When Was the Last Time you Reviewed your Sales Process?
Don’t wait until your quarterly or annual numbers indicate it’s time to make a change. If your sales team works hard, but are challenged in getting consistently great results, your sales system may not be as effective as it needs to be. Hone in on what makes your product, service or business unique, and examine the steps you take to make a sale – you may find you are missing key opportunities to connect with your target market.
Don’t have a sales process in place? As we like to say at Accelerate ActionCOACH, “you either have a process to sell or a process not to sell.” Selling is about professionally helping people to buy your product. Without a well-defined, clearly communicated sales process, success and failure are random. Why not plan for success? A sales process helps provide measurable benchmarks to gauge how successful your salespeople are, as well as providing your customers with a positive and consistent experience no matter who they are talking to in your organization.
Start by Critiquing your Sales Flowchart
Your sales process flowchart shows the steps and possible actions that accompany the sale of your product or service. How many steps are in your sales process? Some experts say you should have at least five to nine steps. Depending on your product or your target market, not all sales actions may be about selling your product – they may be focusing on building a relationship with the customer, determining their needs, and working to find a solution to their problem with your products. How are you capturing their attention, interest, desire, and action?
Sell the Product’s Benefit, Not its Features
Start by answering this question from the customer’s perspective: “What’s in it for me?” This question should help you better understand your buyer’s goals, challenges and desires. Then, frame your product by selling your product’s BENEFITS instead of its FEATURES. To do this, explain how your product will improves your customer’s current situation. Share the value of your product by describing the financial impact of the purchase compared against the purchase cost.
Develop a Unique Selling Proposition and Guarantee
A strong Unique Selling Proposition (USP) cuts through the
clutter of all the sales pitches and advertising your customer is inundated
with every day. Highlight what makes you different from your competitors and
why your customers should do business with you. To develop your USP, write down
everything you can think of that is unique to your company, and break it down
into five to seven paragraphs. Next, take the most unique ideas and reduce it
down to seven sentences. Finally, take the seven sentences and use only seven
words to describe your uniqueness. Going through this exercise will give you a
good starting point for a powerful USP.
A guarantee is a promise addressing your customer’s key frustrations in buying from you. Pick out the one thing that people are scared of when purchasing your product or service, and guarantee that it won’t be a problem. Some examples are a dentist that guarantees “no pain,” or a hairdresser that guarantees “you will like your haircut and so will 98 percent of your friends.” Offer to refund their money or put things right if your company doesn’t live up to the guarantee. Once finalized, make sure you tell people and advertise it!
A Few Final Thoughts
When creating your sales process, be sure to identify who the decision-maker is for your product, and any potential gatekeepers you may need to work with in order to earn their business. Also, keep in mind that there are many different ways to communicate with potential customers and that not everyone is an auditory learner. By adding visual and kinesthetic elements to your sales pitch, you enrich the process and will leave a memorable impression that stands out amongst competitors.
Need help revamping your sales process? Contact us today!