A repeatable and effective sales process is key to scalable business growth, and it's a much more straightforward endeavour than you might imagine. 

Growing a business is hard, but fortunately, designing a uniform sales process doesn’t have to be.

The most important thing to remember is to establish clearly defined goals early on to ensure that your sales team is on the same course of action as you.

By developing and implementing a strategy that’s consistent across all of your customer segments and touchpoints, your sales team becomes a well-oiled machine that offers the same impeccable service and experience that is in line with your company’s bottom line.

Here are five steps to help you get started:

1. Segment your leads

Organizing your leads is the key to success. Business is done by people, and as such, there is enormous value in noting the unique attributes and preferences of each potential or existing customer.

From the industry they’re in, to their communication preferences, remembering the specific needs of each lead helps establish your sales team as more personable, relatable and thoughtful.

This level of personalization can only be achieved by segmenting your customers, either based on their industry, opportunity or other variables.

Lead segmentation can also help reduce the number of emails sent, increase the open rate for each message and help your sales team gain valuable insight into what does and doesn’t work.

Sales teams will be able to cater to customers in a more personalized way, which can lead to higher conversion rates because they feel like a person is reaching out to them, not Mailchimp.

2. Start with the full cycle in mind

Initiate the sales cycle with communication that’s warm and inviting.

The first point of communication should bring awareness of your product to the customer; it’s certainly not the time for a hard sell, though the time for this will surely come.

If you jump too early, you’ll be putting yourself at risk of alienating the potential customer even before they’ve had a chance to learn about what you have to offer. 

Use the first touchpoint to get to know the customer. When you better understand their desires and pain points, you’ll be able to craft a relevant message that speaks to their exact needs.

More importantly, see this first step as part of a larger story that’s weaved together through multiple touchpoints.

What is the key message you want to convey to this customer? Be brief, to the point and think carefully about a messaging tactic that will resonate with your target audience. 

You may also encounter customers who are familiar with your product and have already shortlisted you as a viable solution. Don’t be too pushy but do try to feel customers out.

Give every customer the opportunity to take action with a simple call-to-action that empowers them to move forward if so desired. 

3. Utilize feedback to refine your pitch

Customer feedback can dramatically enhance the effectiveness of your messaging and communications.

By analyzing email open and response rates from previous campaigns along with a customer sentiment audit, you’ll be able to uncover valuable insights on customer interest or lack thereof.

If the messaging you’re using is not hitting your engagement targets, take the time to evaluate the issue and try A/B testing different variations of your core message.

You might even find that you need to expand your predefined customer segments to ensure that all customers are being ushered down the most effective sales path for them. 

Utilising existing feedback on your outreach is important when optimizing your sales strategy.

You’ll quickly learn which types of messages and approaches work best on each group, and you’ll also be able to better identify which customer segments are proving to be the most valuable.

By regularly monitoring and adjusting your communications, you’ll create a much more efficient and lucrative sales pipeline.

4. Connect with your warmest leads

Once you get further along in your conversations, you’ll have a better sense of which leads are the most promising.

It’s now time to connect personally with each of your warmest leads. Offer to connect over a phone call or in person.

By doing so, you’ll be able to directly address any potential questions/concerns while creating a deeper connection with each lead.

If you’re lucky enough to generate many warm leads and haven’t done so already, you need to be utilizing a CRM to track and manage these relationships.

A CRM becomes increasingly important as the sales process progresses so it’s best you implement one early on.

The right CRM will ensure that you are maximizing the conversion potential of your warmest leads. 

5. Don’t be afraid to use incentives

Now that you’ve established rapport with potential customers, it’s time to close the deal. Start by sending a follow-up reminder with the key benefits and solutions of your product/service.

At this point, your lead should have all pertinent information about your product/service so keep it short, simple and to the point.

If they’re still on the fence, try presenting them with a limited-time promotion to give them an immediate incentive to convert right then and there.

Rather than dwelling on the lost revenue from the promotion, consider the potential lifetime value that customers can provide.

In conclusion...

Creating a scalable and repeatable sales process is a relatively straightforward endeavor but the true challenge is remembering to continually adapt your processes to the needs of your customers.

When you have a clearly defined process in place, it becomes much easier to scale your sales team and keeps them focused on what they do best: close deals.

Shaun Haase

Published 23 June, 2016 by Shaun Haase

Shaun is the Chief Marketing Officer at ProsperWorks, and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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