In a lot of businesses these days the focus is getting leads but there is no process to convert these into sales. One of the best sales improvement hacks is to develop and document a Sales Process. This can make a massive difference to your conversion rate – but where do you start? In this episode, Ben Fewtrell (CEO and co-founder of Max My Profit – a business coaching company focused on helping small and medium enterprises grow profitable and successful businesses) joins Kym to discuss Sales Process and it’s important to nail it down.
Ben Fewtrell Background
- Spent over a decade as CEO of ActionCoach ANZ (another business coaching company)
- CEO at MaxMyProfit since its formation in 2016 (focused on help business owners grow their business not just their sales process but every aspect of their business
- Runs two successful podcasts (both a weekly and daily);
- the Daily Business Tips Podcast (started over a year ago, focusing on giving the audience everything they need to know to run a successful business)
- Business Brain Food (started in mid 2014, focused on bringing in a wide array of leading experts to give anyone listening a better understanding of you to better build their business
- Started his first business at the age of 18 in the transport industry.
- In 2001 met Andrew, a business coach and following a short chat with Andrew saw the power of working with someone that could coach him to grow a business the right way
Four critical parts of business
- The first part is marketing, or generating the lead
- The second part is then converting that lead into a customer
- The third part is then being able to let the customers stay longer and then have great customer service systems in place to get them buying from you again and again
- The Fourth part is to make sure the business systems are profitable then the business works
General Information on Sales Processes
- The Sales Process is the step by step system for maximizing your conversion rate
- In a lot of businesses these days the focus is getting leads in and in and then selling but there is no process
- Ben Fewtrell has seen a lot businesses run this way, where they lack any sort of process so what they do is get a lead and then sometimes they act on the lead straight away, sometimes it takes days to get back to them, some leads are getting sent information electronically, some are getting different information through their conversations with others while some are talking to the owner and some are talking to owners children, there’s a wide variety as to how each lead gets handled and when you have that inconsistency in how the leads are handled you are very likely to get inconsistent results
- People will ask all the time how can I make my sales staff more successful? When it should be about getting a successful sales system in place for the salespeople to use so they can get the results.
- One of the biggest challenges companies face is in getting their newer salespeople on board – the sales process helps speed this up
- There is tons of great software out there for mapping out your sales Process but Ben Fewtrell recommends Lucid Chart (see resources at the end)
Stages of a Sales Process
- The First step is to work out what you currently do
- Is there any consistency to it?
- Why you do what you do?
- What are you doing in the early stages?
- What qualifies a good fit for your business?
- This stage is just about outlining what you do already
- The next step involves whatever you may do after you have made the initial contact
- Do you email them?
- Do you send them marketing material?
- So, step two is essentially giving the prospect more information about your product or service once you have qualified them as a good client
- Think about why you are sending them this info, is it because they ask a lot of questions about a certain aspect, then the material you give them might be some frequently asked questions to dispel any fears they may have
- When you start to do this you may think about times where you haven’t done all those steps and missed out on a sale and it will allow you to realise maybe I didn’t get the sale because I forgot to send the FAQ or I didn’t tell them to talk to three of my existing customers
- You start to realise very quickly the five or six things you can systemize to tighten up the sales process
Barriers in Sales Processes
- If it’s so essential, why do so many people not have a clearly defined sales process?
- A common problem Ben recognises with small businesses is the owner/directors are typically the first salesperson as they are more passionate about the product and they know what the customer needs more than anybody. They may have had a year or two or three years where they practice overcoming objections, troubleshooting different issues.
- What happens is all their knowledge is taken for granted (sitting in their head), then they go and hire someone who has sales experience but not specific company or product experience and they wonder why the salesperson isn’t having instant success
- A common mistake Ben Fewtrell sees businesses making today is that owners value their money more than their time, so they won’t invest their time on doing things that will make them money down the track. This is what Ben calls working on the business rather than the business.
- A challenge that most people in business face is that they are so busy working on the business doing the stuff they think is saving them money in the short time and they are not spending their time on the things that make money down the track – like creating a sales process.
- Whether its marketing or sales, whether its planning or training and any of those things in a business
- When looking at creating a sales process you need to take into consideration whether your business faces seasonal ebbs and flows to decide whether you need to do more marketing or promotional material during the slow months
- A lot of business owners don’t realise that up to seventy or eighty percent of the sales process can now be completely systemised and automated,.
- For example, in your sales process if you have a problem where you go to sales meetings and they don’t know enough about your company or they don’t feel confident in you being able to deliver, they don’t know what your product or service is, part of your sales process might then be to show some case studies or a show-reel of clients you’ve worked with this is called social proof
- People in business often like social proof, 14% of the population are the early adopters the ones who want to be first but the other 86% of the population want to know that the people that have come before them haven’t had some critical failure or something bad happened.
Ex Tradies Example
- Three ex tradies came to Ben with their new business
- These guys had found a script online and were using it to try and get their sales
- Since this wasn’t working Ben asked the guys a few questions regarding what qualifies a lead for them and what is the minimum/maximum size job they do?
- So, they started formulating the right questions at the first stage of the process to find out who is ready to go and who needs a budget solution so they can be referred to another service that is much cheaper (which was conveniently owned by the tradies)
- Then once it was decided whether the lead was looking for the budget solution then they would start asking questions about when they would want the work done, what was most important about the job and most importantly asking them to book in
- And just by changing reading straight from a script that they had downloaded “hi, this is what we do, here’s how good we are” to asking questions about the prospect – ” what they want the outcome to be, what they specifically wanted done, what was important to them or what their budget was – helped change the conversion rate from 4% to 40%
Ben’s Final Tips
- The first tip Ben believes it is essential to do a high-level map out of your sales process, you don’t even necessarily need to use the chart building software at this stage just grab a pen and paper and map out the five, six or seven steps that you currently do. Then systemise those steps. Examples of this can be answering frequently asked questions, sending samples of their work or before and after pictures
- The second tip would be to start testing and measuring each step and slowly tweaking things. I always tell people never tweak more than one thing at a time. For example, say for the third step in your sales process is to send out testimonials and reviews or whatever it may be (could be a show reel of clients) and then you make a change, adding some nicer images or featuring some bigger clients. If your conversion rate goes down then you can go back to what you had before. So by changing one aspect at a time you can see what the effect of changing one thing does
- Ben’s final tip is ongoing support for your sales people to make sure they are using the systems in place including KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). Look at each salesperson individually and start to track their individual KPI’s because every individual needs different things.
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