How to Close More Deals by Mapping Your Sales Process

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Most builders live by the rule “Measure twice. Cut once.” Sure, it takes more work on the front end, but it saves time, money, and frustration for the overall project. It wastes less material and gets better final results.

But most builders probably learned this rule the hard way. Early on, they skipped those extra measurements and ended up with something that didn’t line up. Then they had to backtrack until they found the wrongly measured piece. In the end, they learned the extra time measuring is well worth the investment.

Isn’t the same true in sales? Sales measurements aren’t taken in inches and feet — they’re taken through a sales process. If you can check measurements of success continually, you’ll be able to catch problems before they destroy your deals.

Here’s how a measured sales process keeps your sales team on track.

Why Sales Process Mapping Works

Any time you put a process in place, you have something to measure. And in sales, a routine sales process gives your salespeople a launching point for success. Sure, people do different things. Some salespeople approach a process with more creativity. Some clients need a more tailored approach to sales before they buy. But the groundwork of a sales process can be the same for everyone.

Related: A Sales Lead Management Process You Can Count On

The Basic Sales Process

A consistent sales process keeps your customers on the same track. Perhaps your sales process steps look something like this:

  1. Schedule an initial meeting
  2. Follow up after the meeting regarding any action items you discussed
  3. Give them a quote
  4. Make sure they received the quote
  5. Make contact regularly until they buy (every 30-60 days)

With sales process mapping, not only do beginning salespeople have a foundation for pursuing prospects, but these sales steps also help you troubleshoot three common problems.

Problem 1: Low-Performing Salesperson

If a salesperson isn’t meeting their goals, you have a starting point for identifying the problem. Look at their sales process. Are they scheduling enough initial meetings? Do they respond with quotes promptly? Do they make contact regularly after sending quotes? If they’re missing one of these steps, you’ve likely found the issue they need to work on in order to improve.

Without a process, it’s hard to identify the problems. Why isn’t this salesperson performing? When you have the same sales steps in place for everyone, you can identify low performers and pinpoint the problems.

Problem 2: Disappearing Prospects

A process also keeps your clients on a marketing path. Maybe a deal gets delayed or a prospect seems to disappear for a while. At one point, this prospect seemed interested, but something happened. They managed to fall out of the sales funnel either by choice or because a salesperson didn’t follow through.

But sales process steps help you pick up where they left off. If a prospect already received a quote, you can follow up on that quote rather than starting over when you resume contact.

Problem 3: Inconsistency

A sales process gives your clients consistency. And consistency builds trust. Your clients will come to realize everyone at your business is on the same page. They trust that you’ll be in contact regularly and know the next steps. And when they know they can count on you, they’re more likely to give you their business.

Setting Up the Sales Process

Paint broad strokes as you come up with the right process for your business. You don’t want to box people in. Instead, show them what general activities lead to sales. Then tie those activities to different steps, but leave room for salespeople to tailor their approach to the clients.

Then teach the process from the top down. Use top salespeople to outline the activities that led to their sales. After they have collectively outlined their sales process, they can teach it to others. If everyone follows that outline, each salesperson will be on the same page as they move clients through the funnel.

Make Sure It Works

You’re measuring the activities of your sales team along the way, but now it’s time for one extra measurement. Evaluate the sales process itself. Look at your sales process at least every six months to see what works and what doesn’t. You’ll start to notice trends like when people buy, where people fall off, and where individual salespeople succeed or struggle. Don’t isolate individual sales situations, but look at the whole sample. Then you’ll be able to make better decisions about what actions to take.

Sales is a marathon, not a sprint. It evolves over time. As the market changes, your sales process changes. So evaluate it regularly to make sure it matches up with the results you want.

As a manager, you’ll find a sales process makes it much easier to manage your team, replicate effectiveness, and scale your success.

4 Negotiation Skills You Need to Close More Deals

negotiation skills close more deals

“When it comes to negotiating a sale, the person who addresses price first, loses.”

There‘s a ton of truth in that saying, especially for companies with tiered pricing models. If your organization has that kind of price flexibility, negotiation is an important stage in the sales process.

Before you jump into the negotiating stage, preparation is crucial. One of my favorite movie scenes is from the 1992 classic, Glengarry Glen Ross. The scene features a sales manager who walks into the middle of a conversation between a salesperson and an angry customer. After the customer leaves, the salesperson is furious with the manager for getting involved in the negotiation without knowing the back story. A good negotiator goes in prepared, knowing the full story. With that in mind, here are four tips for negotiating and closing better deals.

FreeEbook

Know your prospect’s appetite for the product.

Be sure you understand the value of your product from your prospect’s point of view. For example, if your prospect is red-hot, wants the product and is ready to buy, it’s a high-value and premium price situation.

Understand the prospect’s return on investment.

How much will your product save the prospect? If your product can save them $1,000 a month, for example, your pricing should reflect some of that return on investment.

Know your competitors and offer intangible benefits.

Negotiating isn’t always about price. Sometimes the value-added benefits you provide can close the deal. How do your competition’s products compare on quality and what ROI do they offer the prospect? If their ROI is higher than your product, offer an intangible benefit. Better customer service or free delivery can add value to the deal.

Redirect a need.

I love selling this way. Initially, the prospect believes they want a particular product or service, but after digging deeper, you discover an ancillary need you can resolve for them.

Let’s pretend you’re selling payroll services. Switching payroll services is painful and companies won’t do it without receiving great value or a cheaper price – or both. Let’s also imagine you can provide the payroll services at a cheaper price, but from the customer’s perspective, it’s an administrative hassle to change providers.

In this case, you can include an amazing level of support in the proposal. You might put a payroll specialist onsite to help the office manager during the first week of using the service. You might also include an analysis of employee turnover, or offer employee exit surveys to help the customer understand the causes of turnover. Now you’re selling more than payroll services, and competing on more than price.

Take the extra time to learn your customers’ needs and your competitors’ products. Knowing the score is a big deal – and it can make a huge difference to the outcome of your next deal.