Dive into the components of a successful sales process in this video.
- One of my favorite sports to play growing up was basketball. I can remember the grueling two-week camps that preceded the season. We ran sprints and we ran more sprints and then we ran again. We learned plays, ran those plays and then ran them again. The weeks leading up to the season were quite monotonous and quite frankly a little boring. I couldn't wait to get to the first game. The first game was always so exhilarating. We worked so hard, had a great game plan, and now got to compete for real. By the end of the night, there'd be a winner and a loser. No two ways about it. The day after the game, we would spend a couple of hours watching film with our coach and he'd point out areas that we did really well and maybe areas we didn't execute. The next day, we started practice and planning for the next team and the process started all over again. Essentially, just like most competitive sports, sales has a series of activities that takes place prior to the sales call, then a sales call, and then a series of activities that happen after the sales call. The elements of an effective sales process fall into one of these three categories. The first is the pre-sales activity which falls into two subcategories: planning and preparation. In the planning phase, you perform activities such as prospect identification, product research, industry research, competitor research, and call strategy. In the preparation phase, you take the information you gleaned in the planning phase, put it into a written call plan with clear objectives and goals, create the appropriate presentation materials and/or tools, build the best stories, anticipate customer objections, and practice for the call. Yes, I said it, practice. For the vast majority of organizations, stage one, the pre-sales activity stage, is the weakest link in the sales process. Imagine if I'd just shown up to the first basketball game without any of the proper planning and preparation. Sure, my natural skills may have prevented me from looking like a complete fool, but it would be clear to most that I didn't know the plays, wasn't in good shape, and didn't have a handle on the team I was playing. Take this stage seriously and you'll already have a leg up on most of your competitors who simply show up and wing it. The next stage is the customer engagement stage. This is where the planning and preparation get demonstrated at game time. Customer engagement requires a process within the process to maximize your results. Most sales processes have some sort of in-call flow they recommend to the salespeople. The one I teach that has had incredible results for folks flows like this: create connection, followed by identify and prioritize the issues, followed by create credibility, followed by solving the problem. You know this as the presentation portion. Followed by handling any objections and it ends with gaining commitment. In the next lesson, we'll help you get more details behind how to put this model to work in your sales process. Finally in stage three, post-sales activities, is where we close the loop on the process. In this stage, we do things like solution implementation, customer service and support, gather customer feedback, and get the feedback from our manager or coach on what went well and how we can improve the next call. Much like the pre-sales stage, we tend to overlook many aspects of the post-sales stage once we've gained a business. The reality is this stage is critical to your long-term customer loyalty and results in significant increases in cross-selling opportunities. Research shows time and time again that it's infinitely easier to sell to a current happy customer than trying to bring on a brand new one. Treat your customers accordingly. These are the three stages in the elements contained within a good sales process. In the next lesson, you'll begin to build your own or modify the one you have for maximum impact.
- The philosophy of sales
- Identifying potential customers
- Exploring buying motivators
- Communicating the power of your solution
- Developing an effective sales process