Over the last few months, we have looked at a number of different business areas; Recruiting, Lead Generation, and Customer Domination. This month we wanted to go back to a subject near and dear to all of our hearts, Sales. Without sales, businesses wither and die. We also know that creating sales isn't as easy as it may seem. There are steps the business has to take in order to sell its product or service efficiently and with confidence. In the coming weeks, we will look behind the curtain to see the prep work that goes into a solid sales process.
The sales process does not begin with a product or service. It begins with developing the 'behind the curtain' pieces of the process that create a foundation for success. A strong foundation creates opportunities to move forward with clarity, develop and hold accountable employees, and collect business intelligence that will allow for more focused efforts. While there can be many pieces to a strong foundation, here are three that require emphasis.
- Sales Message: There has to be a message, or story, that your prospects need to understand and connect with for your sales plan to be effective. Sure, if you push enough people through your door, the sales will come. Most businesses don't have the luxury of waiting for clients to walk through the door. An engaging, persuasive message engages prospects in a conversation. This conversation with prospects begins in your branding and lead generation processes. The most effective sales message is consistent with the branding and lead generation that has been done.
- Sales Goals: This is all about setting the expectations for your sales people and your company. Sales goals set the benchmark for performance during a given time period. As a manager, it gives you the means to hold your salesforce accountable. As the strategic planner, sales goals tie directly into your monthly and annual budgets.
- Tracking Activity: The business needs information. Information on the number of calls made, the number of letters sent, the number of prospects converted, and information on the product or service sold. The intelligence that is gathered tells the business if the products or services are actually what the prospects desire or need. Message effectiveness, product or service viability, and skill of your salesforce are only a few of the pieces of intelligence that can be gathered during your sales process.
Ultimately, having a consistent message, clear expectations and accountability, and a way to track the sales activity sets the business and its salesforce up for success when interacting with prospective customers. Developing these three 'behind the curtain' processes will lay the foundation for success in your sales process. Join us next week as we look at your external sales process.