Our GUARANTEED Sales Process and Framework to close more sales and build a healthy sales pipeline that will grow your business.
You cannot train someone to be a great salesperson, however, you can teach people the art of selling. This article provides you with our proven and guaranteed sales process framework.
When you think of a natural salesperson most times you imagine a smooth talker, someone quick to answer questions before they are even asked. Slick talkers aren’t the best sales people. The BEST salespeople are effective listeners or take the time to carefully understand the client’s needs and identify their problem or challenge.
What does makes a great salesperson? It’s their drive to sell well and sell successfully.
Salespeople of great value are those who are driven by an inner conviction where their whole identity is defined by selling, and their goal is simply to be the best at sales.
How do you teach people to be a great salesperson? You can’t…it has to come from within.
You can, however, teach them the art of selling by covering these four areas;
• Sales Process
• Sales Training & Product Training
• Sales Toolkits
• Sales Coaching and Mentoring.
Research and Planning
Your Brand Sales Strategy and Plan would be the most important piece of work you will undertake outside how you manage the financials of your business. Without spending the time to create this, I’ll guarantee that you will NOT have a clear focus, and you will waste a lot of time and money.
Your brand (company or product) is, without a doubt, your company’s most valuable asset. It ensures that you continue to build trust and integrity of what you are selling, as well as building value to your customers.
BEFORE you begin spending (wasting) money or time on marketing and sales programs, you MUST build your brand sales strategy and plan.
It’s crucial to identify at the start:
• Who your CUSTOMER or target market is
• The PROBLEMS they face
• The VALUE you provide by supplying a product or service.
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If you’re like most people, the word “prospecting” has a negative feeling about it. In most cases, people who don’t like to prospect is because they do not know the professional way to prospect.
In today’s digital world, there are far more effective and accepted ways to prospect. Platforms like LinkedIn allow you to search and network with prospects in a very business-like manner.
The key elements to prospecting are;
1. Build a plan that allows you to dedicate time each day to prospecting
2. Use the tools that are available (LinkedIn, Industry Databases, Referrals, etc.)
3. Build a process which includes call scripts and email templates
4. Keep the focus to prospecting, and NOT turn it into a sales call
5. Get great at cold calling
6. Build relationships, connections and networks.
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The key to making a successful connection while selling is to refine your skills during these initial contacts, so they become memorable to who your meeting, but also to help you remember as much about them as possible. This will allow you to impress them even more on your second meeting. Hopefully, this next meeting will be a selling situation rather than a meet and greet.
The elevator pitch is an important tool in any salesperson’s kit. An elevator pitch is the concise, 60-second presentation of what you have to offer. When you need to assess a prospect’s interest level, but you need to do it quickly, the elevator pitch can be essential.
Try this methodology;
• Build Rapport, Quickly
• Make sure the customer wants to be engaged by you
• Identify the problem or challenge
• Building a solution
• Talk about the alternatives; highlight how your solution is different
• Ensure that everyone is on the same page
• Don’t get bogged down in detail
• Be clear on the next steps
The single most important part of the sales process!
Many salespeople spend most of their time talking to the wrong people. If you do that, it doesn’t matter how eloquently you present your service or product, the chances of making a sale will be extremely low. The following BANT qualifying framework will show you how to correctly qualify your prospect.
BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline) is used at a variety of companies and in a variety of markets.
BANT seeks to uncover the following four pieces of information:
Budget – Is the prospect capable of buying?
Authority – Does your contact have adequate authority to sign off on a purchase?
Need – Does the prospect have a business pain you can solve?
Timeline – When is the prospect planning to buy?
Build your BANT Sales Qualification Framework
BANT provides you with a framework that allows you to develop your one-on-one meeting sales qualification checklist. You will need to tailor the questions around your industry, type of customer and problem/solution.
BANT NOTES: How to build your BANT process with detailed information about each step is available within the whitepaper download (too much detail for a blog). [DOWNLOAD WHITEPAPER HERE].
After you have qualified the prospect and know that there is an opportunity, the next step is to see if there is a fit for your product or service. Leveraging the connection you made from when you first made contact, this stage is where you get to sit down in a one-on-one situation and find out the following;
• Identify the stakeholders and their roles (project manager, sponsor, influencer, etc.)
• Understand the purchase and implementation process
• Determine the exact problem or challenge (or at least start the steps to find this out)
• Understand the goals and objectives of their business
• Determine any barriers
• Understand which of your competitors are involved
• Understand timeframes
• Understand budgets
• Build their trust with you, your company, products and services
• Next steps.
This section is important to really understand what their problems are. In many sales opportunities, just speaking to one person doesn’t give a true reflection to the breadth of the issue across the company and its departments.
By determining the “real scope” may change the entire project scope, opportunity and of course budget (perceived value).
Needs assessment can look like;
• Meetings and information sessions
• Workshops (free or paid)
• Paid onsite analysis and consulting.
Presentation or Demonstration
After you have qualified and you know the client has a need for your product or service, it’s now time to move on to the presentation or demonstration stage. You must present your product in such a way that it matches what’s in the client’s mind.
Here are some tips to help you build and conduct your presentation.
• Show your passion and connect with your audience
• Focus on your audience’s needs
• Keep it Simple: Focus on your core message
• Smile and make eye contact
• Start strong, be confident and positive
• Comply with the 10-20-30 Rule for Slideshows
• Tell stories with use-cases
• Use your voice and pauses/silence effectively
• Note your body language
• Relax, breathe and thoroughly enjoy the moment.
NOTE: A detailed breakdown of these points plus an explanation of each is available within the whitepaper download.[DOWNLOAD WHITEPAPER HERE].
Buyers are more informed than ever before. They have done more research and are armed with more information than ever (even before you arrived).
Today’s buyer is no longer interested in hearing salespeople talk about their products and how great they are. Through a simple Google search, buyers are arming themselves with all the information on your product that they need.
Not only is the modern buyer an expert on your product, but they are also fully aware of the benefits and features of your direct rival’s products.
As a result, salespeople have had to evolve to satisfy the demands of the modern buyer. Salespeople must now adopt a more consultative approach and sell a solution rather than a product. In order to sell a solution, the salesperson must understand customer pain points and how they can be addressed.
Use the following to provide yourself with a solution proposal health check.
1. Do your research
2. Be across your customer’s requirements or need
4. Educate the buyer with your new ideas and vision for improvement
5. Design the right solution, not just a product that fits
6. Demonstrate the value and ROI
7. Follow-up and communicate.
Proof of Concept
Not a requirement for all sales, but for mission-critical enterprise solution sales, this can be a deciding factor to win you that sale. A Proof of Concept is usually a ‘funded by the customer’ exercise to prove in a very basic capacity that your proposed solution works. Keep it simple. Narrow the scope. Keep the deliverables and objectives clear.
Proposal / Price
Sales proposals: Love them or hate them, they’re an integral part of any successful deal. While some salespeople might view these documents as unnecessary, or even as a waste of time, they’re one of the most powerful instruments in a salesperson’s arsenal of deal-closing tools.
• Understand the customer and their needs
• Design the proposal structure or framework first
• Build a snazzy executive summary
• Mercilessly edit the whole thing
• Use before and after scenarios
• Offer choices. Prospects don’t like feeling they are backed into a corner
• Price higher for room to move (price to value)
• Don’t use price ranges – be concise
• Remove the buzzwords and exaggerated claims
• Personalise with words like “you”
• Get a second set of eyes to check, proof it and provide feedback.
Learn how to handle objections effectively. There has NEVER been a customer who just takes the proposal and agrees on it without some level of negotiation.
The fact is that sales objections are good. Sales objections indicate interest. Successful sales have twice as many objections as unsuccessful sales. To handle sales objections effectively, you should hear them out completely, without interrupting. Remember, listening builds trust, even with objections.
Compliment the objection by saying, “That’s a good question, let me see if I can answer it for you.”
In the whitepaper download, we provide detailed information on each of the three objection techniques.
1. How Do You Mean?
2. Can you explain your reason?
3. The “Feel, Felt Found” Method.
Negotiating any contract, whether buying or selling anything, there are some basic negotiating skills that you need to learn in order to get the best deal for yourself and to feel happy about the results.
• Choose the right questions to ask
• Have patience
• Be prepared
• Take control and gain self-confidence
MOST IMPORTANTLY; Show empathy and ensure the prospect always hold face.
Your ability to ask for the order at the end of the sales process is essential to your success.
Don’t be scared to ask for the order. If the customer is truly committed to solving their challenge with your solution, they will be eager to sign off and get started. There are three proven methods you can use when asking for the money.
Ensure that before you ask for the sign-off, you have asked the client, “Do you have any questions or concerns that I haven’t covered so far?” If the customer says, “No,” you can then lean forward and confidently ask for the buying decision using these techniques;
The “Give It A Try”
The “Directive Close”
The “Authorisation Close”
Hinted as Preferred
Being aware of nonverbal and verbal cues from prospects may help make it easier for sales teams and/or small-business owners to close sales.
• They ask clarifying questions
• When they talk about the price
• When they give you verbal and nonverbal signs
• Strong eye contact
• They filter out distractions
• They are responsive to your questions and contact
• They use possessive words in their conversations.
Salespeople are only facilitators within the contract negotiation process.
They are not experts, and they are also not legal people. The key here is to understand that every company you deal with has their own internal contract review and acceptance process. It’s important that you understand this process before you begin (and don’t try to fight it).
Having a good attitude is the most important asset you can bring to the table. If you act like you can make it work, you really might be able to. It also pays to hold on to your sense of humour, especially when the going gets tough. You have to keep your relationship positive. These are the people you’re going to be working with if the contract ends up being signed. Sometimes, people lose sight of that.
You haven’t got the sale just yet!
Understanding how contracts are executed within a company can be important and determine when you make the sale. Understand your own internal process and then match what is required by your client. In most cases, contracts are printed in multiple copies, signed, returned and stored by vendor and client.
Ensure you have all documents finished e.g. licence agreements, services agreements, quality assurance documents, statement of work, proposals, etc.
Win / Suspend / Cancel
If you follow this methodology and do the homework on each opportunity, you are guaranteed to always make the sale. However, the odd times a sale can be suspended or cancelled for various reasons actioned by the client’s management team. An example of this may be a company acquisition or trading policy that suspends company trade.
This is very rare, we believe that if you used this sales process correctly, you should have had visibility to this coming.
Sell on referrals
After you’ve satisfied the needs of your client and closed the sale, you can now leverage this sale for the next – build case studies, reference sites and referrals. Gaining referral business from each and every client fast-tracks the sale process – they trust you already. Our tip for you is…do your research. More than likely if you sold this solution to one company, there would be more who have the same problem – package and roll it out!
Our BEST tips to help you
Identify the decision-maker:
No matter what industry you are in, knowing the decision-maker is crucial to a quick close. Many times the decision-makers will send someone else into the fire to learn all of the information they can about your company. If this is the case, be sure to put yourself into the head of the decision-maker so that you can customise your sales pitch to that person’s interests, even if they aren’t there. Of course, your best-case scenario is that you sit down with the decision-maker. Do whatever you can to set up a meeting with that person.
A client can sense if you are genuine during the sales process. In other words, it’s important to convey to the client that you care about their business and not just the deal. Coming off too calculated can turn people off; however, remember that there is nothing wrong with being prepared. It’s okay to appear like you’re ready for every question that comes your way, just simply don’t act like you don’t care about the customer’s best interests.
Create a sense of urgency:
Attach a deadline to the deal to help give the client an incentive to commit. Whether it’s a discount or something free, make them feel like they have the upper hand. This does not mean rush the customer; it simply means try to give them a little extra reason why your product or service is the right choice, and the right choice right now.
Preparing the sales presentation to address and overcome potential objections can speed up any deal. If something catches you off-guard, you might need to take some time to think up an answer. By having an outline of anticipated problems and thoughtful analysis of the risks, you can reduce the resistance. We highly recommend sitting down with your entire sales team and having each person come up with objections they might anticipate. Give them your sales pitch and see if there are any objections you may have missed.
Know your competition:
Competing for business is tough. Knowing the areas that you are more competitive than your competition can lead to that quick close. Again, this is all about preparation. Do your research and make sure that you make a note of something that you are doing that your competition is not. This is often the biggest selling point, so you don’t want to ignore it.
Listening more than speaking: Watch what you say! Don’t put your foot in your mouth. Keep it to the point and focus on your areas of expertise. You want to be real and personable, but you have to remain professional.
Manage your sales pipeline CORRECTLY!
The 80/20 Rule says that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results.
20% of your prospects will account for 80% of your customers.
20% of your customers will account for 80% of your sales.
20% of your products and services will account for 80% your sales volume, and so on.
In its simplest terms, you must always be focusing your time and energy on the few things, the 20% of things that can make all the difference in your life. Your ability to do this will guarantee that you will be a big success. The inability to focus on the top 20% is the primary reason for failure, frustration and underachievement in the sales profession.
Make a list every day, before you begin work. Organise your list on the basis of the 80/20 Rule. Start on your top 20% of tasks and stay with them until they are complete.
Managing a Sales Funnel:
There are three parts to professional selling. They have been the same throughout all the ages of man. They are to prospect, present and follow up. These three parts constitute the sales funnel.
At the top of the sales funnel, you have prospects. Let us say that you have to prospect 20 people to get five presentations. In the middle of the sales funnel you have presented. Let us say that you have to make five presentations to get two follow-ups. At the bottom of the sales funnel, you have the follow-up and closing. Let us say that you have to follow-up with two prospects to get one sale.
Spend 80% of your time prospecting and presenting and spend only 20% of your time following up. And don’t mix them up. You should have far more prospects in your funnel than you have time to see if you work all day long. Never allow yourself to run out of prospects. Keep your sales funnel full. Remember, you have to go through a lot of prospects to get very few sales.
AUTOMATICALLY generate sales leads from as LOW AS 10c per lead Read our website blog article ‘How to Create an Automated Sales Lead Funnel’ [LEARN MORE HERE].
Make every minute count:
Timing is absolutely critical when it comes to closing a sale. The longer you leave it before you follow up, the longer it takes to get a commitment from the prospect, the longer it takes to get feedback from the customer; these are all danger signs to losing the sale.
When you see a few signs during your sales pitch that your prospects are ready to close a sale, that’s your cue to wrap things up.
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Use Training, Coaching, and Mentoring like Oxygen
• Sales Training – how to sell!
• Product Training – your products and services
• Systems / Process Training – the tools you use as part of your internal sales process
• Sales Coaching & Mentoring – This service, which is usually provided by subject matter experts, extends your product or functional training with advice, guidance, and most importantly, the strategy. It’s this total combination that builds self-confidence within sales staff and turns sales into business development.
Sales Coaching and Mentoring – the New Normal!
Learn how to design and implement a Sales Coaching and Mentoring Program for your team by reading our website blog article [LEARN HOW].
Download the Whitepaper
This subject is very detailed, and there is WAY too much information to have on the blog.
We’ve made a comprehensive whitepaper that is available as a download.
DOWNLOAD our Sales Process and Framework Whitepaper. We packed all this great information PLUS a heap of detailed notes on each section within a free downloadable whitepaper.
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