If you don’t have a proven process to sell then you don’t have a proven process to scale. There are five steps to improve your sales process and increase business.
When it comes to the sales process, most companies don’t have a very clearly defined process of how money is made, how cash is flowing.
First of all, when it comes to the sales process, there is the sales process and there is what I call the buyer journey.
You have the process coming from the company which is the closer’s perspective, and you also have the process coming from the consumers, which is the buyer’s perspective.
1. Lead Generation
The first step is called prospecting or lead generation. It depends on what you do to generate leads like cold calling, prospecting, going out there and bringing people in. Maybe you’re living more sophisticated. You’re adding value to the market place with content marketing, blogs, or running ads. Whatever it is that you do, it is prospecting/lead generation.
From the buyer’s Journey perspective, what you’re doing is getting some awareness. The buyer or the potential customer doesn’t know that you exist yet. You want to use this step to just make them aware that you even exist. Basically saying “hey, look at me I’m here, pay attention to me.”
2. Qualifying The Leads
The next step in the sales process is called qualifying the leads.
You want to qualify the prospect in terms of four things:
1- Needs: How strong are their needs?
2- Time: How urgent is this problem?
3- Money: Are they able to buy? Do they have the resources?
4- Decision maker: Can they make that decision?
From the buyer’s journey perspective, its simply called engagement. They’re just engaging with your product, service, your company, your organization. They want to find out a little bit more. Before they didn’t know you, now they’re aware, and they’re taking the first initial step,
they request a little bit more info to engage with your company.
3. Demonstrating Value
You demonstrate value by to walk them about your software and by Giving them a demo. Or maybe by inviting them to attend a virtual training, a webinar of some sort, or live event. In this step, you are presenting what can you offer to the prospects.
From the buyer’s journey perspective, they already moved from awareness to engagement and they become more interested. They are not just engaging. They’re actually interested in your product or service.
4. Negotiate And Close
Step number four is to negotiate and close. Now you’re going to close the deal. You have to deal with questions like, What are the terms? What about payment? What about financing? How long you’re going to provide the service? What are the expectations? You’re negotiating back and forth. It’s not a proposal. We’re talking about an agreement.
From the buyer’s journey, it’s called commitment. In this step, they’re saying yes. Let’s move forward. Here’s exactly how we’re going to do business together.
5. Delivery And Fulfillment
The last step is delivery and fulfillment, which is actually one of the most important steps. You’ve closed the sale. You’ve qualified the leads.
The question is how you are going to deliver the outcome that you promised to the prospect. What are the deliverables? Because this is where you get the referrals.
This is how you get the repeat business. Most organizations only focus on the first couple of steps. Or maybe step number four because they just want to close. But the sale doesn’t stop after you close. The sale starts after you close the prospect.
From the Buyer’s Journey perspective, it’s called experience. In the last step, the buyer experiences what you’re providing. For the client, it’s extremely critical. Don’t screw it up in the last step.
Let me give you some practical examples to improve your sales process. Let’s say you are running ads on Facebook, or on Instagram or any social media platforms and you are trying to get attention by saying “Hey click on my ad”, “here is what I can do for you”. That step is called Lead generation. You’re trying to generate some leads.
You’re trying to get some awareness in the market place.
The minute the buyer, the potential customer clicks on the ad, now they go to step number two, which is engagement. When they land on your landing page, they can see what can you offer, what is the promise, what are you giving away. Maybe you’re giving away something for free like a book, an invitation, a webinar. Whatever it might be, it doesn’t matter. You’re qualifying the leads.
Then the next step if you want to demonstrate value. Let’s say you are inviting them to a free webinar. In that webinar, you are demonstrating what can you do. You are giving them social proof. You’re explaining what is it like to do business with your company. And here you go from now engagement, to interest. If they sit through the entire presentation or the entire webinar. In this stage, they are interested.
The last step is to go from a demonstrated value to negotiate and close. Let’s say at the end of your webinar your call to action is to book a call with one of your closers then you’ll close.
Form the Buyer’s Journey perspective, they go from interest to Commitment. Now they’re committed. Now they want to buy it.
Don’t forget, now is delivery and fulfillment. And from the Buyer’s Journey, it’s an experience. What is the experience like to work with your company? What is the experience like to buy from you?
Even in dating, this applies too. Let’s say you go to somewhere like a bar. You are trying to get some awareness.
You’re trying to talk to some people. And then you want to buy a lady a drink, that’s a lead generation. In the next step, you’re trying to qualify the leads. They’re allowing you to buy the drink, and from there you’re having conversations. You’re demonstrating your value. You’re trying to get that phone number.
When you get that phone number you follow up and maybe you set up the first and second date. You’re trying to make the deal and close the sale.