Successful businesses have a working sales strategy in place that they use every single day. This is not hyperbole; it’s something that happens in every growing company around the world.
Now, often, when companies don’t have a proper strategy in place, they instead have one or two salespeople that are rainmakers. You can’t get these guys to stop selling your company’s product or service. They are just that good.
Here’s the secret. Every rainmaker has a secret sauce, something that makes them so good at selling. And a big part of that secret sauce is an established system that works the majority of the time.
So, instead of a sales strategy that depends on the owner of the company closing the deal, or a business that relies heavily on one person to make all of the sales, let’s take a look at a sales strategy that stands the test of time.
Strategy: Build a Sales System
Systematizing your sales is the number one strategy that successful businesses use. Giant corporations don’t depend on a few salespeople to close deals. They have a system in place to ensure that anyone with excellent communication skills can close a deal, successfully transition a client over to the product/service delivery team, and then move forward with the next customer.
Here is the sales process, broken down:
The first step of any sales process is lead intake. This is the part of the sales process where a lead is given to the salesperson. Here are a few ways that leads are acquired:
- Cold calls
- Email questions
- Webform submissions
- Phone calls
- Newsletter sign-ups
- Ad responses
- Direct messages or comments on social media
- Lead generators
- Business cards obtained at conferences or networking events
- Survey responses
There are many, many ways that the salesperson or customer can reach out. The idea of intake is to get the contact information documented and any notes about how the person reached out – or how the salesperson should reach out to them.
For example, if this is a referral, the salesperson should note who referred the person, why, and with what the referring person feels the potential lead needs assistance.
The whole process of lead intake should be systematized to capture the same vital information with every new lead.
Next is lead qualification. This is where the salesperson talks with the lead and finds out if they can buy the product. Sometimes, the potential customer is ready to buy right now. Often, they need more information, or they may need some time to gather financing.
Systematizing lead qualification is very important. Often, this is done by instinct. However, qualifying a lead can be learned. You can set up parameters that define whether the salesperson should put the lead on a drip campaign or push forward with assisting them in buying immediately.
Now it’s time to gather some information. What does the client need? What problem are they trying to solve? This can also be systematized with general questions. However, sales is a dynamic flow of communication, so your salesperson may start out with the suggested questions and then get more specific within a conversation to nail down the potential client’s needs. Another way to systematize is to provide a place to document the needs assessment and ensure that critical questions are asked every time.
Now that you know the problem, it’s time to solve it with your product or service. This step may be as simple as telling the individual that your product solves that problem. However, in many industries, you will need to take a step back and share a complete proposal that will fulfill the potential client’s needs.
Ensure the sales process clarifies what needs to happen at this stage. Does the client need to be transitioned to an estimator who can provide a quote? Is there a particular package that would best fit the client’s needs? Understanding the available solutions and laying them out will allow your salesperson to be more successful at their job.
Now that you know what your company can do to solve the potential client’s needs, you must compellingly present the proposal. Often, a salesperson can benefit from practicing the presentation beforehand – and the whole process can be systematized to give your sales team the advantage they need to close the sale.
Checking in with a lead is incredibly important. If you have provided a proposal, you know they are qualified to buy, and you believe your product/service will best serve their need, then you are doing your potential client a considerable service by following up with them.
Systematizing follow-up often looks like setting a follow-up calendar event or setting a reminder task in your CRM. Additionally, the event or task should note how best to follow up with that particular lead. The salesperson may need to shoot them an email, give them a call, send them a birthday card, or even ship over a gift with some product samples.
Follow-up can be a drip campaign, but it also usually needs to be more personalized than a general email to all clients. Your salesperson needs to reconnect during a follow-up. That’s what makes a system so handy at this stage.
Close the Sale
Closing a sale can happen during any of the above stages, which is why it’s vital to have a system in place for this event. Not only should the salesperson understand how to transition the client into the onboarding phase, but they should also acknowledge the close with something special. It’s an exciting event that most salespeople are rushed through – but it should be celebrated somehow. Having a system for closing will help your salesperson transition the client – and also acknowledge the close as the special event that it is.
Onboard the Client
Transitioning a client to onboarding usually includes gathering specific information, coordinating with the finance department, and sharing information with internal staff who will deliver the product.
This stage is vital and should be systematized so that all clients get the same excellent service – and so that they all feel a deep connection with your company. Once the client has been onboarded, they need to know who they can reach out to if something doesn’t meet their expectations or need help. Otherwise, your salesperson is always on the hook every time the client needs something.
Transition the Client to Internal Staff
Ensuring the client is completely transitioned to internal staff who can now deliver the product or service is a vital part of this process. As noted above, the sales team needs to be able to move forward with further sales. That means the client needs to feel comfortable and be in direct communication with the staff who will help them fill their order or serve their needs.
Systematizing this part of the process may look like having conference calls with the salesperson, the client, and their service team. The service team may need to reach out with training or do their own follow-ups to ensure the client is satisfied. This transition is often what makes or breaks customer service.
Getting Started with Systematizing Sales
Before setting your process in motion with your sales team, it’s essential to assess the team itself. Ensure that your salespeople have great communication skills, understand the product well, and can easily discuss your business with potential clients.
Sometimes, when a sales system fails, it’s the training system that is at fault. You can have the best system in the world, but if the salesperson can’t answer questions because they don’t have knowledge about what they are selling, then the process will fail more often than not.
Are you ready to systematize your sales department? Get in touch with the experts! Contact Business Success Consulting Group today.