3 Things to Change in Your Sales Process This Year
In sales, if you’re not changing, refreshing, innovating, and moving forward, you’re going to fall behind and be at risk of going obsolete. With that in mind, it’s important to take the time to re-evaluate your sales process. What are some things that you should consider changing about the way you work with prospects and the way you close deals?
Here are a few common areas of your sales process that you should think about changing:
1. Inbound Lead Qualification
Many companies do not have any standard process in place for handling new sales leads that come into the company via phone or email. When a new prospective customer contacts you for the first time, what do you do? What happens? Are your new sales leads getting handled with the right level of care and attention, or are they falling through the cracks?
For example, many companies have all phone calls being routed to an administrative assistant or customer service call center, but these staff often do not have specific sales training. A new sales lead needs to be treated differently than an existing customer calling for a service issue. If the first contact with your company is inattentive or less than thorough, the prospect might not want to call back.
This is why you need to adjust your sales process right from the beginning to make sure it includes some upfront lead-qualifying questions for your new sales leads.
Start by asking some lead-qualifying questions: “How did you find out about our company?” “What issues are you having with your current solution?” “How soon do you think you might want to make a purchase?” These questions are open ended and will help you find out more information about what the prospect needs and how eager they are to buy. Then you can sort and rank the sales leads based on how urgently they are looking to buy.
2. Lead Nurturing
It’s easy to go after the low-hanging fruit of eager-to-buy, high-priority sales leads, but what happens if you have a great sales call, a great demo, and then … the client disappears? This is where you need to re-evaluate your long-term lead nurturing process. Keep your long-term sales leads in a database of contacts (even if it’s as simple as a spreadsheet for now) and keep following up with them over time.
3. ROI—Not Price
Many B2B companies still make the mistake of trying to compete on price. This is a bad move. You shouldn’t try to be cheaper than your competitors; you should try to show your buyers why your solution is the best value by demonstrating an ROI to them to show how much money your solution will help them save (or make). Add an ROI demonstration to your sales process and you will see more deals close.
It Only Takes a Few Small Changes
Sales is a complicated, never-ending process of building relationships with prospects, building trust, answering questions, and shepherding deals through the pipeline. Start by changing the way you handle incoming calls from new sales prospects—handle them with care and ask questions upfront to learn more about a prospect’s needs and assess how eager they are to buy.