The Sales Process - Strategy, Tips And Tricks

Last updated: 2019-03-22

Here are some tips from the Whoisvisiting team on how to improve your sales process strategy and build a strong rapport with leads and prospects.

Essentially aiming to increase the chances of converting leads with the aid of industry specialised tips and tricks.

Early Stages Of The Sales Process

It is important when Introducing yourself at the first contact point of the sales process that you immediately look to establish familiarity by discovering the unique end goal for the individual case and what they want to achieve from their current process and situation. 

You can then tailor their journey in a far more targeted and customised manner rather than tarnishing all potential customers with the same brush.

It is a personal approach which is a lot more effective and respectable.

Consider your approach aggression to create a good relationship early on for touching base throughout the sales process.

Discover how frequently they like to communicate and if they want a phone or email follow-up so that you can work with their best interests catered for and not irritate them with unwanted contact.

sales aggression

Ask if they have any immediate questions and try to learn as much information about them as you can, so that you have an understanding of the working environment - traditional or digital, the culture and building a mental picture of how they operate day-to-day.

Listen to the prospect, take as many notes as you can of the small details for later reference.

These can be stored as weapons later on during the process and also to display that you are dealing with them as a unique case.

Discussing The Competition In Your Sales Process 

Mentioning your competition early in the sales process will initially give you an understanding of the position of the prospect.

Also contributing to the sales lead qualification and relevance of the prospect. 

How aware they are of your products or services and if they have used anything similar in the past or currently.

This will allow you to discover what they will be familiar with and what they won't be so assured with to establish a starting point going forward in the sales process.

This can save time and streamline the sales process as you are not re-iterating information which they already have.

It is also important that you are showing an industry knowledge and you are aware of how the competition operates in terms of techniques, strategies and USP's (unique selling points)

This builds a trust and authority of your position and experience. Highlight the competition's approach and the differences, but Never bad mouth competition directly. 

Be humble and modest, let the prospect say anything negative and respond -  "We have heard that before", rather than instigating a petty remark. 

competition

If you need to say bad things about your competitors to try and get ahead of them, then it suggests you have something to hide or that you are not confident enough in your own business to be better, naturally.

You are representing your business and the brand reputation attempting to portray a respectable picture and identity.

In the end, you want your quality and service to be the deciding factor in an unforced process.  Be open and transparent.

It is fine to mention your less-focused areas compared to others, and your strengths and advantages over theirs.

Being a thought leader for the industry and advising based on their needs and what is the best route for what they are looking to achieve.

Explain how you can use products, tools and services in conjunction, not in isolation, to improve the overall sum of the parts as productively as possible.

This is what will keep in the mind longer-term as you look to enter a partnership, not just a quick sale for the short term.

sum of the parts

Qualifying The Lead For Sale 

You need to be asking the right questions to discover if each lead is suitable to buy your product, service or tool, through numerous qualifications.

It is crucial that you look to minimise the opportunity costs of your efforts as you don't want to waste time trying to work with a lead which is not appropriate when that time can be channelled into others more likely to convert.

Don't spend time trying to fit square pegs into round holes.

It is not beneficial for anybody longer-term.

Need - Does this company need what you are providing in a legitimate way.

Budget - Can this company afford to pay up front or in instalments for your service.

Timing - Is this the right time for them to be investing in your service in terms of current growth situation, focus and direction.

Capacity - Does this company have the facilities, manpower and time to utilise your service.

Finding out this information as early as possible is key to the likeliness of conversion and helping you filter your sales process in terms of focus and priority.

Following Up 

Bearing in mind your follow up aggression, based on your early findings when initially making contact - you want to create a balance of progression and patience.

balance

The half-way point of a trial or sample period is ideal to reach back out. Discuss the current thoughts, and what could assist them going forward to improve their user experience. 

This is also an opportunity where you may set up a strategy to capitalise on positive communication.

Offering early deal discounts - rewarding decisive leads and incentivising them with better ROI.

By assessing the situation, you can judge whether this might be a worthwhile option to secure a deal and complete the sales process ahead of schedule.

early bird deal

Alternatively, it is here when you can go the extra mile and make further efforts to build on the relationship going forward applying additional knowledge and service.

This can pay dividends when it comes to the closing stage and might be the difference between completion or churn.

extra mile

Closing Sale 

The period of deliberation can be a frustrating time in the sales process, with all of the cards on the table and relevant information communicated,  as you swing back and forth, not always able to receive a clear or definitive answer in a reasonable time-scale.

closing sale

But you have to show patience and you’ve got to understand that they are inevitably exploring other options.

There is also going to be a complex chain effect for the whole package, with many other factors and people influencing or maybe restricting the decision-making ability. But of course, there are always going to be difficult prospects who are painfully indecisive to make a conclusion on your sale.

This is part and parcel of the game. You are helping them to see the benefits in the clearest way that you can - but ultimately, you are unable to force anybody into agreeing to a sale.

What Can You Do About It?

Being upfront and straight to the point may be the way forward with those who are hesitant and giving unclear signals.

Asking - "When might we expect a decision on this?" This is not impolite but is putting the issue right in front of them with nowhere to hide or deflect.

Of course, you do not want to jeopardise a potential sale, but asking when the next point of contact should be, gives you an organised and arranged follow-up opportunity to try once more to finalise the deal.

sales process

In that time you can think to yourself; what other information might be useful in order to help catalyse that decision. Or, what else can be provided, offered or guaranteed?

One route is to create an illusionary deadline in order to instigate an urgency from their side of the deal. This could be adapted to the set-up of your business offering for example:

  • There's a limited no of accounts available
  • Stock is running low
  • This deal expires on xxx date

Another useful tactic is to explain to the person who you are dealing with that you need an update to inform the accounts team or other members of the hierarchy. This can release an emotive reaction to speed up the process.

*** If applicable ***

Remember, coming back to your notes from the early stages of the sales process. Applying as much application to their personal business situation as you can. 

This improves the experience and the customer service which counts for so much. Always offering additional tips, demonstrations and adding value to their experience in any way possible. 

Eventually, there are only so many times that you can stress and make imperatively clear the savings or added value through return on investment/productivity/quality/necessity. But you must squeeze every ounce of potential to get the deal over the line.

Ending A Relationship

At the conclusion of the sales process, you want to make you finalise respectfully, no matter how frustrating the endeavour has been.

If successful, make clear that you are there for future reference and assistance at all times or stress the benefits of re-using your services. Make them aware that you would appreciate any referrals and potentially references for case studies.

If unsuccessful, politely ask why that is the case. Before ensuring if there is anything else which you could have done and how their experience was.  Remember to take note of when their alternative supplier contract would be up for review and ask if you can reach out to contact in the future.

Finally, wish them all the best,  and leave the conversation open-ended with the opportunity to return for further information.  

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