Below are 5 classic areas where a sale process can be a failure.
There are many reasons why your sales process might be failing and this list could run into the hundreds. The most important point to remember that your sales process is just that – a process – and as a process it is only as strong as the weakest part. To fully assess the effectiveness of your sales process you need to look at each and every element and check that each one is working properly, one of the main problems many sales people fall into is to focus on the close when other areas are badly in need of improvement. Below are 5 classic areas where a sale can fall through.
A sales process is only as good as the clients that are fed into it. If your leads are weak then no matter how good the rest of your process is you are unlikely to get many sales. Ideally the leads that your sales team will be following up will already be pre-qualified to ensure that their needs match the features of your product. Failing to qualify leads will result in low sales and a sales team with low morale.
While the aim of the sales pitch is to ultimately lead to a close and a sale this doesn’t mean your pitch should be all about the close. Without first asking questions to understand your clients’ needs your sales team will be unable to communicate to the client how your product fits in with their company and specific issues, you’ll also come across as being uninterested in helping your client which won’t encourage them to make a purchase.
Many potential clients exit the sales process early because of overly pushy sales techniques being used by inexperienced sales people with a poor understanding of the sales process. Until your sales people have identified the client’s needs (through asking questions) and then established how the product can help there should not be an over-zealous attempt at a close. Clients who say no initially may still convert to a sale at a later date if they are not pushed away.
Poor follow-up is a massive problem for the sales process in many companies. There should be a good follow-up process in place for both clients that made a purchase and those that didn’t. Following up on people that made a purchase is important because retaining an existing customer and making further sales to them is considerably easier than finding new customers – unless of course you don’t follow-up. It is important to follow-up with clients who didn’t make a purchase because they may make a purchase in future, and even if they don’t they may provide valuable information relating to your product and their company that can enable you to improve your sales process further for future clients.
A sales process is not something fixed, but rather something that your company should be improving on over time as more information from clients becomes available. Failure to change either your products or your sales technique to match client’s needs and current market conditions is a problem that affects many companies. A part of your sales process that worked well in the past may need tweaking or even completely changing to stay successful in the future.
These are just a few areas where your sales process may be failing. Every sales process will need updating and changing over time – the key to a good sales process is to encourage employees to constantly look for weak spots and ways to improve them.
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.