Many come to me as they plan their first sales process and teams, seeking guidance. The best startups are those in which the founders are actively involved in designing the project, or have themselves performed early sales of their startups. Not just startups, every business needs its employees to be more effective, consistent, and reliable in both their roles and their customer interactions.
For tech entrepreneurs who are looking for some step by step guidance for their businesses or startups, here’s how you create a sales process from the ground up.
Step-1 Start customer outreach as early as possible
To build the sales process the best thing you can do is get out there as early as possible. This prospecting may include online work on such platforms as LinkedIn or Quora. However, this may also take place at business conferences or events. You may also prospect by asking established customers or colleagues to refer to individuals who may be interested in your product or service. Spend a week, just a couple of days, picking up the phone and calling the customers cold and getting an idea of how best to connect with them.
Step-2 Formulate some qualifying criteria
Qualifying criteria is a set of characteristics that make a lead a successful, or eligible, candidate for buying your product. So, this is very helpful in the sales process. Sounds pretty straightforward, but many entrepreneurs have no idea what they need to learn about a customer to make a sale!
So how do you formulate and track qualifying criteria?
Common criteria for leads are:
Will your product solve their pain point?
Does your product save them money?
How will your product save them time?
Is your product in their budget?
Are they using a competitor’s product and paying for it?
How fast can they make a buying decision?
Well, It’s best to develop just five criteria based on what you think you need to know about a buyer, and then reach out to a subset of customers.
Step- 3 Establish a sales script
A good call script is a great way for you to guide a customer through your sales process from start to finish, while showing them the value of your product/service.
A call script typically has the following sections:
- Qualifying questions
- Q&A about features, pricing, and next steps
- Asking for the close
- Managing customer objections
- Establishing the next steps
Developing a script is an iterative process, but begins with research. Know your product and how it fits into the market, and find a way to convey that as simply as possible to the customer. In case, you can try some free templates. Over the phone, your representative can ask qualifying questions such as:
- “Please explain your role in this company”
- “How do you work every day?”
- “What question do you want to solve?”
- “Why is this a priority for your business?”
- “What more options are you assessing?”
Step-4 Establish a conversion funnel
A “reverse” technique should be used to create a conversion funnel. Build a list of deals that you would like to see closed over a week or even a month. So ask yourself, “How many successful opportunities/deals do I need to qualify to reach the target to close so many deals?” It is called a conversion rate. This is an essential part of the sales process. Using the conversion rates you can estimate (be conservative), decide how many calls/emails, or leads produced, you need to schedule the target number of calls per week.
Step-5 Optimize implementation
Sales will not end in closing. As a salesperson, you need to make sure the client is incorporated effectively, so that means a smooth handover to the support staff. Communicate with your customer support team while you build your selling plan, and check-in with your customers to see how they are doing. For a good sales process, you should find fast ways to improve the methods that make sure your customers stick around. It is also important to obtain customer references which are vital to getting a new business off the ground!
Step-6 Keep on iterating
Just because it works doesn’t mean it’s the only way to do it. Ensure sure the method is regularly stress-tested to find out what’s wrong. Your script can still be a little clunky, emails may not produce the response rates you would like, or your conversion rates may be too poor. Don’t get stuck doing anything because it works “well enough.” Lack of iteration is what keeps businesses from making a great sales process! Nevertheless, It ‘s important that you do some of this early outreach and help build the selling process for your product. Early interaction with customers will give some of the best feedback as you look to enhance your product or service.
Usually the presentation stage is when your salesperson performs a formal presentation of your product or service for your prospect. This step is time-consuming, usually falls deeper into the sales process and is reserved for more serious prospects which is why the step of communicating and qualifying is so critical. Unless it is avoidable, you wouldn’t want your reps to waste any of their precious time.
So, Every presentation of the sales process should be customized to match the specific use case and pain points of the individual prospect. Additionally, a rep can bring an engineer or executive with them to the meeting to show the quality of service the customer provides while doing business with your company. It also helps them to respond to more complex issues that might not be best suited for writing on.
These are 7 basic steps to start the sales process. Mapping and designing this process would allow your team to close more deals and turn more leads. It would also ensure that the team delivers the same sort of consistent experience, reflective of the brand, to any prospect. If you need any suggestions, Contact me here.