Establishing a sales process is key for you to forecast, scale, and pinpoint flaws within your approach that can use improvement. There are many variations depending on your target market, but the foundation largely remains the same. You and your team should be well-versed in the sales process so it can be measured and optimized.
Your CRM software is a great place to start with documenting and establishing your sales process, but if you have a larger team, you can also go on step further with other sales tools. This process may be familiar to you but it’s just as important that your entire team has a full understanding of the inner workings.
Step 1: Prospecting
The first step is all about identifying leads for your sales funnel. As a beginner, you should be conducting a good deal of research at this stage. Quality over quantity. Be sure that you are focusing on prospects that fit your criteria. Spend time creating a buyer persona and complete the customer profile with specific demographics that you can communicate to your team. More on identifying your target market here.
Referrals are also a great way to generate leads. Even for small companies, referrals can be obtained by attending networking events, with influencer marketing, or even by providing great customer service.
Step 2: Researching
After you’ve identified a lead, you want to double-check and ensure that you’re the right fit for the prospect. It may be tempting to try and make the relationship work, but this could end up backfiring and reflecting poorly on your brand, so gather all the information and document it.
They may be a perfect candidate for your product or service but at the wrong time. Are they ready to buy? Can you offer them something of value? If not, be sure to keep those leads in your system with notations so you can monitor them but focus on those who are ready to buy.
Step 3: Presenting
Present the solution that your prospect has a need for. There are many ways to conduct your sales pitch and this will vary greatly depending on your target audience and your product or service. The presentation can be done in-person or online and some prospects will take longer to make a decision, based on their expertise and research. Offer them support along the way by providing them with insight and value and avoid over-selling.
Focus on the problem they are experiencing and the solution you have for them. It’s recommended to use visuals whenever possible and personalize the experience at every opportunity.
Step 4: Closing
At this point, you should be answering any outstanding questions and addressing any concerns your prospect has. As long as you have provided your prospect with all of the information that they need to make a decision, move forward with the closing stage. This could be in the form of sending a quote or proposal. It also helps to send testimonials or visual comparisons of what you offer vs. your competitor.
Step 5: Follow Up
According to this source, 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the closing. While email is the most popular way to follow-up, experiment with different channels such as social media, phone, or live chat, depending on where your target audience spends time.
Get in the habit of scheduling your follow-ups so no prospect gets left behind. There are plenty of tools available to automate your follow-ups without compromising personalization.
Final Thoughts on Building a Sales Process
By following the five steps outlined above with each new prospect, you’re creating a foundation that can be molded and evolve according to your needs while consistently hitting the mark. According to HubSpot, it’s encouraged to start slow, just to ensure you and your team are consistently documenting your data. You can pick up speed with your selling strategies and finalizing your internal processes and head full speed into the buyer’s journey. Choose a CRM and start building your sales process today!