Smashing Sales - How to Create a Winning Sales Process
We're all masters at something. But never masters at everything.
Sales can be a nasty roadblock to an otherwise phenomenal business.
I've jotted down a few points below of how you can very simply streamline the sales in your business.
Have a Sales Process
Sometimes procrastination to follow up leads can come from a lack of understanding the next steps of sales. There's plenty of great information out there on sales in general, but nothing very practical of how that should appear within an organisation.
A few key components I've found to make an effective sales process:
Have a 'Vetting' Step, Up Front
Whether it's an online form, an application or a phone call, this is a great way to work out whether or not the prospect is a good fit for you.
We all get that gut feel when someone doesn't sound quite right for your business, so what a great way to move them on, with the smallest drain on your time.
Ask some good questions up front, and you'll know whether to take them further in the process.
Leverage Your Coffee Time
You as the principal are usually wearing many, many hats in the business. Why not create an effective way of learning about your clients, and them learning about you? It could knock off a good 30 - 45 minutes of time in the first coffee meeting of the usual 'Getting to Know You' time - and is a very effective way of directing a conversation.
Make sure you focus this meeting on the client's needs and ask plenty of questions so you know exactly where you can help the client. Remember to keep digging through layers, as the first answer is not usually the problem, but a symptom.
Time to hit your proposal, but before you close the meeting...:
A self explanatory acronym: "Book A Meeting From A Meeting". This is an awesome discipline drummed into me by a good friend MC of Practice Paradox (and plenty of help with the above too!).
BAMFAM'ing helps to keep the sales process moving, in a mutually agreed fashion. Extraordinarily effective, and always alwaysalways book in the next meeting / phone call / follow up.
Pretty Up Your Proposals
If you're a Creative Agency, surely you're all over your own delicious marketing collateral. Don't let the sales experience pull down the prospect's expectations!
There's some amazing, easy to set up and use, cloud based proposal tools available at 'no-brainer' prices. Some of them let you include video and images to support your proposals. Most have features such as options in your proposal, online acceptance and signing, custom domain & branding, and creating a proposal from a template or previous proposal.
Prettier proposals should also lead to a higher conversion rate too. And you don't have to reinvent the wheel for each new client!
Track Your Leads in a CRM
You know what a CRM is, you may even have one, but take advantage of it. Use it!
A CRM used effectively can keep all your prospects' records, touch points, the stage of where they are in your sales process, and even keep track of your chance of conversion. Some CRMs will allow you to run a 'weighted sales funnel' report, which calculates the dollar figure based on historical conversion rates at certain stages in the sales funnel. There's some serious forecasting!
Again, there's plenty of options out there, depending on what suits your business. We use InfusionSoft, but there are many others such as:
Even if you use Excel or a whiteboard, make sure you're keeping track of it all!
Automatically Measure Sales KPI's
Coming back to your business having a Strength in Numbers, most of the tools above allow you to run reports on your key sales numbers. Simple numbers like your conversion rate or average days from initial contact to becoming a client will allow you to forecast many other numbers in your business.
Implementing the tools and processes mentioned above will guarantee a smoother ride in your sales journey!