Converting prospects is the most challenging aspect of the sales process and if you have a good plan and system in place, you are more likely to make sales and profits. The sales and conversion process can be quite complicated with a number of different steps in it. It can also span several days or weeks where the prospect can lose interest or look at competitors. If you want to have more conversions and earn more profits, you need a better-defined and carefully-planned sales process.
Why do you need defined sales process in business?
The sales process brings in leads, converts them to paying customers, and that generates revenue and profit. A well-organised process that's tracked and analysed carefully at every stage can provide a considerable amount of information regarding your customers, products, market trends, etc.
You need a defined sales process because that can provide consistent, measureable, and valuable information. It can help you analyse the techniques you used during a successful month and recreate them during a slow month to bolster sales and increase your bottom line.
A defined sales process also helps business owners and salespersons identify what works and what doesn't, and make changes based on that. But this process isn't just useful for tracking and analytics. It can help improve overall conversions and profits too.
How to create a defined sales process?
To create a defined sales process, you need to understand the thought process of the prospects. You can then plan your sales process based on how they will react to different marketing strategies and sales pitches. Here are some tips that can help you:
#1 Understanding Trust
Every time a customer makes a purchase, they place trust in the promises and assurances you provide. This trust isn't awarded blindly as customers will research products, services, and companies before they spend their money. They have easy access to product reviews, company information, testimonials, and other such factors.
Sometimes customers will trust a product or company without encountering even a single promotional campaign or ad, and would base their choice solely on reviews and recommendations given by their peers. In order to have a very successful sales process, you need to work hard to build this trust and establish a good relationship with your customer base. Their reviews, feedback, as well as online comments will help generate more trust in the long-term.
#2 Understand acceptance and resistance
These two concepts control sales and profits. When a customer accepts that a product or service benefits them and is worth the money they have to spend, they convert and make the purchase. The goal of all sales teams is to get this acceptance from prospects with the help of a defined sales process.
Acceptance requires time, effort, and the right sales technique. Resistance, on the other hand, comes naturally to customers. All prospects will resist products and services being sold to them at first. It's the responsibility of the sales team to identify the cause of the resistance and device effacing solutions that can help prospects overcome their apprehensions and convert.
#3 Types of resistance
There are two different types of resistance during the sales process and you need to overcome both of them in order to get prospects to convert.
- Initial resistance – The initial resistance is when customers first encounter your product or service but don't know anything about it. This resistance fades away with research, more information, and better understanding of the products and services offered. Thanks to the Internet and the information available only, the initial resistance fades away without much input and involvement from the sales team.
- Sales resistance – Most customers don't like being sold things. They don't like being compelled or coerced into making a purchase and parting with their hard-earned money. They develop a sales resistance; but once this initial resistance fades away it's the job of the sales team to bring them to acceptance. This resistance is a little more difficult to tackle because just providing information isn’t enough. The sales team also needs to prove the product is worth the prospect’s money.
#4 Resistance you can control and resistance you can’t control
Some resistance can be controlled and resolved. For example, if a customer is resistant because the product is too expensive, you can explain what its features, functions and benefits are; showcase why it’s expensive and how it’s worth the money. If necessary, you can also offer a small discount in order to soften their resistance.
However, sometimes there are factors outside your control that can have an impact on the sale. For example, if the customer is ill, or in a bad mood, or dealing with professional or personal problems, etc., they’ll be less likely to listen to your sales pitch, show interest and purchase a product. Under these circumstances, the sales person has no alternative but to let the prospect go at that point of time.
But you don’t need to discard a qualified lead entirely; you can use remarketing, ads, social media interactions, and a number of other such techniques to reach out to the prospect again. Once you understand these factors, you can then develop a better-defined sales strategy that delivers more conversions and significantly better profits.
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About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.