Sales is what keeps a business going. Without sales, you don’t have revenue to pay expenses and you ultimately don’t have a business. So honing and optimizing the way in which you get sales is extremely important.
Even companies with a sales process that generates revenue should always being looking to optimize. What would happen to the bottom line if you could squeeze even 3% more revenue by tweaking the process?
When thinking through how to optimize, it’s helpful to break it up into different stages. Each stage has vastly different ways of improving it.
If sales is the beginning of business, prospecting is the beginning of sales. Without a strong prospecting process, there is no one to actually sell to.
Prospecting can be done through marketing, ad campaigns, but it happens mostly through cold calling and cold emailing. The vast majority of your predictable revenue will come from a systematized prospecting process.
Prospecting starts with having sales leads. You can build your own business lists manually or subscribe to service like InfoFree.com. By subscribing to a service like InfoFree.com, you’ll free up a bunch of time that you could be spend on the phone instead of doing research.
With a low monthly fee, users can search, select and view millions of consumer and business sales leads. That’s a great deal and would make your prospecting process a lot more efficient.
The goal of prospecting is to get you to the presentation stage. The purpose of the cold call is to schedule a sales presentation at a later time and date.
The presentation should start with a short discovery process where you’re finding out what the prospects needs and wants are. You should also find out what problem they are currently trying to solve that you can help with.
Your sales presentation will be based on what your prospect’s needs are. Don’t focus on things that won’t alleviate their pain points or you’ll just be wasting your and your prospect’s time.
- Follow Up
After the presentation, there will usually be a ton of follow up required to close the sale. It can take up to 9-12 sales calls after the presentation to ultimately close the deal.
This is where most sales reps and business owners fall short. They don’t get the sales they could because they don’t do adequate follow up.
- Close the Deal
Closing requires you to ask for the order. Prospects rarely offer up their credit card info without you overtly asking for it.
Many sales reps and business owners are reluctant to ask for the sale because they are shy or afraid they’ll come across as too pushy. The reality is that even prospects who want to buy need a lot of nudging to finally make that decision.
Don’t forget to ask for referrals. If you check a Referral Marketing Guide, the best time to ask for a referral is right after you close the deal. They have just been convinced enough to fork over the cash. That’s when they’re the ripest to offer up referrals for your offering.
Don’t ask a closed question. Don’t ask, “do you know anyone else who would benefit from this product or service?”. That’s a yes or no question.
Instead ask, “who else do you know who would benefit from this product or service?”. Inherent in this question is an assumption they will give you a name, it’s now just a matter of what name they’ll give you.
If you tighten each of these 5 stages of a sales process even incrementally, your sales will continue to grow. Small and constant improvements is what makes a company successful.