Every business owner or salesperson needs to continually add new customers and increase sales in order to grow their business. So, it is important to have a well defined sales process to enable you to build consensus with prospective buyers at each critical juncture during the selling process to improve sales results.
Having a well defined sales process will help you improve close rates, shorten sales cycles and enhance the profitability of each sale. Here are some tips to help keep your sales on track:
Call on decision makers. 60% of a salesperson’s time is spent in front of people who can’t buy or will never buy their products or services. So, identify the key decision makers and influencers very early in the sales cycle, and work directly with them to improve your success rate.
Know where you are in the sales process. Think of your sales pipeline as a production line where raw materials (leads) go in at the top, and the finished product (sales) comes out at the end of the assembly line. Define the sales process at each phase, and the next steps in the sales pipeline, to help keep new projects on track and moving forward to closure.
Have a fallback plan. You are the most vulnerable right after the prospect has given the verbal approval, so keep your guard up. Have a fallback plan to cover all contingencies in case a pending sale starts to unravel prior to contract, and move stalled projects up or out of the pipeline in 30 days or less.
Work on balance, grasshopper. Balancing opportunities and risks in each category of your sales pipeline is critical to improved sales performance. This will help you minimize gaps between sales closings, and enable you to more effectively allocate resources to new projects where needed.
Stay the course. On average, 48% of sales people never follow-up, and only about 10% make more than three contacts with a prospective buyer. However, 80% of sales are made on the 5-12 contact. So, stay engaged with the prospect through closure to improve your win rates on new proposals.
Ask for the order. “We miss 100% of the sales we don’t ask for” – Zig Ziglar quote. Be prepared to close the sale at any point during the sales process when the prospect shows clear signs they are ready to buy.
Selling is a continuum process, so it is important to have a clearly defined sales process in place to help keep your sales on track. This will help you effectively manage sales cycles for each opportunity, while improving close rates, and enhancing the profitability of each new sale.
Good luck and good selling!
COPYRIGHT © 2010-11 John Carroll