An effective sales strategy and process can make all the difference in a highly competitive market. Unfortunately, many small business owners and entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed when it comes to sales; either they don’t like ‘selling’ or don’t have enough time to follow a structured process.
In this guide, we’ll look at the top eight things you can do to improve your sales process, win more business and increase your profits.
Step one: A sales winning attitude
Many small business owners believe that only salespeople can sell. This just isn’t the case. Anyone can sell. The only difference between you and ‘salespeople’ is attitude.
When business is good, and you’re busy doing the stuff you love, the first thing to drop is usually marketing and sales. However, neglecting these core functions can have a potentially devastating impact on your sales pipeline and cash flow if you’re not careful. So, even if you hate sales, make sure you set time aside to prepare for the future.
Learn more about adopting a sales winning attitude.
Step two: Building a successful sales pipeline
The sales pipeline, or sales board, is a set of defined stages that a prospect moves through to become a customer. Each businesses’ pipeline might be different, but its objective should always be to keep track of progress and maximise conversion.
Learn more about building a successful sales pipeline.
Step three: Sales meeting preparation
There are two schools of thought when researching a company before that first sales meeting; either you can thoroughly investigate the company or go straight in there without doing any research at all.
Regardless of your prefered approach, it’s always best to understand a bit about the company and the industry they operate within before you meet with them. Nothing stalls the progress of a meeting more than making the wrong assumptions or delivering incorrect information.
Learn more about preparing for a sales meeting.
Step four: Conducting a sales appointment
Remember, people buy from people. So it’s always best to establish a rapport with your prospective customer. You’ll find people open up more, give you more information and will sometimes tell you exactly how to win their business. Ultimately, the key to a successful sales meeting is to listen to the client and directly answer how your product or service is the solution.
Step five: Quote based on value, not price
Many businesses, especially small businesses, believe that they need to be ‘low cost’ to win business and be competitive against more established companies – this is not the case.
Quoting your solution based on value, not price, will increase sales and boost your profits. If you understand the customer’s pain points, this should be easy enough to demonstrate.
Step six: Writing a winning sales proposal
Sending a quote or proposal to a client may seem like a basic step in your sales process, and something that must be done after a meeting. However, it can be one of the most powerful, tangible sales tools you have. So don’t underestimate its value.
The proposal you send your client is perhaps one of the only tangible references to your compelling sales pitch, so you must make sure it’s personalised, get’s your value proposition across and is easy to understand.
Step seven: Follow-up
After each meeting, quote or proposal, don’t forget to follow up. Your customers are just as busy as you are, so sometimes they’ll forget to take action. In addition, prospective clients may have questions they’ve since thought about after your meeting or receiving your proposal; a follow-up call gives you the chance to address these.
Step eight: Customer care and up-sell
Once the sale is complete in larger organisations, customers may transfer over to an account manager or to the customer service team to handle any further communications. However, in small businesses, it’s usually best for the salesperson to stay in contact with the customer.
Keeping in contact with your customer will help you understand how they’re getting on with the product or service, allowing you to provide aftersales care; you will also have the opportunity to up-sell additional services.
How ETC can help
If you need help with your marketing and obtaining new clients, please get in touch.
If you are new to ETC, why not contact us for a free new business review? We’ll spend two hours with you, giving you professional coaching and will leave you with actions for immediate implementation.