Focusing on sales is a no-brainer, but for many business-to-business companies, defining a process can be a challenge. Often, approaches and steps evolve depending upon the client and type of project. Companies can often see it as limiting and arbitrary to create a plan, because each sale is so different. However, when you take the time to define your sales process, two important things happen:
- You set the pace for every sale and keep things moving forward.
- Your company and brand appear more cohesive to clients.
Defining your sales process can completely change the effectiveness of your efforts and save your team valuable time. To identify yours, we recommend you:
- Start by writing down the steps of a typical cycle. Think in a high-level way and place them in the order they happen.
- Now, add in any extras that occur occasionally.
- Looking over your notes, see where there are pinch points or spots where sales often stall out.
- Consider which items could be automated, streamlined or done in groups.
- Take a hard look at your list and determine which things aren’t working.
- Think about how they could be improved or reworked.
- Once you’ve developed your master process, begin to modify it based on how the lead came in.
For example, your approach should be different for colder, conference list leads than it is with those who reach out to you directly. Make sure you’re spending the bulk of your time on the most likely prospects.
Now, that you’ve developed a guide for each sales cycle, create a master document like the one shown below for each of your lead sources. Share each scenario with business development associates, so that everyone starts following the same schedule and working in tandem.
This final step is an impactful one. Take the time to create standard emails and any other materials you use over and over again. Know that you will customize correspondence as you go; however, having these in place will make the process more efficient, consistent and simpler. Creating items, like presentation templates, elevator speeches and proposal verbiage, ahead of time allows you to focus on personalization for each client. Work closely with your marketing department to ensure materials are on brand and that your efforts are aligned with one another for the greatest impact.
Need help reviewing your sales cycle? Contact us to learn more.