The holy grail of sales is predictable revenue. But predictable revenue isn’t easy to accomplish. To get there takes a consistent approach to following your sales process, and measuring performance at every step.
What Is The Process?
This sales process is called “how selling,” and it changes the conversation. Teach salespeople to stop talking about why their product is so great, and instead help them change the conversation to focus on how to use their product and resources to help their customers get the ROI they need.
For decades, “why selling” was the only type of selling media salespeople did. We were all taught to show prospects and clients all the great things about our audience while highlighting the new features we were rolling out. Here’s the problem: Buying has changed dramatically — but selling has not.
Your clients are much more informed now. A few minutes on Google lets them get all the demographic information they want, as well as the complete history of your company and its competitors.
In order to be successful, selling must change too. That’s why “how selling” is so effective. “How sellers” become invaluable resources for their clients, and that’s a critical first step in building a repeatable process.
This system involves seven critical steps.
7 Steps To The How Selling Process
Step 1. FIND. This first step is all about prospecting. Whether you have a marketing department generating prospects for your sales department or you are asking your salespeople to find prospects on their own, this first step is a critical part of the sales process. A good sales department has a steady flow of leads or prospects that they are constantly able to evaluate and nurture.
Step 2: SELECT. There’s not enough time in the day to chase down every prospect that pops up. A disciplined approach is necessary for success. That’s why it is very important to always use the exact same criteria when separating the good prospects from the not-so-good ones. Having a set ideal customer profile will help you make sure that minimum criteria are established for each prospect.
Step 3: APPROACH. Once a salesperson has the prospect in sight, the next step is to secure an appointment. In today’s world, getting an appointment is hard work, so planning your approach is key to success. Technology like caller ID, e-mail, and voicemail has made it easier than ever for prospects and clients to avoid a meeting, so, to secure a quality appointment, salespeople need to offer a solid, valid business reason to meet.
Step 4: DEFINE. Once the salesperson has the appointment, it is critical that they don’t just show up and pitch (that’s the old way). They must do their homework first and arrive with valuable insights they can share, with many well thought-out topics and questions to discuss. The main goal of this step is to discover the opportunity and confirm that it will be of value to the client.
Step 5: SOLVE. With a clear understanding of what the challenge or opportunity is for the prospect or client (as defined in Step 4), the salesperson is now ready to solve. When done right, this crucial step is what allows the seller to go back to the client with confidence that their idea will work and garner real results.
Step 6: CONFIRM. This is the step in which the salesperson closes the deal. In this system, there is no need for a hard sell. If you have completed the earlier steps the right way, this step in the sequence is simply about getting the sign-off on the proposal.
Step 7: DELIVER. It’s time to get results! No doubt you want revenue to grow year over year, and that means client attrition has to decrease. The only good way to ensure this is to make sure that the advertising is actually working and that your clients are getting results.
Follow these seven steps, and you’re on your way to establishing a sales process and culture that will generate consistent and predictable revenue.
Matt Sunshine is managing partner of the Center for Sales Strategy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org