Sales Funnel: Definition & Guidelines to Improve Your Performance
In this post, we’ll show you how to create a great sales funnel from scratch, to improve your lead-generation efforts and get more clients!
Have you ever wondered what could risk your business failing?
Most business owners tend to be misled while mapping their sales process steps that will ultimately result in their failure and decrease their sales revenue by missing the global image and making mistakes that cost them heavily.
In order to avoid that, you need to understand what are the main steps to perfectly ensure a solid map for your sales process steps.
What is a Sales Process
What is a Sales Process Mapping
A sales process is a set of repeatable processes taken by salespeople to convert a prospect from a potential lead to a closed client. A solid sales cycle provides a framework for representatives to follow, allowing them to successfully close deals.
A standard sales process contains the following steps:
Connect and Qualify Leads
Investigate the Company
Delivering a Presentation
Completing the Deal
Retaining the Client
The first step in the sales process is prospecting, which entails finding new potential customers, also known as prospects. Prospecting's purpose is to build a database of possible clients and then engage with them in a methodical manner in the hopes of converting them from potential to existing customers.
The lead generation process can be done in a variety of ways on the internet, such as gathering contact information from visitors on your landing page, prospecting on LinkedIn, or using an online email hunter tool to find the company’s email addresses.
Representatives contact those identified leads in the connect step of the sales process to obtain information. The second element of this stage is classifying potential leads, which entails determining whether or not they're a good fit for your company and whether or not they'll likely go through the buyer's journey.
The first point of contact can be made in a variety of ways, including phone, email, text, and social media.
A salesperson can find highly qualified leads through this engagement if they have the following information.
- The role of the contacted person: to ensure that the message is forwarded to a decision-maker.
- The problem that an individual is attempting to tackle.
- The pain points that person might try to solve.
- Priorities that they strive to achieve on an individual and corporate level.
- And solutions that have already been implemented to address the issue.
The research phase follows, during which salespeople learn more about each client and business.
Research allows your salespeople to put themselves in the position of their customers, allowing them to provide a more customized and personalized experience, increasing the probability of a sale.
Recognizing every prospect's difficulties and needs, as well as establishing your product or service as the solution, is critical at this stage.
To acquire a comprehensive understanding of the business and its aims, your representative may need to interact with other individuals in different departments at the company. A competent salesperson should have a greater understanding of the firm than the particular lead who operates inside.
The presentation stage is when your salesman gives your prospect a formal product or service demonstration.
Because this stage takes time, it is usually saved for better-qualified prospects later in the sales process – which is why the engagement and qualification phase is so important. You don't want a sales rep to squander any valuable time if it can be saved.
Customize each presentation to the prospect's specific use case and sore points.
A sales representative may also invite an engineer or executive to the meeting to show the quality of service the client would experience if they do business with your firm. This also enables companies to address more technical inquiries that a customer service representative might not be qualified to handle.
This stage of the sales cycle includes any late-stage activity that occurs when a contract nears completion. It can include giving an estimate or proposal, negotiating, sometimes handling objections, or gaining decision-makers buy-in, and it varies greatly from firm to organization.
Every salesperson aspires to complete the sale's deal. It should result in a contract between the prospect and the seller that is mutually advantageous.
When a deal is closed, the salesperson is paid a commission based on the price they established with the buyer, and the account is typically handed over to an account manager or customer service manager.
Even though completing deals is the main goal in sales, salespeople do not cease working with clients once they have done so. Representatives should not only ensure that customers receive what they ordered, but they should also assist in the passage of buyers to the team in charge of onboarding and customer success to maintain your customer's satisfaction.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, it costs five to 25 times less to keep a customer than it does to find a new one. As a result, make sure that your staff continues to satisfy your consumers after the sale is over. Focusing on this final phase will not only ensure customer retention but will also strengthen your sales wheel, allowing you to obtain more clients by word of mouth.
How can you create your own sales process now that you understand what one is? Return to the sales process steps from earlier. What is the best method to organize and visualize it?
The act of reviewing and visually displaying the processes your sales team takes to complete a deal is known as sales process mapping. Creating a sales process map for your organization may be enjoyable, educational, and well worth the effort. As a result, the time it takes to convert a prospect into a customer will be reduced.
This method allows you to identify inconsistencies, learn what's working, and match your sales process with your company's objectives. It aids in the development of a long-term growth strategy by your team.
Let's have a look at how to map the sales process using a hypothetical company as an example.
You must begin with the end in mind - a specific, measurable aim. But don't get too worked up over it. Extending your reach, growing revenue by X%, client retention, or reaching a specified monetary number by a certain date are all possible objectives. Maintain a straightforward approach.
Knowing where you want to go is essential when planning a route. What are your objectives? Once you know that, it'll be much easier to figure out what steps or turns you'll need to take to get there.
Do sales involve only the salespeople?
This is where it gets tricky. The majority of consumers misunderstand this concept, believing that sales are inextricably related to a salesperson, which is completely incorrect.
Depending on your product and specialty, every sale is the result of a genuine joint effort comprising various combinations of marketing, customer service, sales, distribution, IT, and so on.
So, what to do now? You'll need to gather these stakeholders, define your objective, and include them in the process to boost your revenue.
To state the obvious, the purpose of meeting with everyone is to collect the particular actions they take to move from point A to point B. It's time to go through each stage in detail as it relates to your company, products, and sales staff.
What steps do they take to do whatever it takes to move that prospect further down the funnel fast and effectively?
Take a look at your previous sales processes. What strategies worked best, and where did prospects dwindle?
With an objective in mind, you'll be able to maintain your sales process as efficiently as possible by answering these questions.
Prospects require different things at different points of their sales funnel journey. Awareness, consideration, decision, and advocacy are all steps in the process. Make sure you know what it is, no matter how you characterize or identify it.
Next, examine your sales cycle from the customer's point of view. Make a note of your client's activities and responses to your sales process in the same document. Keep your buyer profiles on hand to keep your team focused on the client.
You're ready to put your sales process to work once you've mapped it out from both the seller's and buyer's viewpoints. You won't know if the procedure will help you achieve your objective until you put it to the test and see what happens.
It's a good idea to identify the steps and plan out the procedure. It's critical, in fact. However, if you aren't also tracking and assessing results, you may be on the incorrect track and not even realize it.
So always make sure to keep track of what you're doing, how well you're doing it, and manage any modifications along the way.
After finding out all the necessary and essential steps for mapping your sales process, your business and your team are all set to start action, don’t hold things down, and begin your journey NOW!