Are you looking to increase sales this year? As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate – juggling finances, human resources, information technology, operations all while continuing to grow your business through increased sales. Let’s look at a few ways you can modernize your sales process and reinvent your customer acquisition process.
Assess Your Sales Funnel
When is the last time you’ve worked with your sales leader on defining your sales funnel? Having an up to date sales funnel is an important part of managing and monitoring the results of your sales efforts. If you don’t have a way to identify where a prospect is in your sales process, you don’t really have a sales process, you have sales chaos.
Take some time with your sales team to go over the stages of your sales process. Come up with common terms to describe where a prospect is in your sales process. Here are some topics you can review during this conversation:
- What are the sales stages of our process and what are they called?
- Where do prospects enter the sales funnel? Why do we add them at that point?
- What is a suspect, lead, or prospect in the system and what are the chances of closure (in a percentage) for someone in that sales stage? This will give you insight into projecting your close numbers.
- What are milestones in your sales process and how do they relate to the sales funnel?
- How does your sales message change at each stage of the sales funnel?
- How does your sales funnel translate into your cloud-based CRM or Sales Management systems?
Re-think Lead Generation
The pandemic has completely turned lead generation (Marketing) on its ear and accelerated digital methods to reach potential customers. If your target market is Business to Business (B2B), your decision makers are probably not in the office that often.
Now is the time to set aside some time with your marketing team (or form one) to start brainstorming on where your customers are and how you can reach them. Here are some topics you can review during this conversation:
- Have we optimized our website for attracting and informing potential customers? Some items to consider are Search Engine Optimization (SEO), updating the website to a modern, mobile friendly design, re-writing the text on your website to inform, not to sell, evaluating the content on your site and if you need to have a blog to drive traffic (hint: you do).
- Which social media platforms can we use to inform and educate our target market on what it is like to do business with our company?
- What is the role of our sales team in lead generation? Can we leverage their connection networks?
- Evaluate the role of Facebook in your lead generation efforts. Is there a segment of the Facebook population we can target (via Facebook ads) for building awareness of our product?
- What medium works best to get our message out? Podcast, video, blog, audio, other social media posts, etc.
- Should we leverage paid advertisements across any of the available media? This could include everything from traditional newspapers to paid Instagram stories.
- What is the frequency of content creation through our efforts (website, blog, YouTube, social media) that is both sustainable and is frequent enough to build brand awareness in our target market?
Leverage Cloud Tools
The final point we want to make is that modern sales and lead generation is difficult without your sales and marketing team embracing the latest in cloud tools to perform their roles efficiently and cost effectively. Here are some considerations when evaluating the toolset:
- Are we using a cloud-based CRM tool which allows all sales and marketing staff to collaborate in the sales process?
- Does the sales team use your CRM tool?
- Can you provide an up to the minute update on your sales funnel from your CRM tool?
- Does the sales team have a digital repository of sales tools which can be leveraged from anywhere? For instance, if a sales associate needs technical information on a product you sell, can they access that technical information from their cell phone (and forward it to the prospect) while in a meeting with a potential customer?
- Can your sales team digitally deliver proposals and important agreement documents to prospects?
- Can your prospects digitally sign agreements or sales documents without having to convert them to paper and re-scanning?
We hope these tips will help you continue to modernize your sales process and reinvent your customer acquisition process. Need help with your digital transformation? As always, we are here to help.
This week’s post by Tim Malzahn, Principal Consultant at Malzahn Strategic