Making money comes from closing deals. You can work a hundred transactions and still be broke if none of them close. But, to be honest, most people I know have no trouble getting leads or closing sales. They appear to have the most difficulty with the stages of sales process.
Since working at AI Bees, I've used the following approaches to close several significant salespeople following deals with enterprise firms. I've tried them out, adjusted them, and put them to the test. The positive feedback I’ve received, which has been tremendous, is proof that they work.
So, if you want to close more transactions and make more money, check through these six crucial steps. But first, let's define the sales process.
What is the definition of a sales process?
A sales process is a set of repeatable procedures a salesperson follows to get a potential buyer from awareness to a concluded deal.
Described, it is the route a potential customer takes from recognizing a need for a product to making a purchase. The sales process is a blueprint for a salesperson since it is a trip for a prospect.
A marketing funnel is not to be mistaken with a sales funnel. A sales funnel depicts all the active sales activities and interactions between prospects and companies. Consider it a hypothesis that shows a customer's path to purchasing.
While most sales teams know that they go through a similar process, few choose to codify and standardize it, leaving it up to individual sales representatives.
The logic is straightforward: as long as salespeople continue to close deals and generate revenue, how they do so is their own business.
However, unless you are a natural-born salesperson, a standardized sales process can help you enhance sales measurement, forecasting, and general administration.
The seven stages of sales process:
When hunting for new customers, prospecting is the first and most important phase of the sales process. Knowing the people to target is essential for successful prospecting. Most salespeople take this step for granted, which is why they fail.
Rather than approaching everyone, concentrate your search and focus on specific companies. How do you conduct market research for a sales opportunity? - We can break this step into three parts:
- Developing and Implementing an ICP - Create an Ideal Customer Profile first (ICP). While you may assume you already know who your ideal clients are, building an ICP offers you a laser focus and can reveal new insights for your sales strategy. It's vital to understand who you're contacting and why you're doing so.
- Identifying Possibilities for Leads - After you've created an ICP, you can start building a database of potential leads who fit that profile. Finding those companies will depend on your individual needs, but social media (such as LinkedIn) and internet databases are options (such as Crunchbase). Create a list of individual prospects at those organizations for your sales team to contact and qualify once you've found those perfect companies.
- Initial Assessment - You'll still need to qualify your prospects even if you're working from the finest ICP. If you're interested, here's an interview we did on how to qualify prospects; in brief, you'll want to check for four crucial factors:
- Need at the Right Time
Additional qualifiers, such as firm size, growth, geography, and so on, can then be investigated based on your specific needs. While you may need to meet with your prospect directly to qualify them ultimately, you can typically get a fair idea of these qualities through your preliminary investigation.
2. Make Contact
Now that you've found your ideal client, it's time to make contact and establish a relationship. I can divide this stage of the sales process into two sections:
- Selecting the Most Effective Approach - What's the most effective technique to contact your prospects? Maybe they're only reachable by phone or highly active on a specific social network. Perhaps sending a cold email or an old-fashioned postcard is the best way to stand out from the crowd. Perhaps you're unsure which communication method is best for your ICP. Unless you have no other choice, I recommend avoiding phone calls as a general rule.
Talk about a remote possibility!
The good news is that 78 percent of decision-makers said a cold email prompted them to schedule an appointment or attend an event. An email is an excellent approach to communicating with your leads directly and personally.
We should send emails between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. People are usually not at their busiest at these times, and they may be checking email to wind up or wind down.
Using social media can vary depending on the platform and your target demographic. It's never a bad idea to give it a shot but remember, email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter to attract new consumers. To increase your chances of building a connection, consider combining it with email marketing.
You will, however, most likely utilize a combination of strategies. You could, for example, communicate with them on social media, send them an email, and then call them. In either case, you must remember to apply the most appropriate method for your client.
You may enjoy sending LinkedIn connection requests, but if your contact is inactive, doesn't react to connection requests, or isn't on the site at all, then the most creative and original outreach message may as well be smoke signals.
- Execution - You only get one chance to create an excellent first impression, as the saying goes. So there's no need to worry. It's critical to have a logical goal in mind when you ultimately reach out. In most circumstances, this will not be a "sell." After all, would you buy something off the internet from a stranger?
The higher the price point, the less probable it is that someone will buy from your early outreach attempts, regardless of their form. Instead, use your outreach to introduce yourself, gain trust, and eventually initiate a dialogue. The sale will take place later.
3. Qualify your prospects.
You can discover more about your target prospect by qualifying your lead.
Work to understand better their objectives, challenges, budget, and other critical decision-making factors. It's also vital at this point to make sure you're speaking with the right decision-maker and to identify opportunities where you can add significant value (as per your ICP).
This is also an opportunity to further qualify them as candidates by confirming that they match the four essential criteria I outlined in step 1. Don't be discouraged if you find they're not a good match. It's not uncommon for less than half of your early possibilities to prove to be a suitable fit.
4. Nurture your leads.
It's now time to show your value to your prospect. Prepare to answer crucial questions regarding your unique services and benefits and what challenges you can help them solve.
You can nurture your leads based on what you learn.Even if there are no obstacles, most prospects will require promoting. You'll probably need to progress them through the phases of consciousness, from pain-aware to most aware, for example. You'll still need to earn people's trust, and the most excellent way to do so is to provide constant value.
Educating leads about the overall product, service, or industry, personalizing your communication, and resolving frequent difficulties are all part of lead nurturing.
You'll also likely come across interested and otherwise qualified prospects but aren't ready to join up right now for whatever reason. In this scenario, keep in touch frequently, deliver vital help once again to stay top of mind. You become the first person they think of when they're ready to buy.
You might even find that your prospect requires a product or service immediately or possibly even at stage three. It's advisable to proceed to stage five once you've reached this position.
5. Present your offer.
The cycle has so far been centered on your prospect. You've met the prospects where they are, gotten to know their needs, and answered their questions and worries. It's time to put all of your knowledge to use and make the most excellent offer you can.
Maintain relevance, targeting, and personalization of your offer to the previously discussed demands. Make your offer relevant to their difficulties, budget, and long-term goals. Finally, consider unique ways to display and package your offer.
6. Overcome objections.
You've shared information, offered assistance, and even made your best offer. The ball is now in the potential customer’s court. Typically, they will respond with a negative response to your offer. Typical objections are typical of price vs. value, risk, offer content, contract terms, and other issues.
It's best to deal with these obstacles as soon as possible, preferably during the nurturing phase. However, it is not always possible to deal with them ahead of time.
Be patient and empathize with their problems when responding. Being rushed or under pressure does not sit well with anyone.
Make sure you address any objections that are related to one another. If your lead is concerned about pricing, for example, make sure they understand what's included in your offer.
After explaining everything, ask them to confirm that you've addressed their concerns. In some instances, though, the customers won't mention the criticisms openly, so you'll have to learn to read between the lines.
"We're not interested" could show that they've tried comparable services before and been disappointed, and they're afraid of the same thing occurring again.
It will be helpful if you become familiar with common objections. However, you'll almost always need to ask further questions to understand the fuss. After you've posted a question, try to pay attention to their response rather than thinking about what you'll say next.
You can proceed towards the final stage if you have addressed all objections.
7. Closing the sale.
It is the make-or-break point in the sales process. Either you close the transaction, or you lose it. To taste sales success, you must find the appropriate approach to close.
It would be disappointing to lose after being too close to the finish line. Isn't that the case? As a result, take particular caution with this step.
- Meet your prospect's expectations - Show the advantages of becoming a customer. When speaking with your prospects, choose your words and phrases carefully. Avoid using the following words: "Discount": Close rates are reduced by 17%, "Contract": Hurts reduce rates by 7%. When mentioned four or more times in a single call, "your company's name" reduces the close rate by 14%. Persuade the potential customers to take the next step. Use the correct closing approaches and tactics to get your potential customers to sign the dotted line and become paying customers.
- Follow-Up - Finally, despite your best efforts, circumstances beyond your (or the prospect's) control may force you to say "Not yet." The best thing you can do is include them in a nurturing campaign (see above) and follow up with any prospects who aren't ready to say yes regularly. You might also use this as an opportunity to make touch with other people in the same company.
RELATED READ - 12 Sales Pitch Examples that Guarantee Quality Leads
If done correctly, following a disciplined corporate sales process can significantly impact your revenue. Create a very successful sales technique. Because each sales process step is critical, make sure you give each one equal weight. To increase your profit margins, take charge of your sales process and manage it effectively. You may use our AI and machine learning algorithms to manage your sales process.
We can assist you in optimizing your sales process to meet your sales goals. We employ exclusive, patented AI and machine learning algorithms at AI bees to find your ideal clients. After that, we engage those clients with your content to produce high-quality leads for you.