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Sluggish Sales? Here’s Why — Online Women B!Z

Sluggish Sales? Here’s Why

Dec 15, 2019 ⌚ Read time: 5 min

It’s incredibly frustrating when you’re doing everything you should – great marketing campaigns, brand presence, customer engagement, etc. – but the sales are just not happening.

Many things can contribute to stagnant sales, but time and time again,entrepreneurs find themselves stuck in an inconsistent cycle of trying outdifferent tactics.

Experimentation is a good thing, after all, it’s where innovation comesfrom! But (and a big but) doing everything and anything and hopingsomething sticks is NOT the answer.

Putting together a sales pitch haphazardly almost never works. Sure, you may get lucky once or twice with a certain type of customer, but that isn’t transferable to the next person or situation.

The same techniques are not applicable to all customers, so variety is important. But yet again, there needs to be structure to sales.

Sales has this connotation of being difficult, gimmicky, and cheesy and that’s almost certainly because of the desperation that comes from not knowing how to properly navigate each sale.

The Fix: Sales Processes

Strong sales are a result of a strong process. Every business is different, but in general it comes down to identifying strong leads, channeling them through various stages, and converting to a sale at the end. You must find one robust process to follow that allows for some personalization.

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A sales process that is in tune with your business needs, customers, and products or services allows for higher conversions, more closed deals, and consistency in customer experience, no matter how different one customer is from the next.

Here’s what a basic sales process looks like:

  • Source leads - compile a list of potential clients from your marketing efforts
  • Connect - call, email, or meet with the prospect
  • Qualify - compare what you find out about the lead to your ideal customer persona
  • Present/demo - showcase how your product or service can fulfill the prospect’s needs and pain-points
  • Resolve objections - provide solutions to any objections the lead may have
  • Close - finish the deal and make a sale

Case Study

Lindsey owns an event planning company with expertise across all kinds of celebrations and parties. Her website is really well-designed, social media pages are engaging and represent her brand, and her services are valuable. However, sales are still really slow.

She’s doing everything right expect fine-tuning her sales process. Actually, there isn’t much of a process at all, unless you consider blasting her entire email list with the same message a strategy.

Lindsey decides to add structure to her sales strategy so that all of her other efforts weren't in vain.

  • Sourcing leads - She adds a downloadable free event checklist toher website in exchange for visitors’ emails and other applicableinformation (are they planning an event, what kind of event, etc.).All those who download the checklist will most likely be planningan event soon and in need of services like hers.
  • Connecting - With the information she has gathered, Lindsey createspersonalized emails for the different customer profiles she’sidentified, i.e. those planning weddings, birthday parties,anniversaries, etc.
  • Qualifying - Based on the ensuing conversations, she identifies ifthe prospects fit the profile of her ideal customers. She looks atthings like budget, goals, and location.
  • Presenting - Once she is sure of what the customer’s needs andpain-points are, she prepares a customized proposal of herservices.
  • Resolving - If any customer concerns come up, Lindsey has alreadyprepared solutions to their issues that she is ready to offer.
  • Closing - She employs proper closing techniques that aren’t pushyor desperate to close the deal.

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4 steps to creating your sales process

  1. Analyze your current process (or lack thereof) - Consider what isand isn’t working. Look back at the last 5-10 customers you had andoutline what happened and what led to the sale being closed orfalling through. Identify every touchpoint with the customer andhow long the overall process took. For example, how manyconversations took place, what kind of objections were voiced, whatquestions were asked, how long did it take for a decision to bemade, etc. Also note what was said or done that caused the prospectto move forward toward making a purchase.
  2. Map out the purchase journey for your ideal customer - Once youunderstand what you have been doing, the good and bad of it all,outline what an ideal sales journey would look like for your targetcustomer. This will come from putting yourself in the customer’sshoes, and having well-crafted customer personas will helpimmensely (check out our blog on personas for more insight).Clearly outline each step discussed earlier, from sourcing leads toclosing.
  3. Define the beginning and end of each process step - Map out whatyou will communicate to customers during each step and the type ofcontent you will use. Plan out all the questions you need to askduring the qualifying stage, product/service features you willdiscuss, persuasion techniques you will use, etc.
  4. Measure results - Once you define a sales process and start usingit, constantly keep an eye on metrics, like average time spent ineach step, the percentage of deals closed after presenting, at whatstage do customers drop off, etc. With specific metrics like thisyou will be able to pinpoint trouble spots and adjust accordingly.

Remember that processes aren’t and shouldn’t be stagnant. As you gainknowledge and experience, your techniques will also evolve to be moreefficient.

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