Eight-step process to more successful sales Jonathan Viney of JV Consultancy Group
5th January 2023
As the marketplace gets tougher, business gets harder to win and your salesforce needs to up its game. When you have those few prospects in front of you, you have to win them.
1. Prospecting: It is essential to have a plan for prospecting. Identify the market you want to attack, the ways you source the companies and the key contacts in them. Also necessary are the correct tools and techniques to grow a consistent and predictable pipeline and avoid the sales peaks and troughs which many companies experience.
2. Qualify: Ensure you can efficiently deliver the company's requirements.
3. Relationship: Business relationships are key to winning more business and need to be developed over time, with the right skills and experience. This step must never stop, as you strive to become your customers' trusted advisor.
4. Identify needs: The next step is to profile and identify what is required. Lots of people will tell you what they want, but not what they need, because often they don't know. Understanding needs is achieved through strong business relationships. You can then equate the value of what you are delivering. This is very useful in discussions about the value of your product and services, rather than the price.
5. Decision-making unit: When you are selling, there is always a DMU, which involves a decision-maker, a user and an influencer. Their levels of impact will vary and have an effect on how a final decision is made. It is essential that you have a relationship with all parties to enable you to construct the right deal.
6. Sales strategy: Once you have all the information and know who's involved, how are you going to approach this situation? Are you going to try and win the deal outright? Whatever you decide, it is vital you have a sales strategy for every opportunity.
7. Implement: Whilst the solution is being implemented, ensure you have an agreed timeline, so the customer has realistic levels of expectation. Constant communication with the DMU will improve customer satisfaction levels and the client relationship.
8. Manage and upsell: Many companies give a good service, but don't account manage their customers. Good account management is reviewing how the service is delivered against the original requirements, typically quarterly. When this is done well, you have an open door to selling other solutions to the customer, as well as asking for referrals.
By using this process, you will identify the real value you provide to customers. Most buyers talk about price, because that's the lowest common denominator, but if they understand the real value of your solution, they will appreciate the price you are charging.
The value isn't always in pounds and pence, there is often a personal reason or benefit. Many salespeople don't ask the right questions to understand the value of their product or solution, and therefore miss the chance to charge the right price, which normally and unfortunately results in a deal being won by discounting the price.
There is no doubt that all salespeople will benefit from receiving regular sales training, and using the above process will deliver growth.
Each of these steps happens in every sale. One of the most important steps is building a business relationship with your customer. Without this, you won't find out what their true needs are.
When a customer needs to buy something, a good salesperson will question why they need it and what it will deliver to the company and the people involved in the DMU.
In sales, you are only as good as the weakest step in your sales process. The companies I have worked for have become more successful because they adhere to a solid sales process.
Give your sales team the right training and a good sales process, and I guarantee you will increase your sales.
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