For many of us, our sales processes have been put under pressure over the last few months.
Gone are the days of meeting clients in person, attending seminars and promoting your business at industry trade shows. It’s easy to feel stifled by social restrictions, but it’s just as easy to keep your sales process as is, rather than adapting to a dynamic and more efficient model.
So, why are so many small businesses maintaining the status quo?
You want to come out on top. You want to keep generating business, even in light of a global pandemic and national recession. You want to modernise your sales strategy so that it can weather unforeseen storms.
So, what can you do to make your sales process adaptable and dynamic?
It all starts with a sales process review.
Do you often waste time trawling through emails or business cards looking for someone? Do you have trouble keeping track of the people you’ve met and how you get in touch with them?
Imagine if you sat down to watch your favourite show and Netflix replied with “we can’t quite find that episode at the moment – give us a minute.”
We live in a hyperconnected world where information is immediately accessible and have become accustomed to having the world at our fingertips.
Is your contact database following suit?
Your contacts are an essential starting point for establishing a professional, effective sales system. To begin, get all of your contacts in one place. If you have a team, make sure you centralise your database so everyone has access to the same information. From there, establish a routine of keeping information up to date. Depending on the size and complexity of your contact list, this may be a time consuming process. But power through – the outcome is worth the time investment!
Organising your contacts will boost your business efficiency while simultaneously allowing you to build a more sophisticated sales strategy. Once your contacts have been centralised, you can begin to include more information about your contacts: how many times you’ve contacted them, how long since you last contacted them, how many leads are associated with them, plus reminders to keep in touch.
Are you using the same Word template for your proposals that you’ve used for many a year?
Are your proposals falling flat with clients?
Are you following up in a timely manner?
Proposals are an integral determinant in the customer’s decision, which means they are the secret to closing a deal before it escapes you.
The more a prospect has time to reflect on a deal between meetings, the less likely you are to close the sale. To keep things moving, you need to be on top of your proposal game.
Proposal management software can help you streamline business deals, minimising time between sending the proposal and closing the deal. But proposal management really boils down to being proactive. By having a show stopping customised proposal at the ready, you will wow your prospects and seal the deal.
You are probably familiar with large companies sending you special offers for your birthday or an exclusive discount code for an abandoned cart on your favourite online retailer. These are sophisticated sales strategies – small business owners may perceive personalised marketing to be an exclusive right of large-scale organisations, but don’t let that discourage you from believing you can target your contacts with precision.
Do you have seasonal factors in your business? Will bad weather or lockdown restrictions impact your sales activity in the coming weeks? Are you looking to make a quick sale of excess stock or capitalise on purchasing cycles?
Organising your contacts and streamlining your proposal management strategy are all preparatory actions you can take to make sure you’re ready to go. Moving to targeted campaigns will set your sales strategy in motion, giving your business a proactive and competitive edge.
Targeted campaigns allow your business to reel in those ‘quick wins’, which means you can contact your customers quickly via phone or email with a limited offer. Then you can track responses and sales to gauge its effectiveness and continue refining your overall sales strategy.
The best bit?
Campaign software is cheap and readily available, which means you can tailor your plan to suit your business needs: marketing like a big business doesn’t mean you have to spend big bucks.
Are you surprised to be finding CRM software at the bottom of this list?
CRM are often pitched as being the starting point for small business owners looking to gear up their sales strategy, but this is not necessarily the case.
Many small business owners purchase a CRM only to give up on it soon after.
Because they don’t know what they need it for.
Once you have completed the steps above, you will have clarity over the CRM dilemma.
If you can organise and manage your contacts manually, a CRM will add little value to your sales function. On the other hand, a CRM may help ease stress if you find yourself swamped by contact management.
If your business has a high volume of proposals or a complex sales process, a CRM will streamline your business model.
Once you start ramping up targeted campaigns, check to see if you’re on top of your data. If not, look into CRM software to help you keep track of your sales campaigns.
A sales process review won’t just help you figure out where to go next – it will help you stay present as you navigate COVID-19 and its economic repercussions.
By shifting your mindset to view your sales strategy as a dynamic, malleable function of your business, you’ll give yourself the upper hand, no matter what is thrown your way.