7 steps that will help you structure a consistent sales process

Check out tips to have a magical moment of connection with your potential customer.

A few days ago I was invited by a client to whom I consult to attend the presentation of a new solution in Digital Marketing. It was interesting: I came across a scene that showed the total lack of preparation of a Digital Marketing agency in closing a deal.

A sales professional has been assigned by a senior executive at his agency to visit a potential lead and finalize a deal initiated at an event. This event took place a week earlier, when companies in a certain market segment were impacted by an unmissable offer.

Apparently, the briefing was: “Lead only needs to formalize the contract, as a pre-purchase document is already signed”. In fact, the Lead in question, my client, had reported being anxious to know in detail the presented solution and understand how it could add value to his business.

All the main controllers of the company and myself were gathered in the room. Meeting started, the designated salesperson went straight to the point, thanked him for the opportunity, said he had come from another city just for that meeting and that he was happy to be able to formalize the deal. He immediately started talking about his product. He gave a 30-minute presentation praising his solution, demonstrating that he was the only one to deliver such a “mix of solutions” and saying that his company was one of the largest in the Digital Marketing segment.

At the end of the exhibition, he asked if there were any doubts and what they needed to decide and close the contract right there. The company’s controllers were cold, immobile, as each understood only disconnected parts of everything that was presented. There was no magic moment of connection between the consultant and the potential client.

Insecure and unable to establish a point of unity for conducting the topic, the seller resorted to his best argument: his product. And, reaffirming the value of his solution, he continued to speak to himself and, little by little, a sepulchral silence was established. The meeting ended, everyone said goodbye, the pre-purchase document was canceled and the deal was not closed.

Moral of the story:  A business that was practically bought by the client was lost due to the agency’s lack of competence in consistently managing its sales process.

Couldn’t the same be happening at your agency?

Marketing agencies are reinventing themselves, it’s true! Inbound Marketing shook the universe of consumers, businesses and especially the marketing agencies. In this process of accelerated metamorphosis, much has been done. It is common to see agencies trying to better understand their clients’ needs and making great efforts to develop valuable solutions with great market appeal. Agencies are doing Inbound Marketing themselves, generating Leads and seeking to educate, nurture and warm them up with rich content and automation flows.

But, when it comes to selling, are they having the necessary competence to understand what value is for the customer? What can your offer really add value to, to the point of creating a perception of need – and even a sense of urgency – about the solution for this company, something that effectively justifies them to sign the check?

These questions can be summarized into two key questions:

  1. Does your agency have a well-defined process for generating value for your potential clients like that of smart city Lahore ?
  2. Does your sales team know how to create a solution vision that demonstrates the potential to create value for your customer and lead them through a journey from buying to closing?

It is common for “marketers” to delight in their solutions more than the customers themselves. And because of that, sometimes sales are lost. Your agency should not incur this error. For that, you need to structure a model that allows you to have an efficient sales process.

How to structure a sales model that allows the agency to have an efficient sales process?

The sales team of bahria hills will show you how to structure a consistent 7-step sales process:

1. Define the persona for your services

Knowing which the ideal profile for your service is is essential, it is the starting point. I know you know this, but it doesn’t hurt to remember. Define the demographic profile, age, gender, educational background, profession, city or region you live in, consumption habits, transport habits, communication, food, leisure, relationships.

2. Discover your Persona’s pain, without it there is no point in changing!

Persona pain is the set of valid motives that lead a person or organization to move toward a goal, goal, or achievement. Pain can be a need, a critical issue, or a potential opportunity that is not being explored. There are three levels of pain:

a) Latent pain, which occurs when the Lead is not aware of a latent problem, is unaware of its nature and impacts and is not looking for a solution now. Most customers are at this level. This is the level of awakening;

b) Admitted pain, cases in which the Lead recognizes the existence of the problem or need, but does not know how to solve it. Lead talks about the situation but is not doing anything to resolve it. This is the level of educating;

c) In the solution view, the Lead assumes responsibility for solving the problem and is able to visualize what is needed to solve it. This is the level of acting.

3. Design your customer’s shopping journey

It sounds simple, but it isn’t! The customer’s shopping journey is not just the definition of pain, solution and obvious objections to the purchasing decision. Defining the shopping journey involves mapping the customer’s mental model. That is: how he observes the world around him, how the facts impact him, what kind of feelings or sensations are aroused when exposed to situations in which his pain manifests itself, how he acts in the situation of discomfort (if he is passive or reactive), what questions do you ask yourself to verify the problem, to those who seek to define their own diagnosis, to those seeking to find possible solutions, to those who usually listen to evaluate alternatives, if their decision-making process is individual, shared or delegated etc. To structure the customer’s purchasing process, try to define the phases of the journey, the tasks you perform in each phase, the decisions you need to make and the way to decide.

4. Design your agency’s sales process

Very well. Now, having defined the customer’s purchase journey, you must prepare the sales process for your services. This task consists of establishing the essential routines to build an operational sales flow in which each phase of the sales journey corresponds to an equivalent phase of the customer’s purchase journey.

5. Build the sales funnel of your products or services

The sales funnel is the materialization of the sales process. It needs to be structured into phases, steps, evidence, tasks, support materials that will help your sales force safely drive each opportunity through the sales funnel.

6. Define your KPIs

There is no way to manage any process without efforts and results metrics. Define critical indicators for lead generation, opportunities, conversions, sales life cycle (LTV), average ticket, efforts made, average time to perform activities, etc. Different types of solutions require different types of metrics – understand which ones are essential for your agency.

7. Choose a CRM

Using CRM is critical to managing sales force activities. Many companies choose CRM based on affinities rather than technical assessments. It is very difficult to define whether a CRM is suitable when there is no defined management model. Building the sales process and sales funnel allows the agency to define the ideal tool for their business. Once the tool has been chosen, adapt your documents and supporting materials. And, last but not least, train your team to master the sales process, record all useful information in CRM, analyze metrics and periodically redefine your objectives, goals and strategies, aiming to deliver results in the most consistent way.

My consideration

If the agency in the case reported at the beginning had a properly structured sales process, the outcome could be different. The history of Lead generation, the actors involved in it, the stage of identification of their pain and possible solutions, as well as their level of interest and education about the solution offered by the agency would be duly registered and shared and, possibly, the seller, if trained, he would have handled that opportunity much more efficiently, bringing the sale to a close.