5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Building a Sales Process
Whether you’ve been playing it by ear, or you’re just looking to build a new sales process from the ground up, it’s always important to check over your sales strategy from time to time.
Sure, your sales techniques might be working well enough, but what opportunities are you missing out on by using the same old strategies?
Building a great sales process can help your team start each sale with a blueprint of what the next step looks like at all times. So, if you want to give your team a better sense of direction here are a few questions you should ask yourself while you’re making a sales process.
1. Do you know what your ideal buyer looks like?
You can make the best sales process in the world with killer calls to action, phenomenal communication, and an airtight sales funnel. But, if you’re trying to sell high-end cybersecurity software to a local deli, it’s not going to be a compelling sale.
Before you can build the steps to drive home a sale, you need to know who you’re selling to.
Are your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and buyer personas up-to-date and accurate? Do they have detailed characteristics about finding your buyers and selling to them? Do your buyer personas have characteristics that make them personal (age, job position, what they want for Christmas, etc)?
Defining these details can help your team personalize their interactions throughout every step of the sales process. But, unless your target audience is a group of exact clones, personas and ICPs won’t give you the full picture for each buyer you come across.
2. How do you research leads before getting in contact?
Your buyers might have traits that make them similar, but if you try to force-feed your product to every lead you come across, you won’t find much success, especially if you’re selling something that isn’t edible
What strategy is your team using to discover important pain points for each individual buyer? Looking them up on LinkedIn can only give you so much information about a company, so your team needs ways to learn about what’s going on behind the curtains.
Lead management software can be a great way to find out more than just your leads’ industry and what virtual seminar they’re holding next week. You’ll get insights into their company size, trends in their company growth, and what their company structure looks like.
Just make sure you have a surefire way to get in contact with them.
3. What system do you have for following up?
One of the most important skills to have in sales is…
Even five minutes can mean the difference between landing a sale and losing your prospects’ interest. So, when you’re building a sales process, it’s vital that you have a sound system for following up.
I’m not saying that you should wait by the monitor at all hours of the day so you can respond to every single person that shows interest. That would be unreasonable, and it would probably burn a hole through your retinas by the end of the first month.
A simple live chat tool or an automated email can keep their attention while your team makes the perfect follow-up message. Or, if they don’t respond, you can set timers and make calendars to remind your team to reach out again.
4. Can you make any part of your sales funnel faster?
The more time you spend between sales process stages, the more chances your client has to say the dreaded “no thank you, we’re good.” So, take a good look at what your team can do to speed up the process.
If you already have a sales process, consider what stages are lagging behind. Are there are any trends between your losses that can act as a learning experience? Is every one of your current touch points necessary? Are mounds of paperwork clogging up the path to a quick close?
You can also consider different automation software for your team. There are plenty of steps in each sales process that don’t take human hands to complete. Taking away a step or two in your funnel can free up more time for strategy development, prospect interaction, or even a coffee break to keep your team at the top of their game.
5. Can your team take great sales notes?
During each stage of the sales process, your team needs to be able to effectively track what their prospects’ are saying during sales calls and other forms of communication. But, just because someone can hold a pen and paper, that doesn’t automatically make them a modern-day Ernest Hemingway.
If their notes aren’t effective, they won’t have the right information to target their prospects’ pain points. But, if a salesperson has to pause during the conversation to make detailed notes during a call, it disrupts the flow of the conversation.
There are a few options to help your team take better notes. For example, you can teach them a few shorthand strategies that will give them the same information in less time. You could also give them software to record each sales call (with the prospects’ approval) so your team can pinpoint important details at a later time.
Just make sure they have ways to take notes without making it look like they’re completely ignoring the potential buyer.
Just don’t be afraid to stray away from the plan.
Sales processes can be great tools to offer your team some guidance without someone breathing down their neck. But, you should give your team the opportunity to change up the process if it makes sense for the situation.
They’re the ones at the desk, calling clients and researching their needs. So, if a “to-do list” isn’t getting the job done, their instincts might be just what your team needs to land a sale.