Have you noticed how old school sales methods no longer work as well as they used to? Do you know whether your current sales methods are producing maximum results for your business? 

You see over the years, after failing at 13 businesses, I’ve learned that in business if you don’t have a proven process to sell then you don’t have a proven process to scale

It’s a process that has helped me grow my company and my entire organization to where it is today. I am currently leading and managing a team of over 100 active closers within my organization who are closing for my own products and services using this sales process. 

Now, I’m going to explain exactly how this process works and give you five tips on how you can improve your sales process and increase your business. 

The “Sales Blueprint” And Why It Matters

When it comes to the sales process, most companies don’t have a very clear and defined process. They don’t understand how money is made and how cash is flowing in their business. But more importantly, they also approach sales with ineffective and outdated sales methods that turn-off today’s buyers.

Let me share with you a simple sales blueprint that’s rooted in new sales methods to bring in more quality customers for your business. First of all, there are five steps. And within each step, you have the sales process and the buyer’s journey

  • The sales process represents the company, the seller, or the closer’s perspective.
  • The buyer’s journey represents the consumer or the buyer’s perspective. 

As part of any successful marketing strategy, it’s crucial to understand what journey a buyer goes through before they decide to purchase a product or service so that you can align your sales process to the buyer’s context. 

Step 1: Prospecting Or Lead Generation

The first step of the blueprint is what I call prospecting or lead generation. What activities are you doing to bring customers into your business? 

Maybe you are generating leads by cold-calling hundreds of potential prospects. This is considered prospecting. 

Or if your business is a little bit more sophisticated. You might have a marketing campaign and a marketing team in place to bring potential customers into your business.

This is considered lead generation because you’re adding value to the marketplace. 

For instance, content marketing is one popular approach where you could be writing blog articles to help your readers solve a problem. Now, I don’t mean that you should always create content just to pitch your product and service here. 

They might be at a stage where they’re just trying to learn more about their problem and they’re not looking for solutions yet. Or they’re at a stage where they are just looking for potential solutions to their problem but they’re not yet set on choosing you and your product as the solution to their problem.

What you should really be focusing on here is delivering valuable information your readers can apply. 

All of these things you’re doing in your business to bring in customers is considered prospecting or lead generation. 

From the Buyer’s Journey Perspective:

You are trying to get some awareness because the buyer, or your potential customer, doesn’t know you exist yet. Your job is to use this step to make them aware that you exist. Essentially, what you’re saying them is, “Hey look at me. I’m here. Pay attention to me.” 

Step 2: Qualifying The Leads

Now, how exactly do you qualify the leads? You want to qualify the prospect based on four things:

  • Needs
  • Time
  • Money
  • Decision Maker

Needs – You want to evaluate and gauge how strong their needs are. For instance, let’s say you are selling a natural supplement pill to relieve lower back pain. 

If you get on a closing call with a prospect and ask qualifying questions to figure out their needs, and they’re answers are kind of wishy-washy. Their needs are probably low. 

But if you get on a closing call and they’re telling you, “This sharp, shooting pain is so bad I haven’t been able to sleep comfortably for days. I can’t walk or sit without thinking about this stinging pain in my back.” Their needs are probably higher. 

Time – How urgent is this problem? Do they have to solve this problem right now? Or do they need it solved 10 months from now? 

Money – Are they able to buy? Do they have the resources? What kind of budget are they working with?

Decision Maker – Can they make that decision? Or do they need to talk to someone else, maybe their spouse?

These are the four things you need to qualify your leads.

From the Buyer’s Journey Perspective:

You have what I call engagement. At this stage, they are just engaging with your product, your service, and your company. They are trying to get to know you better and find out a little more about you and what you do. 

So before this stage, they didn’t know you. And now they’re becoming more aware and they’re taking the first initial step. 

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Step 3: Demonstrating Value

How exactly do you demonstrate value? Let’s say you have a team management software. In order to demonstrate the value of it, you can walk them through how your software works, like a software demo. 

Another way might be to invite them to attend a virtual training or a webinar of some sort with you. Or maybe it’s to invite them to a live event. Whichever way you choose to do it, the goal is to demonstrate your value and present what you can do for the prospects. How can you help them solve their problems?

From the Buyer’s Journey Perspective:

Going back to the blueprint, from the buyer’s journey perspective, they have transitioned from awareness to engagement and now they’ve moved into interest.

At this stage, they are not just engaged but they are actually interested in your product or service. It’s very crucial, as a closer, that you understand what the buyer is going through if you want to close them and move them towards making a decision. 

Step 4: Negotiate And Close

When people reach this stage, it means your potential customers are nearing the end of the buyer’s journey and will soon decide whether to purchase from you or not. 

When you’re negotiating and getting ready to close your potential prospects, you want to establish a few things: What are the terms? What are the payments plans? What do the financing options look like? How long are you going to provide the service?

Now, you’re negotiating back and forth. However, this is not the same as writing up a proposal, it’s an agreement. Have you ever noticed how often times you might spend days crafting a 2-3 page proposal and somehow the prospect never replies?

It’s not the most effective or efficient use of my time so that’s why I personally don’t like to use proposals. I prefer to get on the phone and close them in one phone call and then use agreements when I’m closing the deal because it establishes how my client and I will do business. 

So ask yourself: What are the expectations? How do you establish those expectations?

From the Buyer’s Journey Perspective:

The prospect has gone from awareness, engagement, interest, and now commitment. They are at the stage where they can say “yes”. If it’s yes, then you can move forward and show them exactly how you are going to do business. 

Step 5: Delivery And Fulfillment

The final step of the sales blueprint is delivery and fulfillment, which I believe is one of the most important steps.

You’ve successfully qualified the leads and closed the sale.

How are you going to deliver the outcome that you promised to the prospect? What are the deliverables? What steps are you going to take going forward? This is where you get referrals and get recurring business every month.

The sale does not stop after you close. The sale actually starts after you close the prospect. Click To Tweet

You see most organizations, only focus on the first couple steps and sometimes just step four. They just want to close the sale. But what they don’t realize is that the sale doesn’t stop after you close. The sale actually starts after you close the prospect.

From the Buyer’s Journey Perspective:

This is what I call the experience. What experience are you providing for the buyer or client? 

If you provide great service for your customers, then they will be less likely to explore other options from other competitors. The goal here is to nurture your customer experience so that they stay with you for a long time and ideally purchase other solutions you have to offer.

This is perhaps the most critical step because you’ve done all this work during the five-step sales process. It would be a waste of your efforts if you didn’t provide your customers with the experience they deserve. 

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What Does The Sales Blueprint Look Like

Let’s put this sales process into context. Here’s a practical example. Let’s take an internet marketing business model and let’s say you’re running ads on Facebook to gather more attention. 

Step 1: Awareness

This is step one of the process: lead generation. You’re trying to get their attention and say, “Hey, Click on my ad. Here’s what I can do for you.” Your goal is to generate leads and get people’s attention in the marketplace. 

Step 2: Engagement

Now, the moment the buyer or your potential customer clicks on the ad, they move straight on to step two of the sales process, which is engagement. 

After they click the ad, they’ll land on your landing page. Once there they’ll see what you can do for them, your primary promise, features and benefits and your offer. You could be you’re giving away something for free. It might be a free book, an invitation, or a free webinar. It can also be a lead magnet, like a free e-book. Whatever it is, doesn’t matter. At this stage, you’re qualifying the lead you just received. 

Step 3: Interest

Now, you want to demonstrate value. Hypothetically speaking, let’s say you are inviting them to a free webinar. In that webinar, you are showing what you can do for them and giving them social proof or testimonials. You’re explaining what it’s going to be like to do business with your company. If they sit through the entire presentation or webinar, it means their interested.

Step 4: Commitment

Assuming you’ve successfully demonstrated your value, the next step is to negotiate and close. So let’s say at the end of your webinar, your call to action is for them to book a call with one of your closers. 

During the closing call, you want to find out about the prospects’ needs and close them on the phone and help them come to the conclusion that your product or service is the solution to their problem. From the buyer’s journey perspective, you’ve now gone from interest to commitment. Great! Now they’re committed. It means they want to buy it. 

Step 5: Experience

For the final step, you want to finish with delivery and fulfillment. From the buyer’s journey, they’re now at the stage of experience. What is the experience going to be like to work with your company? What is the experience like to buy from you?

New School “Dating” Methods

This blueprint actually applies to dating as well. In the beginning, let’s say you go to a pub or a bar and you go out and talk to some people. That’s getting awareness. 

You’re trying to talk to some people and buy a lady drink. That’s an example of lead generation where you’re qualifying the leads. 

Does she allow you to get her a drink? If she does, then you continue by opening up a conversation with her. Here, you are engaging with her and demonstrating your value. 

Then after that, you might try to get her phone number and follow up with her, maybe even set up a first date or a second date. So here you are sealing the deal and closing the sale. 

After you’re both officially together as a couple, she’ll be thinking about what the experience like? You’ll be thinking about how you are delivering? And how the fulfillment will turn out?

You see, it’s the same process in real-life dating scenarios. 

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Which Part Of The Sales Process Can You Improve On

So when you look at your sales process, ask yourself, “Of all the five steps, coming from the seller’s and the buyer’s perspective, which area can you improve on?”

Maybe you’re doing a great in your lead generation but you’re not doing well in terms of demonstrating your value. You might then consider tweaking your presentation. How can you improve your closing ratio? How can you increase your conversion rate?

Or maybe you have a great conversion mechanism in place and you’re confident that whoever sees your presentation, you’ll be able to close 2 out 10 or 3 out 10 qualified prospects. Then you should go back to step one, lead generation. How can you generate more leads so that more people will be able to see your presentation?

Or maybe you’re doing really well from lead generation to commitment but you neglected fulfillment in step five of the buyer’s journey. 

The “Sales” Process: Old School vs New School

The sales process I’ve laid out here applies some new school sales methods. But what exactly are new school sales methods? One way for me to explain this is by showing you what they are not. 

  • Sounding like a sales-person
  • Trying to sell to prospects based on features and benefits
  • Letting your prospects control the conversation

New school sales methods are the exact opposite of old, traditional sales methods. It is about asking prospects questions with finesse and figuring out what their deepest pain points are. It’s about helping them come to their own conclusions that you are the right person and with the right solution for their problems. 

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A New Way To Close

Consumers are becoming more and more sophisticated. They don’t need the help of a sales representative like they used to anymore. In fact, according to a Corporate Executive Board study, 1,400 B2B customers completed 60% of their purchasing decision before ever getting on a call with a sales rep. 

With this change in consumer purchasing decisions, top sales professionals had to change their strategy. They now spend 20% of the time asking questions and let the prospect do 80% of the talking on a call. 

By asking questions, you’re letting the prospect open up to you and reveal some of their deepest pains and unfulfilled desires. It allows the prospect to sell themselves on why they need your product or service. 

This is why new school sales methods are so powerful. This is why you don’t have to be pushy, slimy, or unethical when you’re selling something. Because you’re not forcing your product down their throat and telling them how badly they need it. 

Imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have to “close” your prospects to buy from you. All you’d have to do is let them sell themselves and collect the money.

If you’re interested in learning how you can leverage the power of new school sales methods in your own business and increase your revenue, click here to learn more.