Documenting your sales process

Businesses that follow a documented sales process generate more revenue.

Prospective customers should receive the same service no matter which member of your sales team they deal with. A documented sales process ensures your sales team knows the correct process to follow; providing prospective customers a consistent experience.

It’s important to include your sales team in the development of your sales process to gain valuable insights and ensure they’re on board with the new process.

Consider the following to create your sales process:

1. Product knowledge.
You can’t sell something if you don’t know what it is or how it works. Your sales team must know your products inside out. They need to understand the problems that they solve and how they’ll benefit the customer. Never assume that a customer will link a feature to a benefit. It’s the salesperson’s job to join the dots and show the customer the value of your product.

2. Prospecting.
Prospecting is the ongoing search for new customers who are the right fit. Have you identified your ideal customer? This should be documented in your Business Plan. If not, start by profiling your existing customers – what do they have in common? Work with your marketing team to identify prospective customers.

3. Preparation.
It’s essential to prepare before your initial contact with a prospect to build on your product knowledge, assess your competitors’ offerings (in case you’re asked), and clarify your sales presentation.

4. Initial contact.
This isn’t an email marketing campaign; it’s a personal phone call or scheduled catch up. Ensure you identify the prospective customer’s pain points or challenges they’re facing. How you engage the prospective customer will heavily influence the outcome. Ensure you update your CRM with notes straight after the catch up and schedule any required follow up.

5. Qualification.
The most effective sales teams sell to the needs of their prospects. Ask the right questions to determine how your product or service can help them, building confidence and trust. Consider some ‘go-to’ questions that will prompt you to subtly convey product information, including how you differentiate from your competitors.

6. The presentation / proposal.
With accurate qualification, you can tailor your pitch to meet the needs of the prospect. It’s the same with a proposal – record the prospect’s specific needs in the proposal, demonstrating that you understand their situation and are offering a genuine solution.

7. Handling objections.
Don’t be scared of objections; they’re opportunities, not threats. They show that the customer doesn’t yet see the value of your product or service, providing valuable insight. Discuss the customer’s objections and use testimonials and case studies to demonstrate how your product or service has helped others in a similar position.

8. Closing.
It’s time to make the sale formal. This is where the customer signs on the dotted line and parts with their cash. Identify the closing signals without being too presumptuous. Don’t be afraid to assume the sale, but give the customer options. Don’t be satisfied by a response of ‘we’ll get back to you’ – consider your response to such comments prior to closing.

9. Follow up / getting referrals.
The salesperson who started the relationship with the customer is the best person to follow up. The end game is to build a long term relationship with your customer to promote ongoing sales and recurring revenue. Contact the customer after a certain period of time to get feedback and ensure they’re happy. This is not an opportunity to sell more to the customer (unless they ask), it’s about building a solid relationship for future sales.

Keeping customers happy will also increase your chance of referrals, and statistics show a prospect is four times more likely to buy something when they’ve been referred by a friend.

Having a documented sales process ensures consistency within your sales team. How your sales team engage prospective customers, close the deal and deliver your product or service will heavily influence your brand.

If you need help to develop and document your sales process, get in touch now!

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