Written by Sean McPheat |
One definition of ‘process’ is ‘a systematic series of actions directed to some end: a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner’
A good sales process will give you a good framework and template for you to follow and apply.
So, what steps does a good process follow to give you a chance to be successful?
Here are a few:
This often includes prospecting and marketing to get business to see you as a viable option for their needs and wants
Connecting and Positioning:
This is the initial contact and connection with a prospect or customer to see if there’s a common goal you can both achieve
This is where you work with the buyer to ascertain what your services can help their company achieve
Here, you go through the options that might be available to the buyer and help them choose the ones that are most conducive to them achieving results
Formally called ‘closing’, this is where you and the buyer move forward as a partnership to achieve the goals agreed in the earlier part of the process
The best way to identify if you are genuinely applying your sales process effectively is to as a series of questions, the answers to which will help you deliver best practice at each stage of the process.
Here are a few:
Questions to ask to ensure your sales process is working effectively
1) Generating Business
Do I rely too heavily on ‘bought-in lists’ from companies who don’t update their lists often enough?
Have I developed a strategy for clients to ‘find’ me when they are searching for our products?
Have I put enough emphasis on how I can be sought out and found when prospects are looking for my products?
Do I regularly update my records when people leave companies?
Is my prospecting system robust, usable and effective?
How do I market myself so people get to know me and my products?
How am I setting myself up as an ‘expert’ in my industry or sector, so people approach me, rather than me having to do all the hard work?
2) Connecting and Positioning
Do I find out as much information as possible before linking up with a prospect?
Have I got more collateral than just my website to show prospective customers what I can do for them?
Am I social-media-savvy and do I understand what today’s buyer wants my services?
Can I connect to customers in a variety of different ways (Newsletters, blogs, webinars, testimonials, case studies, references, etc.)?
Am I positioning my company in a way that differentiates me from my competition?
Am I able to ask questions that really get to the heart of the matter as to why my prospect may need my product?
Do I resist the temptation to present my solutions before discovering or uncovering information?
Do I understand that my potential customer is not interested in me or my product, but only in what results I can bring to them or their business?
Am I aware of the different levels of questions I can ask, and am I going deep enough to discover more information?
Do I understand the pains the customer is currently experiencing and the gains that could be achieved by using my services?
Am I able to keep the customer involved in the conversation when I am discussing potential solutions?
Am I sure that I always uncover as much information as possible from the buyer before trying to discuss solutions?
Can I come up with some options for the customer to consider when discussing solutions, so they can choose which would be the best for them and their company?
Am I able to present solutions in such a way that all the pain-points the buyer has highlighted earlier in the process are covered and dealt with, so objections aren’t raised?
Have I ensured I don’t use any pressure-tactics in my presentation, so the customer feels they are making a decision to buy, rather than feeling they are being sold to?
5) Securing Commitment
Have I ensured I have covered every angle (customer needs and wants, product suitability, business returns, competitor offers, value-based propositions, etc.) before making the final journey toward a decision?
Have all potential objections been dealt with before asking for the next stage in the process?
Do I have confidence that all questions have been answered and all queries been dealt with before securing commitment to the next stage?
Have I got a series of one-sentence phrases that act as a bridge between where we are and where we should go next?
Have I thrown away all the tired old tricks and ruses that the ‘snake-oil salesmen’ of years ago used to use to get a ‘yes’ out of the client?
Am I convinced that my solutions, my products and my services will work effectively for this client at this time?
All these questions will allow you to work with the client to achieve a strategic and practical approach to becoming a partner with their business.
Remember we defined a process at the start as ‘a systematic series of actions directed to some end: a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner’
By analysing your process through systematically going through these questions and adapting to any changes that you may need to make, you ensure your process is up-to-date, effective, usable and implementable in all situations you may come up against.
Originally published: 25 June, 2018