Thursday, February 4, 2010
Do you have a sales process ?
This company had one of the three owners dedicated to sales. The owner had sales experience, but was way over his head with this specific product and service.
Every company needs to have a developed sales process and apply the sales process to every sale. In thirty years of sales and marketing I have only run into a handful of people who are natural sales people. These gods of sales have a sales system in place.
Even the Sham Wow guy on TV has a system and recently he used the same system to sell the Slap Chop!!!
Sales people are more productive when following a specific sales process that details the steps along the way. This will allow them to process the prospect into a lead and then a sale.
As a company you should define your company's sales process based on best practices within your team, your industry and your target market. Below you will find a sales process that can be applied to most products and services.
The Sales Process - The process for converting prospects into leads and leads into customers is much like playing a hockey game. You need a plan and set plays to move the puck up the ice. Not practicing and staying within a game plan can result in a waste of time and effort.
Engage. - This is the first milestone in the sales process and usually happens when a potential client makes an inquiry into your product, or service and this will allow you to introduce yourselves, your company, your offering and uncover their general need. This is your lead.
Qualify. - Once you've engaged the potential client and determined they fit your overall target profile, you need to qualify the lead further to make sure it's a "fit" with your company and what you offer.
Assess. - Once you have qualified the lead you must assess the opportunity before expending the resources to develop a quote or proposal. Ask yourself: What are the specifics of their needs? What is the main decision-making factor? What is their budget? Do they understand your value proposition? Are they looking at the competition?
Proposal. - You've assessed the opportunity to the level required during the assess stage, and now it's time to move into the proposal stage. Make sure your proposal process is appropriate for the buying cycle. Include validation of your services, testimonials, all terms, as well as credit, inside the proposal to avoid slowing down the sales process.
Close. - At this phase of the sales process, you must close and overcome any possible objections, negotiate terms, and close the deal.
SALE! - Hopefully at this point, you've done such a good job of managing your sales process that you have moved your lead to a sale. If at any time the sale fails you must analyze and refine for the next time.
This is an overview of the typical sales process and it is imperative that no short cuts are taken. Failure to follow your sales plan will lead to lost sales.
Having a company sales process will allow you to process sales more effectively and help you to ‘Build Your Business’.
Donald Robichaud is the President of the FloodLight Consulting team and can be reached at:
FloodLight Consulting - Build Your Business