Successful business leaders understand that the sales process is the lifeblood of their company. Without an efficient, productive means of making sales, even brilliant ideas will fail.
Each brand has to find the sales process that work bests for it. William Buist is founder of xTEN Club has advice on how to create a successful, sustainable sales process:
Look where the brand needs to go
Don’t develop a sales process backwards by setting goals based on current performance. True progress is seen when visionaries look towards the end goal and map a clear path to get there. Leaders don’t waste time with small changes when big adjustments are needed.
Business Model Clarity
The key here is clarity: about the core purpose of the business; who you seek to work with; how you reach them; and the problems that you solve. Sales success correlates with the level of clarity within the business.
Pinpoint exact prospects (and build personas)
Know exactly who is buying the product and what motivates them to purchase. Sales professionals should be intimately familiar with the pain points of different personas and they should be able to give a detailed pitch that explains precisely how the product, or service, meets those needs.
Sales are made when the sales team can form a relationship with the prospect and present the product as the answer to their problems.
Understand where a particular prospect falls and tailor the approach
Once the sales professional knows the persona of their prospect, they will be able to customise their selling approach. For example, a security software company should have a different approach for a company that recently experienced a devastating security breach versus a start-up company looking for basic security for their equipment.
Take precise measurements of the process
The sales process should be measured regularly in order to gauge sales team success:
Measures are the things you record and analyse in order to judge progress. For example, the number of calls, the number of appointments, etc. Track these to see how well sales representatives are reaching their goals. Helping under-performing representatives can help boost the bottom line for the entire company..
2. Conversion rates at each stage of the funnel
The sales funnel process includes all of the key phases you require to move customers from first contact to delivery of the product or service and sometimes even beyond that. By looking at the rates of conversion from one stage of the sales funnel to the next, companies can find even more opportunities for improvement.
3. Time spent on core selling vs. time spent in aggregate
Monitor how much time is spent on core selling. This will tell you where the priorities of the sales team lie. It can help eliminate sales waste and improve efficiency. Consider carefully the balance between core sales and admin and look at whether the tasks that are blocking success could be done by others.
Clarity, the key to sustainable sales
Linking the brand to customers, through the right channels, and in the right way makes sure that the customer buys with clarity as well as ensuring that you sell with clarity. When that’s done the sale is powerfully sustainable. Customers get what they bought, delivered properly, on time and at a cost that they value, whilst the brand can make long term profits. That’s why sales processes have the power to make or break a brand.
Taking the time to perfect this system can increase sales, boost the bottom line and even reduce costs. The steps described above can help companies improve their sales systems from the top down to help them reach goals and grow the brand.