Three Steps to A More Successful Sales ProcessThere is a saying that gets circulated often…“Who calls anymore?”

The days of the cold sales call and door-to-door salesmen are long gone.

In fact, our prospects don’t even want to talk to someone until they are very close, if not completely, ready to make a purchase.

The sales process must evolve accordingly, of course. Now we create content to get found online and to inform that buyer. We insert ourselves into their purchase path with the answers to their questions. Your content moves that prospect through the sales funnel to a warm lead and then to qualified lead, and eventually to a buying customer.

Knowing this, the sales team is now dealing with a customer at the bottom of the sales funnel. Your content has qualified them to the point of the traditional "sales call." Now, they must be prepared for a very informed customer on the cusp of purchase, and be able to make the most of that final contact to be able to close the deal.

Three Steps to A More Successful Sales Process

Lynette Ryals provides some tips to do that in her recent article for Making the Most of Your Sales Call, in the Harvard Business Review. While she calls it out for B2B specifically, these tips apply to any business sector:

Our prospects are now more informed than ever before. They are armed with your information, as well as your competitors. The most important thing is to respect that knowledge and respect their time.

Provide content that gets them to the point where they want to buy from you. By the time they’ve reached your sales team, they are a qualified lead, and just need that final hand hold over the finish line to happiness ever after.

What do you think? Have you seen the shift in your industry?

Get to Know and Protect Your Vital Few CustomersWe have all heard the term “80-20 rule,” which postulates that 20 percent of causes drive 80 percent of results.

It is also called the “Pareto principle,” named for an Italian economist who noted that 20 percent of the people in his country owned 80 percent of the wealth.

Victor Ho, CEO and co-founder of FiveStars, and a contributor to Inc., believes there is a similar “vital few” when it comes to your customers. Armed with this knowledge, Ho contends, business owners can take a few simple steps to maximize their customer base.

Our company analyzed data from thousands of small businesses and our observation is that on average 20 percent of a small business’s customers drive over 72 percent of their visits.

By “vital few,” he is talking about customers who visited these businesses more than 10 times. These are the people who drive “the vast majority of visits and thus revenue for these small businesses.”

According to Ho, the implications of this analysis are three-fold. (more…)

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