Way back when smartphones were non-existent, people would use maps to navigate unknown terrains and find the best possible route to their destinations. That’s pretty much the same in a sales journey where the sales process serves as the road map to your destination – converting a prospect into a customer. Without a detailed roadmap, your marketing team’s lead generation efforts would simply go to waste.
A sales process is referred to as a series of repeatable steps taken by a salesperson to guide a prospect from the early stage of awareness up to the point of a closed sale. A strong sales process gives representatives a reliable and replicable framework to follow, therefore helping them close deals consistently. an effective sales process helps boost conversions, turn potential customers into closed deals, and ensure that your reps provide consistently remarkable and satisfying customer service. One of the crucial parts of the sales process is lead generation.
Lead generation refers to the process of gaining potential customers’ interest to increase sales in the future. They are the ones whom the company hasn’t done business with yet but showed an intent that they may want to in the future
Having hundreds or thousands of leads can be overwhelming and complicated. Imagine how tedious it’d be to fish out which leads are ready to purchase and which of them need more nurturing. That’s why you need the right sales process to improve your sales performance if you aim to scale your business. One of the most crucial parts of building a strong B2B sales process is working with an outsourced B2B marketing and sales support services provider like Callbox.
Callbox is known as the leading lead generation agency in Australia and New Zealand, helping SMEs and enterprise businesses in various industries like IT and Software, Consultancy, Healthcare, etc. improve their sales efficiency by zeroing in on the revenue team on the best leads and appointments.
Among its locations in Australia are:
Housing Australia’s largest economy, NSW is the place where nearly half of Callbox’s AU clients come from. NSW companies occupy almost half of Callbox’s client portfolio, covering the state’s major industries like IT, software, and financial services in Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast, and other key areas in the state.
Having worked with over 390 companies in AU’s financial services, ICT, and other sectors, it is a leading marketing agency in other major areas including Melbourne.
Over 200 clients in Queensland enjoyed Callbox’s expert services in the aspects of lead generation, appointment setting, and market research campaigns. This substantial experience made it a top marketing agency in other key cities in the state including Brisbane.
While this location comprises the smallest group of Callbox’s client portfolio, WA-based companies benefited a lot from the breadth and depth of its campaigns by carrying out a full range of campaigns for WA B2B companies in business, professional services, engineering, and technology.
Now that you’ve understood the importance of lead generation in the sales process as you scale your business, let’s talk about how using the right sales process can boost your sales performance.
The Sales Process and the Sales Cycle
The sales process integrates the steps, methods, and approaches to attain sales productivity, while the sales cycle pertains to the specific steps within a sales process.
For a more understandable comparison, the sales cycle describes the entire steps undertaken in the sales process, right from the first customer contact to closing the sale and the follow-ups done after. In other words, it pertains to the journey of the potential client right from the moment they realize that they need a product, to the point of making a purchase. Since the sales process is a prospect’s journey, it serves as a roadmap for the salesperson.
The Sales Process and the Business Process
The terms sales process and business process, in addition, are sometimes used interchangeably and can cause a bit of confusion. To give a clearer view, let’s discuss what makes the two distinct from one another:
While the sales process is defined as a set of crucial steps that a sales team can follow to complete a sales cycle, a business process refers to a repeatable collection of activities or steps a company uses to achieve a specific outcome.
A business process includes at least one but is not limited to the following elements: data, workflow, system, employee(s), and tasks/activities.
Compared to the sales process which concentrates on the customers’ journey, a business process is meant to derive and contribute to an organization’s goals. The continuous execution of these business process steps plays a crucial role in a business’s growth and operations.
Both of these factors are crucial for a business to survive in the current marketing state
where the customers’ needs, business specifics, and team skills are ever-changing.
Let’s now go deeper into the details of the sales process.
The 7-step sales process: Everything you need to know
A sales process typically has 7 steps. These are Prospect, Lead Qualification, Company Research, Pitch, Objection Handling, Close, and Nurturing.
This involves sourcing new leads in their early stages and exposing them to your products or services. In this stage, you aim to get the interest and generate the awareness of specific individuals who fit your target persona. You can find the right prospects by using customer-centric lead generation strategies like:
Interacting with potential customers in LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups, like Reddit and Quora, make it easier to contact ideal customers who experience similar problems as your target market.
Offering answers to specific problems on Reddit or Quora
Queries in social forums like these can help you identify persons or organizations with pain points that can be solved by your products or services.
Creating video content that helps attract potential leads
Videos that contain a lead generation form at the end capture prospects with engagement on a baseline level.
Offering educational email courses
Helpful email courses are helpful in nurturing the interested top-of-funnel lead until they are qualified enough to proceed to the second stage of the sales process.
2. Connecting and Qualifying Leads
This process entails the probability of a lead buying a service or a product. Lead generation and qualification help agents focus more on prospects who displayed interest and can afford to avail of the products or services, effectively increasing win rates. When qualifying leads, it’s crucial to ask questions that shed light on whether the prospect is a “fit” for your offering.
This is where the role of the lead qualifications framework comes in. One of the most popular frameworks used in asking questions is BANT. Take a look at the diagram below:
BANT stands for:
Budget: Questions whether your lead can afford your solution or not
Authority: Questions regarding your contact’s purchasing and decision-making power
Need: Questions about the issues your leads are looking to overcome or their current problems
Time: Questions about value and their expected time of resolution
Answering these questions in the early stages of the buyer’s journey will help you determine if the given lead is worth pursuing before investing time and effort into them.
3. Researching the company
This step entails the rep’s research of companies and prospects. Reps are able to put themselves in the customer’s shoes and better understand their pain points, thus offering a more personalized experience and increasing the likelihood of closing a deal.
4. Giving an effective pitch
Also called the presentation step, is all about showing your qualified prospects the value of your offering. This gives you an opportunity to make yourself stand out among other companies and convince your prospect to transact business with you.
5. Handling objections
In sales, objections refer to the buyer’s explicit expression that there’s a barrier that exists between the current situation and what needs to be satisfied before he/she buys from you. It signifies that you need to put in more effort in the selling process.
Objections can be tough to handle especially when you’re trying to reach quota, but take them not as a waste of time. Listening to your prospect’s objections and questions can help you tailor your products or services to their needs.
6. Closing the deal
The closing stage is when the seller and buyer come to a mutual sales agreement and the buyer makes a firm commitment to make a purchase. This stage varies widely depending on the company and may include achieving a buy-in, a negotiation, or delivering a proposal or quote.
7. Nurturing and continuing to sell
While closing a deal is an ultimate goal in sales, the sales reps’ work does not stop there. More than confirming if the customers received what they bought, they also have an important role in transitioning customers to whoever is responsible for onboarding and customer success.
This final step of the sales process also entails continuous communication and value reinforcement to the customers. This opens opportunities for cross-selling, upselling, and securing referrals from satisfied customers.
How the right sales process pumps up your sales performance
In a study conducted by Vantage Point Performance and the Sales Management Association, B2B companies that have a defined formal sales process have 18% more revenue growth compared to those who didn’t. This suggests that having a structured sales process adds a clear path and accountability to your sales activities. These, in turn, lead to a higher win rate and shorter sale cycles.
In the end, it doesn’t matter how talented or adept your sales team is. It all boils down to the sales process as a roadmap. Without it, it would be difficult to attain your business goals.
Here are some of the factors the right sales process pumps up your sales performance:
It provides a clear path for sales reps to follow
A standardized sales process helps sales reps know what needs to be done at every stage of the buyer’s journey. The absence of these steps can cause even the most promising deals to be lost due to disorganization.
It makes new staff onboarding fast.
When a team follows a roadmap, training sales reps become easier, faster, and simpler because it shows salespeople what to do in specific situations. Even newbies can catch up quickly once he/she learns the basic steps in the sales process. Through this, older reps can pass on their knowledge to new hires in an easy and basic way.
It provides the opportunity to constantly refine sales methods
Having a well-defined sales process guarantees that your team directs its efforts on activities where the most revenue can be generated. The lack of a detailed roadmap will make sit hard to know which deals are won or lost, or which strategies work or fail.
It allows you to predict sales and revenue
Repeatable sales processes enable teams to be more consistent in winning deals. Having an accurate record of win rates allows you to forecast or predict the sales you’ll close from a given number of leads. Also, it helps sales managers come up with realistic quotas.
It makes lead filtering effective
With a well-planned sales process, your sales team can efficiently filter out low-potential leads and determine prospects who will most probably buy your products and become long-time customers.
Generating high-quality leads reduces the efforts wasted on sales that are unlikely to close, therefore shortening your sales cycle and increasing lifetime customer value.
It improves communication between company teams
Communication is the key to every successful sales and business transaction. Using common steps and the sales process language, company communication is simplified and inter-departmental confusion is reduced. A sales team that communicates well collaborates effectively and works productively.
It enables greater insight into sales team performance
A sales team that lacks structure finds it difficult to measure its metrics outside of wins or losses. With a sales process, more data points can be measured, allowing a closer and sharper analysis of sales targets and key metrics.
It contributes to a better overall customer experience
Rushing the prospect into the sales stage even if they’re not yet ready can kill off the customer-seller relationship and create distrust. The sales process allows sellers to properly guide the customer throughout their journey, making sure that the customer is valued, and nurtured throughout every stage. By tailoring the sales process, a foundation for a trusting, valuable, and positive customer experience is made before finally closing the deal.
The magic of Marketing Material and Sales Advertising in increasing your sales
Some marketers are adept at closing sales. They are the ones who find it easy to build customer rapport, collect relevant information, pitch their products or services, and ultimately close the sale. Meanwhile, there are others who are only skilled at connecting with their prospects and find it almost impossible to present a product or seal a deal.
Using the right sales process helps salespeople perform better in what they do. Part of an effective sales process that’s sure to pump up your sales performance is the use of marketing materials and sales advertising.
Technology wove itself into the way people work, learn, perceive things, and do business. Today’s fast-paced digital world makes one think that traditional ways of advertising, the old paper and ink methods, have lost their value. However, if you aim to maintain and build your competitive advantage and boost your sales performance, it would require both traditional and digital integration of marketing and sales strategies, hence the use of marketing materials and sales advertising.
Marketing materials, as per definition, are any kind of branded elements and materials used to promote brands, products, or services. The most common form of marketing materials is “literature”. These are printed pieces used to promote and present products. These include brochures, business cards, letterheads, flyers, and thank you cards. They can also be adapted digitally in the form of branded promotional images and graphics.
Sales advertising, meanwhile, is used by businesses to introduce a new product, boost sales, acquire new customers, sell existing inventory, and create a sense of urgency. Some examples of commonly used sales advertising include the distribution of vouchers and coupons, giving discounts and flash sales, offering giveaways, buy-one-get-one-free offers, and product sampling.
These methods contribute to the overall success of the sales process and performance. Try them out to find out how their power can help you promote, sell, and communicate your brand.
Business success isn’t a sprint, it’s bound for the long run
Boosting your sales performance using the right sales process is like running a marathon. By investing in an expert lead generation services provider, understanding, creating, and strictly following a standardized sales process, and tapping into marketing materials and sales advertising, you’ll be able to secure your business’ success in the long run.