The journey you take your buyers on can result in conversions or bounces. No matter what type of business you own, you likely have a system for greeting new customers, teaching them about your product and closing the sale. There are many steps in between, and the more detailed your process, the more likely you’ll increase revenue.
According to the United States Small Business Administration, approximately 31.7 million small businesses exist in the country. Around 81% of those firms have no employees, being solopreneur ventures. In addition, there are 20,139 larger businesses. No matter how you look at the numbers, you can be sure you have a lot of competition out there in one form or another.
If you want customers to flock to you, you must make the process of buying as simple as possible. Walking them through the steps needed to complete a transaction is a vital component in your success. Here are the steps to taking someone from a lead to a loyal fan.
1. Find Your Target Audience
One of the first steps in the sales process is prospecting. You have to find the people who are interested in what you have to offer. If you don’t already have buyer personas based on customer analytics, take the time to create a few.
Once you know who your audience is, it’s much easier to create headlines for your landing pages and marketing that speak to them.
Branch digs into what type of furniture their customers might look for and talks about home office setups. When you first land on the page, you see their headline, which reads, “Exceptional Furniture for the Home Office.” They also offer a “Design My Office” wizard.
2. Qualify New Leads
You may get traffic from people who don’t fully match your business model. Not everyone who visits your website or enters your business location will be a good lead. Take the time to learn what their pain points are.
Does what you offer solve their problem? If not, don't be afraid to refer them to someone who can help overcome the challenges they face. You’ll have more time to focus on qualified leads and they’ll not waste their energy on something that won’t benefit them.
3. Share the Steps to Completion
People want to know how many steps they’ll have to go through to complete the sales process. Share a list of steps, but keep it fairly simple—no more than four or five.
Use images and subheadings to show what steps they’ll need to take to register for your service or buy your product.
RefiJet shows the process to get your automobile refinanced in Colorado. They have three simple steps, and show each one with an illustration and a subheading number one to three. A short description is under each section if the user needs additional information.
4. Research the Lead
Your sales reps should intuitively know what questions to ask to see if the other business or the consumer is a good match for your brand. If serving other companies, you may ask questions such as what they’ve tried before with your industry and how it worked for them. If dealing with individuals, your questions might be more along the lines of their current needs.
Train your sales team in how to ask follow-up and open-ended questions to gather as much data as possible. Once you fully understand your client, it’s much easier to guide them to the right products and services. Your pitch should match their wants.
5. Overcome Objections
At some point in the sales process, the user will come up with a handful of objections to why they shouldn’t spend their hard-earned dollars with your company. Your job is to overcome those objections and show them the benefits outweigh the cons.
Class Creator offers some options at the top that answer common questions of who, what and why. Under “Why,” they offer a list of the benefits of choosing their software over other options. If someone wonders why they should choose this brand over competitors, the section answers those queries.
6. Close Sales
Never underestimate the power of the close. Every well-trained salesperson knows that you can gain or lose a customer at this stage of the process. Make sure you walk your customers through the details of closing.
If you have them sign a contract, make sure they fully understand the scope of the agreement.
Once they are ready to buy, follow-up immediately and get them started. Make sure they know the exact steps after they agree to work with you. For example, will an account specialist be in touch? When? How?
Follow-up may be the most important part of your sales process. It is your opportunity to develop a positive customer relationship. Happy customers refer others and word-of-mouth marketing becomes a powerful tool to bring in new qualified leads and further grow your brand.
Map Your Process and Try New Things
Spend time mapping out your sales process. What is your particular buyer’s journey? Can you reduce any steps to simplify things for your prospects?
Once you have an idea of your process, try new things. Tweak your map until you have the perfect combination of factors resulting in a high conversion rate. When things don’t work, try something else and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. With a bit of attention, you’ll soon increase conversions and profits.