The purpose of the sales process is to effectively convey the benefits you offer to a prospective client.
There are many elements that go into a sale, each being as in depth and important as the next. Setting realistic sales targets can help you meet your overall business goals. Sales techniques are used to convert more potential customers into paying customers, and while the closing of a sale is the end goal, maintaining a good relationship afterwards is crucial. Sales are all about a cohesive strategy and execution.
Before the sale
Every business is different and sales goals will vary depending on the different stages of the business cycle. Setting sales targets in areas that will boost growth and development will help direct and prepare business owners for the sales process. Sales targets will vary according to seasonal factors, marketing, production and supply costs. A good way to work out a sales target for your business is to calculate the minimum requirements. To determine your minimum sales requirement, work out how much you need to sell to cover fixed costs, your salary, and desired profit. Sales targets need to be realistic and take into consideration external factors, such as the economy, competition and volatile markets. These variables will significantly impact sales goals and therefore, it is critical to constantly monitor the business’ environment to adjust sales targets accordingly. Setting goals purely based on the previous year’s sales can be damaging to a business and lead to over-ambitious sales targets.
During the sale
A sales prospect can usually identify when a salesperson is running off an agenda. This approach can appear insincere and impersonal, thereby creating the opposite effect and driving the prospect away. Instead, ask about the prospect’s concerns and challenges by asking them questions to see if your product/service is suitable. Find out what is important to them and their expectations. If your products/services are a solution for them, pitch to them or provide alternatives. Do not expect that your product or service is going to be a solution for everyone. Value is a critical factor in a prospect’s purchasing behaviour. Using value-based selling can be helpful in generating more sales as it focuses on addressing the prospect’s problems by showing them the benefits of your product/service. Furthermore, providing examples of results, client testimonials and so forth can demonstrate more value to the prospect.
After the sale
Once the sale is complete, you will still need to look after your customers. Businesses with excellent customer service have an increased chance of maintaining and increasing their customer base. Following up after a sale demonstrates a continued interest in your client which can then create future opportunities, either from a returning customer or through referrals. Creating a referral program where the referring customer gains a discount or reward is a good way to boost your word-of-mouth marketing. Not only do you benefit from the new customer but it gives your existing customer an incentive to spread the word.
You may also consider creating a formal customer service program to ensure all customers receive the same level of service. Train, encourage and support your staff to help implement the program. Well-trained staff are your first point of call in ensuring your business has happy, satisfied customers.