Sales: Sales' job is to help prospects overcome their fear so they can commit to something they'll end up glad they invested in.
Marketing: The goal of marketing is to make it easy for the salespeople to manage the buy step.
"SALES" is not a four letter word!
Sales is the system that creates business and since you are in business you are a SALES person. Unless you are taking orders via the internet as in most B2C business, personal professional interface - selling - is needed to complete the buy phase of the Hourglass Tactic Plan (more on that later).
A professional sales process begins when an organization starts looking at sales from existing customers view point as all revenue generation is based on customer experience. In the diagram below notice that a great customer experience spawns:
- customer Rebuy;
- the Ideal Client definition;
- the Referral champion;
- the Buy Step
- and ultimately the grand prize, more incremental revenue.
Now the challenge is developing a professional sales culture in your organization that revolves around process, skills, and attitude.
Lets take a closer look.
Lead Conversion in Three Steps = Discovery, Presentation, and Transaction
The marketing process has brought you a lead, so most of the heavy lifting has been done. As in one of the oldest sales paradigm the Attention, Interest, Conviction steps (now called Know, Like, Trust) are completed when the prospect raises their hand asking to "Try" your offering. Now its your job to create Desire and Close (Buy step) the sale thru lead conversion.
- DISCOVERY = You will use your knowledge of industry, competition, product and most important value to discover the prospect's true intentions. In other words the lead must have Money, Authority, and Need. Are they a Yes, No, or Maybe prospect for a buy transaction today?
- PRESENTATION = Depending on the answers in the discovery step you will decide to proceed with one of two presentations:
1. A presentation aimed at the prospect that is not quite ready to buy. This is a quick overview leading them to a multi faceted nurture program;
- TRANSACTION = When you make a conversion call from your lead generations efforts, expect to convert the prospect to a client and simply move the meeting to the next phase. Don't be one of the multitude of business people who do not have a process to isolate the customer's needs, communicate key information and move to a buy transaction.
Here's where traditional selling techniques play a hugh part. As much as we don't want to be referred to as "SALES people" it still remains that several traditional sales skills will serve us well.
- Questions = Learn the 4 styles of questions the best of which is the open ended question.
- Give preference to prospects that fit your PPP, but
- Don't be to quick to qualify as what the prospect say they want may not be what they need.
- Don't talk past the sale. This is one of the most important sales skills to acquire. (Watch The Shark Tank TV show to see how this mistake costs needy entrepreneurs millions of dollars.)
Very simply, developing a culture of revenue generation is dependent on a very important principal. Every employee is a sales person whether customer facing or back room bound, or on the phone with customers or making command decisions.
- Marketing and sales communications skills should be broadcast to all employees.
- Recognition for successful sales effort should be given freely.
- When interviewing, look for the traits of a sales person in all your hires no matter what positon you are filling.
General Sales Thoughts
Whether or not you like "selling" it is the life blood of any growing business. Make decisions about revenue generation the same way you would any other part of your business. Too many times, one off those decision, "hire a sales person," is an emotional decision rather than one that reflect the strategic plans of the firm. Wanting to delegate more of one's work is admirable but be aware that managing sales people can be a full time job in itself and most business owners have never had education let alone experience in selecting and developing a savvy sales staff.
More Info on the subject of marketing success is available to you here.
DevCom is exerpienced with helping SME's organize their sales efforts, revenue generation efforts, and implement important sales skills. To learn more about DevCom's experience contact us today!