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Are you on track to reach your sales goals? If you aren’t, you might be kidding yourself about what needs to happen to close more business. You may not be following a sales process.

What are the steps in your process? You need to know what your sales process is before you can sell. A process is a series of steps. Successful selling is a sequence of steps if you want your client to buy.

Maybe you don’t have a sales process.

It’s time to have a conversation with your manager if he has told you to simply go sell. It’s management’s job to provide the process. It’s your job to execute it.

What needs to happen for each step to occur? Ask yourself what needs to happen so you can sell your products and services and get more business. What needs to happen for you to get a sale?

Maybe before you can sell you will have to create a proposal. What do you need to create a proposal? You must investigate customer needs that you can solve by selling your products and services. How do you uncover those customer needs? You need an effective questioning strategy. How do you create your questioning strategy? You identify the features and benefits of all your products and services. Then you identify the problems those features and benefits address.

How do you get appointments to ask those questions? You create a telephone introduction with a compelling message that engages prospects so they want to hear more. How do you do that? You examine the results you’ve produced for other clients and state the results in an easy-to-understand introduction. It’s far more compelling if you are able to quantify in dollars the results you’ve achieved for customers.

Use the process to measure where it’s falling short and where you need improvement. Now that you know what steps to take, you can examine the results you’re achieving in each step. What if you’re getting enough appointments, but far fewer requests for proposals?

Don’t panic. Remember, you shouldn’t write a proposal if you don’t have to and you still can get the business. You have a problem with your questioning strategy if you’re not getting orders. You are not uncovering reasons for your customer to request your solution and switch suppliers. Start working on how you’re uncovering customer problems.

You will be more successful when you have a process that produces sales for you. Now you know how to build one and then make it even better.

About Maura Schreier-Fleming

Maura Schreier-Fleming is president of Best@Sellinga sales training and sales consulting company. She works with business and sales professionals to increase sales and earn larger profits. She is the author of Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results and Monday Morning Sales Tips. Maura focuses on sales strategies and tactics that lead to better sales results. She speaks internationally on influence, selling skills, and strategic selling at trade association and sales meetings, demonstrating how her principles can be applied to get results. She successfully worked for over 20 years in the male-dominated oil industry with two major corporations, beginning at Mobil Oil and ending at Chevron Corp. She was Mobil Oil’s first female lubrication engineer in the U.S. and was one of Chevron’s top five salespeople in the U.S. having sold over $9 million annually. Maura writes several columns to share her sales philosophies. She's been quoted in the New York Times, Selling Power, and Entrepreneur.

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