January 18, 2012

Be prepared. This may sound like a well-known Boy Scout motto, but it is also a phrase any good sales organization should exercise. Following a well-thought-out sales process is the key to achieving your goals.

Some companies, though, seem to “wing it”. Few have a formal sales process in place, or have the proper tools to measure that process.Employing a formal sales process is beneficial in many ways. It has been found to generate increased success for sales people, and in turn, serves to help retain that sales force.

Once you have identified a qualified lead, there are ten useful steps, or processes, to help you achieve your sales goal.

1. Know the prospect’s organization inside and out. Review their website and social media sites, and use Google or Zoominfo.com to get to know them.

2. Develop a “coach” who can provide insight to the prospects issues.

3. Ask that coach to help make initial contact. There are several options for a first connection, including a meeting, conference call, or social event.

4. For a larger sale, be certain to complete the 20 step capture process mentioned in our previous posting. This can help you understand the need, and to develop a solution and appropriate marketing messages.

5. In the initial meeting, connect with the prospect by listening to their interests. Allow them to take the lead when it comes to the timing for discussing business.

6. Identify the prospect’s business issues by asking a lot of questions. Some of the questions can be formulated in advance, but be prepared to allow their answers to determine your line of questioning.

7. Once the needs are fully identified, discuss how your company can solve their issues.

8. Provide a presentation, or written marketing material about your organization. This way, they have something to refer to, or to pass on to other decision makers.

9. Send the prospect a hand-written thank-you note. It shows you took the time for them, and that you value all forms of communication.

10. Follow up as often as necessary using the prospects preferred method of communication. Try offering a variety of opportunities to maintain connection. Here are just a few:
• Offer a tour of your facilities so they can get to know you
• Invite them to trade shows or open houses. This can demonstrate your interest in helping to educate and connect them to various resources.
• Send relevant articles related to their issue, or send a white paper on how you propose to solve the problem. Let them know you are staying on top of their issue and have the means to help.

Developing a formal sales process gives your sales people the confidence and the tools to pursue, and to close a deal. Don’t leave them hanging.

For more on our ten-step sales process, contact us today.