Having an organized sales process is key to building a sustainable small business. A sales process is an organized system to create an offer that persuades others to pay you in exchange for your product or service. In order to meet your monthly sales goals, It’s best to develop an integrated sales process. That is a system that brings in sales based on repeatable actions that predict conversions for each step in the process. It’s measurable and predictable.
Here is how to develop an integrated sales process:
Develop a Sales Strategy: A sales strategy is best laid out in a sales plan. It is your roadmap for generating leads and closing sales. It should include revenue goals such as how much money you plan to generate on an annual, quarterly, and monthly basis. It should explain exactly where your leads are going to come from. It also defines the sale messages you will share with target customers. Don’t struggle to build the plan include team members, especially your salespeople.
Build the Pipeline: You must always be working on generating leads, and sometimes those leads are existing customers. You need to have a process for building a sales pipeline and tracking customer contacts. Set sales goals for a given week, month, or quarter. As you understand your sales cycle, you may need to nurture a relationship six to 12 months until a new budget cycle creates an opportunity or an existing vendor makes a mistake. We call these trigger events.
Track Your Sales Leads: Your sales plan can be tracked in a spreadsheet or CRM system, such as Insightly. The key is to monitor your lead conversion ratios against your revenue goals. If you create a data-driven sales culture, you will be able to add additional salespeople with ease. It’s important to understand how many leads must you generate to meet your monthly sales goals.
Automate the Sales Process: There are several software tools, such as, Salesforce, HubSpot, and Infusionsoft that make automating the sales process easy. Track ongoing sales activities and lead traffic channels–referrals, networking, upselling, cross-selling, direct mail, paid search, organic search, social media, exhibitions, PR, and response to website promotions. You should track open rates, and test sales messages with your target customers. If you use automation to create a predictable sales process, you can guarantee sales will grow.
Sell, Sell, Sell: In order to make a sale, you must ask for the business. You must make an offer to a customer willing to buy to make a sale. You must build offers into your sales process. Cross-selling is the art of getting existing customers to spend a little more money with you. Amazon is one the best I’ve seen at this. They always let you know what customers like you also purchased. And it doesn’t take a whole lot to upsell. It could be something as simple as a “Buy one, get a second item half-off” deal.
Thank Customers: No one owes you business. Be sure to thank your customers for their business. Showing gratitude with a personal call or note of thanks can go a long way. Over-deliver if you can. Surprise a customer with early delivery of their products. If you build a relationship and constantly add value to the relationship you will have a customer for life.
Building an integrated sales process is the best thing you can do to generate and watch your revenue grow.
Melinda is a founder and president of Quintessence Group, an award-winning marketing consulting firm based in Philadelphia, PA, serving Fortune 500 brands who target small businesses.