Sales Process Flow Chart - How To Turn Time Consuming Enquiries Into Opportunities
...And Turn Opportunities Into Sales...
I arrive at the office building, I walked inside the building, I walked up the stairs, I open the door, I walk in.... Boring isn't it! And yet this simple process of getting from outside the office to inside is something I do each and every time I come here. It happens in the same way, sure sometimes I might be carrying a briefcase or a folder or my laptop, I might even stop to chat to someone I bump into on the way, but basically it's the same process. Why? Because it is the most effective process to get the outcome I'm looking for.
I mean, I could mix it up a bit, do it slightly differently each time; behind the office there are also some stairs which lead to level 1, or maybe go through the window. But I don't, and why is that.... well that would be just a waste of time, that door could be locked at the back so it might not work at all or, I could get stuck trying the window option. If I'm going to the office I want to get to the desired result, working at my desk. Now tell me, why is it that when it comes to the area of sales (and if we think about my office example as the Sales Process for a moment), most business owners see fit to try and jump the flight of stairs and try to get straight to working at the desk (making the sale). Often they just end up hurting themselves on most of their attempts to get to working at the desk (turning a lead into a sale), which wastes time and resources, plus builds frustration?!?!
Are you building these 4 key elements into your sales process?
Sales' is a Process, it takes time for a lead or enquiry to become a prospect or an opportunity, and ultimately become a customer, client, or sale. Sure different businesses have vastly different ranges of time, from minutes to years. It is less about the time and more about the information that different types of people need to make a buying decision, i.e. the sale style. It's also about proving that you understand their situation and have the right solution and have proven to have helped others like them in the past. Before making a buying decision, no matter how big or how small, some consciously others without even knowing it, some quickly some very slowly, everyone goes through the following 4 phases and questions:
TRUST -Do I trust this person/business/product/service?
NEED - Do I need this person/business/product/service?
HELP - Can this person/business/product/service help me?
HURRY - Ok I want it now!
If you and your business don't get a good grade from the prospect at NEED you want progress to HELP in their mind let alone HURRY where you maybe be thinking.
So what you're saying to me is that I need to provide answers to those questions then?
Not exactly, you see people will form answers to these questions whether you provide proactive answers or not, what you need to do is provide ‘better' answers that more actually reflect what you, your company, your products and your services are all about. When? Right up front, people will buy from people they are familiar with, so the more touches like a phone call, or a brochure in the mail you can do (without going OTT, over the top, of course) the better. Let's say your business did a lot of onsite quotes or proposals for people, often the first step will be enquiry phone call from the potential customer, most businesses will get a brief outline from the prospect about the potential job and ask a few questions and book a time to visit onsite, all up taking 5 mins on the phone. The next the prospect hears from them is at the onsite visit, a quote maybe given and possibly a brochure, the prospect will often say "thanks I'll get back to you" or "let me go over it with my wife or husband". And what happens, some come back some don't.
Reality Check... not all people that don't buy from you are tyre kickers!
Don't use tyre kickers as an excuse, most often prospects don't buy simply because they found another company that ‘better' answered all their questions in the 4 key elements above. Let's get ‘better' by improving your sales process... take charge of the first phone call, ask more questions and listen, this will help you come better prepared to the appointment and show the prospect that you have listened to them. Send the brochure before the appointment, post is best but email will be fast and cheap, call the day before the appointment to ensure they have read the brochure. Find the best process and do it the same each time.
Walking up the stairs to my office one step at a time is the sure fire most consistent way to always get to the top and get to my desired result. Taking each of the ten steps is not necessarily the fastest process, I could jump straight to step 5 missing out 2, 3, and 4.... but I could slip and fall in a heap, never getting to step 10 (the sale).
This weeks action points...
Get a white board or piece of paper and draw your current sales process as a flowchart, the idea here is once you have documented it, it is time to start improving it by providing all the information in the steps, before the decision point. Nurture them if you need too. Take charge of the process and make sure you tell the prospect the steps to buy... all this leads to that final step, decision time, is it a yes or no... not, let me think about it.