THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SALES

The Ultimate guide to sales!

Sales is the transfer of ownership from Seller to Consumer. It is Targets on selling the product produced.

Sales is a part of marketing which main aim to make profit.

Your first contact with the prospect will begin the process that will or will not conclude with a sale. Therefore, every word of your approach, or introduction, must be planned in advance.

Your approach must break the preoccupation of the prospect. Unless you break that preoccupation, you never get to first base in making a presentation.

You have only 30 seconds at the beginning of the approach to get the person’s complete attention. So, your opening question has to be planned word for word, memorized and practiced over and over.

Telling is not selling you have to communicate with the customer to ascertain their needs, and personalize the sales pitch to take their expectations into account and demonstrate the benefits of the product or service to them.

I wish I knew this when I started.

So, are you ready ton start learning about the ultimate guide to sales?

Let’s get started!

 

STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES

Sales process is a series of ordered and value-added steps towards a certain  goal which is a sale. Almost every business has their own sales process which dictates how their sales operations are managed.

Most  business  sales process is well planned and used in day-to-day sales activities. Acquiring customers involves using a variety of marketing, sales and support steps with the goal of converting prospective customers into paying ones.

The sales process is often illustrated as a funnel which consists of several steps. Prospective customers are included  at the top and some percentage of the prospects is successfully converted to the next stage, making the funnel narrower as the process continues.  Business to business markets have greater emphasis on personal selling than in the consumer markets, mainly due to larger order values and smaller number of buyers. Buyers and sellers are also more likely to have a long-term business relationship therefore there is a greater emphasis on personal contact.

 SALES FUNNEL

There are several approaches to sales funnel and as a result for different approaches, there exists different names for different funnel stages;

  1. PROSPECTING: This is the first step in sales process which is; identifying qualified potential customers. For every business, approaching the right potential customer is important in making sales. Prospects can be qualified by their location, volume of business, financial ability and they can be tracked down by telephone or emails.
  2. PRE-APPROACH: Before contacting a prospect, you must make research about the organization/buyer. Its important you gather information about them which allows you understand their challenges/problems even before discussing with them. This will also determine the best approach to reach either by visit, phone call, or email.
  3. APPROACH: this is to get the relationship off to a good start. During this period, it is important you ask key questions about their needs. It is crucial you listen to the customer
  4. PRESENTATION: during this stage, explain to the customer the value of your products or services. The customer wants to know how what you are offering will add values to their business
  5. HANDLING OBJECTIONS: to handle objections, you should try to find out hidden objections, ask the customer to clarify any objections and take these objections as opportunities to present information.
  6. CLOSING: its important you try ton close a sale as a salesperson. You can use different sales techniques; asking for the order, reviewing points of agreement, and offering to help in writing the order or you can even offer lower prices.
  7. FOLLOW UP: it is necessary you follow up if you want to ensure customer satisfaction and continuity of the business relation. A follow-up call should be done after the customer receives the initial order, this assures the buyer of your interest.

Transactional sales process: This identifies stages in the sales funnel discussed.  Each step in the sales funnel has specified objectives and methods how to reach them. In addition, metrics how to follow and optimize the process further has been added.

MARKETING

Objective: Producing leads in to the sales process and creating public awareness.

Methods: Emphasize on internet marketing: search engine optimization, banner ads, blogs, social network advertising, and e-mail marketing. More traditional marketing channels might also be used if proven cost-effective. Active sales work increases costs therefore lead quality must be high. This requires better targeted marketing and prospect qualification.

Metrics: Site visits; how many, from where and when.

Measurement objective: Better target marketing Tools: Web-analytics (e.g. Google Analytics)

LEADS

Qualifying leads: Identifying potential customers from leads and approaching them. Increasing prospecting effectiveness is the fastest way to boost sales.

Prospects can be qualified by their financial ability, volume of business, special needs, location, and possibilities for growth.

Also, businesses that operate in complex and fast changing operating environments that require high levels of expertise and are geographically scattered are highly qualified leads.

Pre-approach: Before contacting a prospect, the salesperson must research the organization and its buyers/contact persons. This information allows the salesperson to understand possible problems even before discussing them with the prospect.

The salesperson can consult standard industry and online sources, talk to acquaintances and others that might have valuable information about the company.

Approach: The salesperson must determine the best approach method – preferably a phone call followed by an email and presentation materials. The goal is to arrange a sales meeting or a teleconference.

Metrics: Amount and quality of sales calls. Web-analytics: visited sites, downloaded materials and time spent browsing.

Measurement objective: Improving website, lead qualification and better targeting sales

Tools: Web-analytics, sales statistics and sales support systems.

PROSPECTS

First meeting: During the first meeting, the salesperson explains the benefits  of the products to the buyer and show how the offering will add value to their business.

At the meeting it is important to ask key questions about customer´s needs and as in all the stages, listening to the customer is crucial.

Towards the end, the salesperson must establish a plan how to proceed with the sales process. Arranging the next meeting and asking the contact person to involve possible decision makers by inviting them to the meeting. The contact person should be presented with a draft that shows how the sales process proceeds

The customer should be given access to the product sample,  testing and provided with materials that enable the contact person to present the product internally.

Second meeting: In the second meeting the salesperson takes in feedback from the customer and clarifies issues that have risen during the testing. Most customers will have objections that are either logical or psychological and often unspoken. The salesperson should ask the customer to clarify any issues and turn them to opportunities for presenting more information. Usually the second meeting will have more participants and some of them might still be unfamiliar with the product, therefore a short recap of the first meeting and demoing might come to question.

Objective of the meeting is to find out if the idea of the product  is valid and what is required to continue with the sales process. At this point it is important to go through how the deployment period of the products.

For the third meeting, the salesperson should involve all the necessary decision makers. Based on the earlier discussion.

Methods: Targeting sales efforts to different departments or levels of the customer´s organization decision makers. Giving prospects access to the products.

Metrics: Amount and quality of sales meeting and monitoring trial usage.

Measurement objective: Targeting sales – to whom and when. Learning about customer needs and identifying different customer segments.

Tools: Monitoring functions in the product and sales support systems

 

NEW CUSTOMERS:

Third meeting: The salesperson goes through the proposal and deployment process with customer´s main decision makers. Towards the end salesperson tries to close the sale. Salesperson can use several closing techniques: asking for the order and reviewing points of agreement. The salesperson can also offer special reasons to close such as lower prices if the decision is done now.

Methods: Negotiating the deployment contract which can include issues like customization, consultation, integrations, training and support services. Contracts have readymade templates which are customized based on customer´s wishes.

Metrics: Sales volume and Average Selling Price (ASP). Sales cycle length and Customer Acquisition cost (CAC).

Measurement objective: Improving sales operations and reducing the complexity of the sales process.

Tools: Sales support systems.

 

AFTER SALES

After sales and customer relationship management is necessary if the provider wants to ensure customer satisfaction and continuity of the business relation. It is important that the provider shows interest how the products  works for the customer and is regularly in contact.  This assures customers that the provider is interested in their business and reduces concerns that might have arisen after the sale. This allows to target after sales and customer relationship management effectively

Objective: Renewing existing contracts and increasing after-sales to current clients.

Methods: Using automated and direct sales methods to increase customer value. This includes offering support services, updates or additional functionalities and other services.

Metrics: customer satisfaction metrics.

Measurement objective: Targeting after sales and collecting information to extend the customer life time value of the product.

Tools:  sales support systems.

COMMUNITY

This is often the first line in engaging customers and helping potential prospects to understand your product and business.

Community management helps to drive sales, retain customers and to grow brand awareness.

Objective: Producing leads into the sales process, driving sales and growing brand awareness.

Methods: Using various social media platforms for discussion with potential users and creating, distributing, and sharing relevant content. Creating personal connections with users and customers by communicating with them on regular basis.

Metrics: Following the community, company´s social media and website analytics.

Measurement objective: Collecting feedback, following industry trends, creating new products and features.

 

CONVERTING LEADS TO SALES

Lead are essential part of any sales in organizations. The ultimate goal in any business is  to increase sales and grow the business.

To convert leads to sales, you need a kick-ass sales funnel

What’s a  sales funnel?

This is the visual customer journey which starts the moment they become aware of your products and services and ends when they purchase which turns them to customers.

 

STAGES OF SALES FUNNEL

Awareness                             Interest                              Decision                                 Action

 

STEPS TO CREATE A SALES FUNNEL

  1. Make a Research About your Target Audience

The first step in a sales funnel is to reseach your target audience in other for you to know them well and understand certain things about them like;

 

  • What’s their pain is
  • Their interests
  • Their expectations
  • The social media platforms they use

 

  1. Create buyer persona

A buyer persona helps you determine who your ideal customer is. Its heps you understand who you want to reach, and guide you in the right ways from choosing which social media platforms they use, and to be able to advertise to the right audience.   Its important you understand the basis demographic about your buyer persona; like age, gender, income, occupation etc. To create a buyer persona, you need to answer the following questions;

 

  • Why do they want to purchase your product?
  • What inspires them to buy?
  • How will they use the product?

 

 

  1. Plan an effective lead generation strategy

 

Once you have known your target audience, and created buyer personas, its time you now focus on lead generation. You can generate leads with the following methods:

 

  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Pay-per click campaigns
  • Landing page optimization

 

 

  1. Devise a strategy to nurture and engage leads

 

  • Create informative & engaging blog posts,
  • Create interesting videos
  • Use social media platforms to promote your posts
  • Have tutorials of your products
  • Use email marketing to promote your content

 

  1. Convert leads into paying customers

 

  • Provide a sign up or sign in options
  • Simplify your payment processes

SALES METRICS

What comes to the mind of any sales person when you ask them about success in sales metrics most times is Revenue. Of course, revenue is the foundation of sales success. But, if you focus too much on revenue, you may miss out on other important metrics.

According to hubspot, sales metric is a data point that represents individual, team, or company-wide performance. Sales leaders use sales metrics to track progress toward goals, prepare for the future, adjust sales compensation, award incentives and bonuses, spot problems before they get out of hand, and more.

Metrics can serve as critical measures of success for any organization and, in particular, the sales force can benefit immensely from an understanding of how to identify and track these quantities in a meaningful way.

 

Common sales metrics

Overall revenue

% market share

Year-over-year growth in sales- driven revenue

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

Lead Response Time

Turnover

Sales pipeline Coverage (SPC)

Employee satisfaction

Time utilization

Revenue by market segment

Average Margin per partner

Customer satisfaction

Quality of new opportunities

Lead follow-up rate

Length of sales cycle

Training:

ROI on training

Participants satisfaction with training