Sometimes sales can be hard. External factors may make one months sales targets harder than the next. Competitor and customer behaviour and market conditions are subject to fluctuate at any given time. Aside from tracking these trends and changes over time, focusing on what is within your control is the best way to ensure you are doing all you can to boost sales and profitability. The first way to do this is with a strong customer-focussed sales process.
Creating a sales process
Regardless of how motivated and skilled your sales staff are, having a robust process will not only help drive sales but also ensure that you have given each prospect every opportunity to buy from you.
Establish what your key steps are to sales success and put a process in place. Involve the whole team to identify the steps and what will be involved at each stage. Consider the following steps to set up your a strong sales process:
1. Involve the team for full ownership
Because your sales team will be working with the process daily, make sure you involve them in the conversation, especially if they are expected to follow a new procedure. Having their input is invaluable. Make every team member, even outside of the sales team, aware of the process so they have accountability. This will help foster a company-wide culture that leads to greater sales success.
2. Start with the end in mind
Begin with a broad outline of the key sales activities, then break each area down into smaller, actionable steps, for example building a question list to keep the conversation going. The experience of your team will determine how detailed you need to be at this point.
Identify what you need to cover at each stage of the sales process, include the following key stages:
Objection Handling or Closing
3. Gather the data to maximise sales opportunities
Having a way to report on hard numbers at each step of the process, will help you identify the weak spots and adjust the process as needed. There may be barriers or issues you were not aware of that are resulting in lost sales. Your regular reports on where prospects are at will also be a useful tool for forecasting cash flow and allocation of resources.
A robust process helps to maximise sales opportunities and can also protect your business if key sales staff leave. Make sure your business systems are designed to boost sales and identify areas that can be improved.
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