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On today’s episode of The Sales Evangelist, we talk with global sales team leader Michael Wills about how to develop a sales process that works.
Many sellers have no real sense of direction, but they expect to be successful despite the lack of a plan.
Defining a sales process
A sales process provides a way for you to communicate with a buyer in a systematic way that is successful and repeatable. A single success doesn’t mean you have a sales process. It needs to be measurable so you can confirm results and grow.
To start, recognize that you’re doing something well, but there are no doubt areas that you can improve.
Figure out who exactly your buyer is.
Find out these things:
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- How do they work?
- How can you communicate with them effectively?
- What’s my industry?
- What’s the norm?
Be able to understand and document that information, which will give you a path. Once you have that path, you can figure out the processes to execute.
If you have someone who has had internal success, do a Q&A with him and figure out what his best practices are and build processes around those ideas.
People who aren’t led systematically will create their own strategies, which isn’t necessarily a positive thing. The process facilitates the execution of a strategy.
Dangers of operating without a process
If your team doesn’t have a process in place, you won’t know whether the team is selling to customers that you don’t necessarily want to do business with. You won’t know if the team is selling in a way that is unprofessional or inappropriate. Finally, you won’t know how consistent each person is in the process.
It’s important that you don’t let people operate on their own because you can’t grow around that system.
The sales process must be built around the way the buyers buy. When you truly know who you’re going after, you can understand their way of purchasing.
It’s also really important to understand where your buyer fits within the decision-making process because you’ll have different processes for different levels of people.
The method of communication and the information you share differs based on authority and timeline.
Fundamental parts of a process
Begin by understanding that your buyer knows 50 to 60 percent of what she needs to know because she ever talks to you for the first time. Knowing that frames the picture for you to jump in and be further down the sales process than you would have been without that knowledge.
Begin by talking about the client’s industry and situation. Use her language and previous client experience to bring value. You can share information, share best practices and share things you understand about the challenges her organization will face.
By doing that, you become a trusted person.
Today’s buyer needs value early. By sharing that value, you become trusted, and that person will share your information through the organization.
You can share solutions and then concrete details about how other clients have solved these problems.
Building a pipeline
Build a pipeline of prospects that are interesting to you.
Choose an industry you have a little bit of insight into and that you’re comfortable with. It’s important to understand the language of the industry.
Use the Internet to learn about the industry and the company itself. Determine hot topics and find out the things they are posting.
Instead of referring to it as cold calling, we should call it smart calling because we’ve done the research and you know who you want to talk to and why you want to talk to them.
It’s a lower conversion rate but it’s a great way to build your pipeline and gain some real opportunities.
Find the right level of customization for your prospecting.
Using a first name in an email is critical, but so is the information you find through your Internet searches, posts, product launches, and any other information that demonstrates that you’ve done some work.
You can’t discuss value until you understand the industry you’re working in.
Use the experience you’ve gained by working with an earlier client to quantify benefits for your potential clients. Through your discovery process, talk to the prospect about the current situation and how your product or service could help them operate more efficiently or have capabilities they didn’t have before.
It’s “back of the napkin” stuff that doesn’t require an Excel spreadsheet, but it’s specific information that will be relevant to your prospect.
When a prospect agrees to meet with you, they already know a decent amount about your product. If you initiate the conversation talking about value, and you can quantify that value, it’s a different conversation.
Being consistent doesn’t mean you never tweak your process, but consistency is the only way to track whether your process is working or not.
It’s critical for salespeople to know what they do well and to understand why they do the things they do.
“A Sales Process That Works” episode resources
This episode is brought to you in part by prospect.io, a powerful sales automation platform that allows you to build highly personalized, cold email campaigns. To learn more, go to prospect.io/tse. It will help you with your outbound to expand your outreach and it allows you to set it and forget it. Your prospecting will never ever be the same.
We’ll use prospect.io in the upcoming semester of TSE Hustler’s League to focus on prospecting. We’ll give you insights and tools that will help you gain new customers. In addition, we’ll provide training and strategies that you can implement today to ensure constant flow in your pipeline.
Check out our new semester of The Sales Evangelist Hustler’s League. We’re taking applications for the semester beginning in January, and we can only take a limited number of people.
This episode is also brought to you in part by Maximizer CRM, personalized CRM that gives you the confidence to improve your business and increase profits. To get a demonstration of maximizer, go to the sales evangelists.com/maximizer.
Click on the link to get a free demo of what Maximizer CRM can do for you. It integrates your marketing campaign as well as your CRM, and it works whether you’re a small organization or a large one.
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