Prospect, sell, repeat. It sounds like a simple enough process, but if you’re not constantly fine-tuning your methodology, you could be losing opportunities.
Every stage of the sales process is crucial. With a small tweak here and there, you can find out what works for your target market and use that to grow your revenues.
Self-analysis is challenging. To help you get a head start, here are our favorite tips for improving performance at every stage of the sales process.
Before you build your lead list and make the first connection, you’re prospecting. You’re researching to uncover which customers are a good fit for your product or service. More importantly, you’re digging in deep to discover what tools they’re currently using and researching their current struggles that you can resolve.
Or at least you should be doing this.
Prospecting is an important part of the sales process, but it’s one that can take a tremendous amount of time if you’re not careful.
Tip to Improve: Create a research system. Although you might already have it in mind, write it down. Then, go through each step whenever you’re scoping out new leads. Having your steps written out on paper will help you focus on the important details instead of trying to store this process in your memory bank.
- The Approach
With your prospect list in mind, you’re ready to make your approach. You’re ready to start the conversation and show your potential client why he should buy from you. But are you communicating your benefits effectively during the initial approach?
Tip to Improve: Making your approach can feel intimidating. To build your confidence, it’s a good idea to pull something specific about the client to address in your initial meeting. This will warm up the conversation to make your approach feel more like you’re trying to help and less like you’re trying to meet a sales quota.
- The Interview
As your new lead learns more about your business, he will want to get to know you better, and as he does, an interview (or several interviews) will take place. This is the discovery period where each of you can get a better gauge on whether what you’re selling is a good fit or not. This is also the phase where you can uncover any possible objections the lead will have.
Tip to Improve: Keep the conversation two-sided. Change your thought process to approach the initial conversations more like you’re seeing if the prospect is a good fit, rather than trying to fit your product into their system. This will naturally make you sound more confident and trustworthy.
Once the prospect has decided your product or service might be a good fit, you’re ready to present. Chances are, you’ll be presenting to a group of people, not just your initial prospect. The group will represent several areas of the business, such as the marketing department, accounting department, and more depending on your offering.
Tip to Improve: Recognize the various people who will be in the room for the presentation. Even though the prospect you initially reached out to is excited about what you’re offering, you might encounter people who are less enthusiastic. Speak to them. Address their concerns head on by anticipating them ahead of time.
Once you’ve knocked your presentation out of the park, it’s time to negotiate price. This is one of the most challenging parts of any sale. It’s up to you to show that you’re worth the money you’re charging. If not, you lose.
Tip to Improve: During the negotiation, break down exactly what you will provide and your process to deliver it. It’s not up to your customer to understand the effort you put into what you’re providing. It’s up to you to show them how much they’ll get from you.
- The Close
The close is an exciting moment for you and a slightly apprehensive moment for your customer. It’s now that they’re committing to the price you agreed upon and ready to use what they purchased from you.
Tip to Improve: Make the close as enjoyable and easy a process as possible. The harder it is, the less likely your customer will be to a) return to you to buy more or b) refer you to others in their network.
- The Follow Up
Your work is only just beginning after you’ve closed a sale. To keep your customers happy, loyal to you, and referring you business, you need to follow up with them post-sale. This often times involves phone calls to make sure they’re still happy, follow up trainings and quick email check-ins.
Tip to Improve: Send a small token of your appreciation after a sale is complete. For example, if you’re a realtor, give the home buyer something to make their new house a little cozier. Or, if you’re a wedding planner, send a small wedding gift to say thank you for choosing you.
Ready for Your Self-Audit?
Take a step back and ask yourself what you’re doing right and wrong at each stage in the sales process. Where can you improve? By looking objectively at your habits, you might be able to find new opportunities and land more clients.
A great CRM for growing business can help streamline your sales funnel by helping you work through and stay attentive at every stage of the sales process. Insightly allows you to track emails, meetings and follow-ups, coordinate calendars and even track your prospects on social media. Insightly helps eliminate the chaos and helps you do your true job as a salesperson. Now get out there and grow more business!