The sales process is an essential part of every business, but it’s also important to ensure that it is efficient and doesn’t take longer than necessary. A great sales process is one that gets the job done and sells the client on the products or services in a timely manner, so more time can be spent on the important part—the actual work!
Start it out right
Our sales cycle starts with prequalifying our clients simply by having a price range on our website. This is a great way to ensure that those who reach out to us are comfortable with our pricing and saves us the time and effort of creating proposals for someone who ultimately won’t hire us based on their budget. On the same thought, we try to educate our creative partners that refer us, so they are able to send us pre-qualified leads.
Hire the right people
While you may carry the bulk of sales in the beginning of a business’ lifespan, look to hire sales staff as soon as possible. Surrounding yourself with support staff that can handle portions of the sales cycle can save you so much time, even if it just means having a sales representative handling the initial consultations.
The sales process does take time, so it’s important to be patient so your prospective clients don’t feel rushed. We find that the part after the consultation is the lengthiest step as we’re going back and forth to revise estimates and hit that magic number to fit the budget. With that said, trust that your hard work will be well worth it once you book the lead so be patient and guide your prospect in the right direction.
Make time for the rest
When it comes to running a business, sales always trump everything else. It is, of course, what feeds the company and the income allows for everything to run smoothly. However, it can make it difficult to complete other projects because you need to make money. We’ve found that it helps to block out time for our projects. As much as you don’t want to hear it, the clients can wait. If they’re truly interested, they’re not going anywhere! That’s not a reason to delay an email response for a week, but you can rest assured that you won’t lose a prospect if you don’t respond to them for the several hours you spend on another project.
The key to an efficient sales cycle is to let clients feel like they’re making decisions on their own time without being rushed, while still simplifying as many steps as possible.
Kevin Dennis is the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and the immediate past national president for WIPA.