(We are privileged to have our colleague and good friend, Mike Boyle, on board as he shares his valuable inputs on how small business owners can create an efficient sales process. Thanks Mike for taking the time to put this together!)
A streamline and efficient sales process is the desire of many small business owners. Beyond that, it is often considered mythical, unattainable.
Most organisations have staff rolling eyes or looking vague when asked to detail their sales process. However, in reality it is quite simple.
A sales process will be different for each organisation or business, and possibly different again for each product or service. Achieving one takes nothing more than a little time, an open mind and a representation of the people involved with the product or service.
It is a five-step process that takes nothing more than pens, paper and sticky notes to document. And it goes like this!
Map out the steps of a successful sales encounter. On a sticky note label each step in the process. People from different areas of the business can contribute to detail every step from “Hello” to “sale made”.
Do it again. Pick another successful example and map it out again. At the end of the process make a list of each step that worked. Make another list of each step that didn’t and consider why or how it could be improved?
Here we map out the steps of a sales encounter that failed. Identify why? Compared to the successful sales process where did this one go wrong? Often we see that a sale has failed to be achieved because a step in the sales process was missed or skipped.
Now is the time to pop on a new set of lenses. From our perspective, what do we need to do if we are going to make the process better, more customer-centric? List your thoughts here and identify any solutions and possible changes to the existing sales process.
This final step is the most vital in this activity because it focuses on the essential element in all sales processes – the customer. We are going to map the customer buying process. Pretend you are a customer and from that perspective identify how you buy from us? What steps do you undertake? What would you be looking to achieve at each stage?
Step back and consider what you have before you. You will have uncovered the exact number of steps you need to document your new successful sales process.
It is amazing to see that sometimes steps that have been identified as essential in an organisations documented sales process are indeed inconsequential. Similarly, customers need to cover off certain steps to feel confident to continue on in the sales process with us. What we need to recognise is that the steps in our sales process must include those touch-points that are essential to customer while allowing the effective provision of product or service within the company.
The total outcome of looking at the journey a customer takes when buying from your organisation is to adapt the processes your organisation needs to make a sale, to a process that will give you the greatest chance of turning that interaction into a sale.
It may sound like a lot of effort and work to undertake these five steps but the outcomes are greater than a streamline sales process exists. An added benefit of your time and effort is that you now have the foundation elements of a Sales Pipeline. But that’s another story…
Please have a look at my Sales Process video on Banjar TV You Tube Channel.