If you want to sell smart, act smart. And, a sales plan helps you act smart to generate leads and seal the deal.
A sales plan is a strategy that includes a specific set of goals, tactics, methods, and challenges that will help you execute the plan. A sales plan helps you to funnel the leads through the buyer’s journey. Whether you have just launched your product, or you are already in your sales journey, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the sales plan to make the process easy and seamless.
Before we could dig deeper into how to create a seamless sales plan in 5 steps, let’s look into the surprising statistics about the sales:
- 40% of the salespeople believe that sales prospecting is the most challenging part
- 36% claim that sales closing is hard
- 22% of salespeople that qualifying is hard
- Cold calling is not dying yet. i.e 92% customer interactions occur via phone
- 50% of your prospects are not a good fit
- The open rate of a sales email is just 24%
Given this, it’s important to have a sales plan in place to make the process easier.
Step 1 – Build your Roadmap
The goal of building a roadmap is to have a seamless process and have a strategy where all the components of the sales process work together to create a win-win situation for both the customer and business owner. As a business owner, you know the total sales goal and the customer base. Leverage all the sales tactics, and understand your customer base. A road map helps you with achieving optimal results.
A sales road map provides a trajectory that typically includes key details, goals, and important tactics that your sales team should stick to during business growth. With a sales road map, you can align with the business goals throughout the sales journey and instill trust in your target audience. The ultimate goal of a sales road map is to close more deals and achieve internal sales goals.
It is a highly personalized document that you will have to fill with minor details about your sales team and your company. You would want to include sales goals, major milestones, and action items that you want to include. Make use of a timeline maker to explicitly showcase the major milestones during the sales plan. Having a sales roadmap will allow you to have a lot of flexibility.
Step 2 – Build an Authentic Relationship
Once you have the sales roadmap and the list of your target customers, you should reach out to them in an authentic way. Personalization is the key when it comes to approaching target customers. The more authentic you are, the easier it would be to seal the deal.
Reach out to the target customers on various platforms. Choosing the right platform depends upon the nature of your business and the kind of product/service you have. If your target audience is teenagers it’s worth it to use Instagram, but if your prospects are professionals, LinkedIn must be your key platform to look for potential customers.
Follow a LinkedIn marketing strategy and leverage LinkedIn groups. Join the groups that are relevant to your niche and connect with the group members authentically. Never ask for personal details including email addresses, because nobody likes to be “sold to.” A great way to connect with them is by sending a short message or a personal note like this,
“Hi Karen, I just came across your profile and noticed that we share the same skill set. I’d love to connect with you. Hope you have a great day! – Naseema”
Consider this as a first step to building a business relationship with your target client.
Step 3 – Captivate your Target Audience
The next stage is to captivate your target audience. Once your target audience enters into the sales funnel, it’s time to keep the leads engaged and captive them in the right way possible. You should keep the following ingredients in mind to captivate your target audience like a rockstar.
- Build a genuine connection – Business deals are the result of genuine connections. Remember, no one wants to be sold to, and people do not like transactional relationships. Therefore, you should focus on building transparent relationships and prioritize authentic connections.
- Be confident – Do not underestimate the power of confidence during the sales process. You might be the most knowledgeable person in the room, but if you don’t know how to sell with confidence, you will never be successful in generating sales. Sales confidence allows you to enter into the room and sell your product with ease.
- Have clarity and a deeper understanding of prospects – Knowing your prospects will enable them to provide personalized solutions that are aligned with their needs. Once you do that you will easily filter the high-intent leads to seal the deal faster and shorten the overall sales cycle.
- Leverage the data – Data never lies, leverage the data that will help your audience to choose you over the market competitors.
- Add your unique preposition – Clearly mention what’s your unique proposition. List down all the potential features of your brand against your competitors and how that would benefit your target customer.
Step 4 – Nail the Big Meeting
It’s now the time to nail the big meeting. Great if you have already reached stage four. Once you can funnel down the lead to discovery call, keep it short. Before you could get on a discovery call, prepare ahead of time and be knowledgeable about your client’s company. Do not extend the discovery more than 30 minutes.
Try to control the urge of explaining everything in a discovery call. Remember that the first meeting will make or break your business. So, it’s important to take the time to prepare yourself. Think about how you are going to speak, what body language you will have, and what will be your tone. Just practice them all.
Be mindful of what questions you are going to ask your prospects. Encourage the prospect to explain the pain points faced by the lead, so that it enables you to understand their requirements. It allows you to provide the solution in the best possible way.
Prepare an agenda ahead of time. If you don’t have an agenda for the discovery call, it means that you don’t care at all. Share a concise yet thoughtful agenda and share it with the calendar invite link. It shows you care for the prospects and you take every business meeting seriously.
Here’s an outline of the how the agenda would look like,
- Learn about the client’s goals
- Discuss how your service can help the client achieve goals
- Demo of the products
- Next steps if applicable
Step 5 – Sales Follow Up
During the sales process, a sales follow-up is the communication that happens soon after the initial discovery call with a potential lead. As a sales agent, your responsibility is to follow up via email or call them on their business phone. An initial follow-up could be an email thanking the lead for joining the call and politely asking if the lead is still interested to move further with the process.
Your discovery call often doesn’t ensure you have secured the deal. If you do, you are lucky. However, it takes more than a single meeting until your leads turn into customers. In that case, it’s important to follow up. Every time a meeting ends, make sure both the parties are on the same page regarding the next steps and schedule the next meetings accordingly. So, when you send the lead a follow-up message, you mention what you talked about in the past, things you agreed upon, and the agenda for the next meeting.
If you can turn your potential prospects into a client, congratulations!
Once you seal the deal, you can have follow-ups with your lead to have repeated sales, cross-sells, or repeated sales. Design a proper follow-up strategy to turn your one-time client into a loyal fan. It can also help you to gain customer trust and retention. Just make sure you are being helpful and personalized to do whatever is in your customer’s best interests.
How to make the Sales Process Faster
So, how to make the sales process faster and have a great sales experience?
- Listen to the customer needs carefully (69%)
- Don’t be pushy, because no one wants to be sold to (61%)
- Providing relevant information builds credibility (61%)
- Respond promptly, anything that’s time-bound creates great results (51%)
Note: All the statistics are driven from Hubspot.
Great businesses have proven sales strategies and sales plans. If you want to sell smart, act smart. Your meeting should not feel dreaded, regular check-ins should not feel like a daunting task, and you should take every step to flourish, grow and improve your sales process.
Do you have any important steps that you might think we should include in our list? Reach out to us.