s and closer’s perspective. You also have to understand the consumer and buyer’s perspective, the journey they go through.
Let’s begin with the first step.
Step 1: Prospecting or Lead Generation
Seller’s perspective: What are you doing now to get prospects? Maybe you are generating leads by cold calling or by going out there and bringing people into your business.
Maybe you have a more sophisticated method. You have a marketing campaign and marketing in place to bring in people. You’re adding value to the marketplace. Maybe you’re doing content marketing through blogs and running ads.
Buyer’s perspective: You’re trying to get some awareness from the buyer. The potential customer doesn’t know that you exist yet. You want to use this step to make them aware that you exist.
Step 2 Qualifying the Leads
You want to qualify the leads in terms of four things: needs, time, money, and decision maker.
- Needs: How strong are their needs?
- Time: How urgent is this problem? Do they need to solve it right now, or 10 months from now?
- Money: Are they able to buy? Do they have the resources? The budget?
- Decision maker: Can they make the decision or do they have to talk to somebody else?
That’s how you qualify the leads. From the buyer’s perspective, they have engagement. They are just engaging with your product or service, your company, or your organization. They want to find out a little bit more. Before, they didn’t know you. Now, they’re more aware, they’re taking the first step by requesting some information.
Step 3 Demonstrating Value
How do you demonstrate value? Maybe it’s by walking them through how your software works. Giving them a demo. Maybe it’s by inviting them to attend a virtual training, a webinar of some sort. Or maybe it’s by inviting them to a live event. You’re showing what you can do for the prospect.
From the buyer’s journey perspective, they are going from awareness, to engagement, to interest. They are actually interested in your product or service. You have to understand what your buyer is going through if you want to close them.
Step 4 Negotiating and Closing
Now you’re going to close the deal. What are the terms? How will the buyer make payments? What about financing? How long are you going to provide the service? You’re negotiating back and forth about the agreement. Then you are closing the sale and establishing expectations.
For the buyer’s journey, you’re going from interest to commitment.
Step 5 Delivery and Fulfilment
This is the most important step. You’ve qualified the leads. You’ve closed the sale. How are you going to deliver the outcome that you promised to the prospect? What are the deliverables?
This is where you get referrals and repeat business. Most organizations focus on the first couple of steps. Or maybe step four. But the sale doesn’t stop after you close. The sale starts after you close the prospect. And from the buyer’s journey perspective, this is the experience.
What is the experience you’re providing for your client? This is extremely critical because you’ve done all this work during the sales process. Don’t screw it up in the last step.
A Sales Process Example
So how do you improve your sales process? Let me give you an example of an internet marketing sales model. Let’s say you’re running ads on Facebook, or Instagram or any of the social media platforms and you’re trying to get attention.
What are you doing? Step 1, lead generation. You’re trying to get some awareness. When the buyer clicks on the ad, you have engagement. When they land on your landing page, they can see what you do and what promise you’re giving away. Maybe you’re giving something away for free, such as a book, a webinar, or lead magnet. It doesn’t matter.
You’re qualifying the leads. Then the next step is you want to demonstrate value. Let’s say you are inviting them to a free webinar. You’re demonstrating what you can do, giving the social proof, explaining what it’s like to do business with your company. Now you’re going from engagement to interest.
If they sit through the entire presentation, they are interested. Next, you go from demonstrating value to negotiating and closing. Say at the end of your webinar your call to action is to book a call with one of your closers. Your closer can find out about the prospect’s needs and close them over the phone.
So from the buyer’s journey perspective, you’re going from interest to commitment. Now they’re committed. Now they want to buy.
The last step is delivery and fulfillment. From the buyer’s perspective it’s experience. They get a sense of what it’s like to work with your company. What it’s like to buy from you.
The Sales Process and Dating
This process even applies to dating.
Let’s say you’re going to a pub or a bar, which I don’t recommend, and you start talking to people. That’s getting some awareness.
You buy someone a drink. That’s lead generation, and you’re now qualifying the leads.
You have a conversation. That’s demonstrating your value.
When you get that phone number, you follow up and maybe you set up the first date and then the second. You’re trying to seal the deal and close the sale.
When the two of you are together, that’s the experience. How are you delivering? How is the fulfilment?
It’s the same process.
Final Thoughts On Improving Your Sales Process
It’s a competitive market, so if you don’t stand out, your business can be gone tomorrow. How can you get that competitive edge? Take a closer look at your sales process. Out of the five steps of your process, which area(s) can you improve?
Can you improve your lead generation or the way you qualify leads? Is there a better way to show your value or should you improve how you close the prospect? Most importantly, what journey does the buyer go through after they buy from you?
All of these steps are important but what you do after delivery of your product or service is critical. The buyer’s experience will give them a sense of what it’s like to work with your company, and will determine whether they would like to buy from you again.