How To Optimize Your Sales Process & Land More Clients

how to optimize sales process conversions sell more clients

The truth is, the COVID-19 crisis is putting more pressure on sales personnel to deliver to ensure the continued operations of businesses. Just look at how much conversions have dropped in most industries amid the COVID-19 pandemic: 

business sales conversion growth graph decline chart covid-19 pandemic
Source: Neil Patel 

But every sales person knows how difficult it is to close a sale. If you want to convert leads, you can’t just give your sales pitch and hope and wait to get those conversions. Sure, luck can help you land a client, but it’s more your preparation and strategy that will actually determine whether or not you successfully sell a product or service. 

Bottomline is, sales process optimization is key. In this article let’s look at ways you can do just that. But first let’s look at how you can generate those leads in the first place. 

How To Generate Leads 

To generate leads, you have to reach out to people yourself. This is why cold outreach is an important part of your sales strategy. 

Although you can conduct your cold outreach in many ways, the most effective by far is through email. Just consider these facts. According to Statista, there were 3.930 billion email users worldwide in 2019, a number that is expected to grow to 4.481 billion in 2024. 

email users worldwide chart
Source: Statista 

Campaign Monitor says based on data from McKinsey, email is also 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter. 

Of course, you need to create a Gmail email account before you can start your outreach. You also need to have a clear vision of your customer persona, or your image of your ideal customer. 

Once you have that clear, you can start making your list of potential customers. Search for the email addresses of relevant companies on your list on LinkedIn. Then search for the relevant people in those companies. 

Once you have that list, you can use an email verification tool to find their email addresses. 

Assuming your copy converts, the more sales emails you send, the higher the chances of you finding that person who is interested in what you have to sell. If you’re not organized, though, email tracking can be hard, and it can be impossible to know which emails you have to reply to. There are, however, tools you can use that can make your life easier. 

Make sure to test your outreach emails to get the best result. For example, you can include emojis in your subject lines to make the email stand out in an inbox. Alternatively, you might want to add a Gif to your email to make the content more engaging. These are all things you should test and play around with. 

Got a sales call? It’s time to make preparations. 

Prepping For Your Sales Meeting 

You can’t expect a sales call to go well if you do not do your due diligence. By this I mean reading up on your prospect and the company you’re dealing with. Just think about it. From whom would you rather purchase something? From someone who just parrots a sales pitch throughout that meeting? Or from someone who has taken the time to understand what you really want in a product or service? 

Obviously, your answer-and anyone else’s for that matter--would be the second. In this section, let’s look at how you should make those preparations in order to impress your prospect. 

Research 

Nowadays, it’s not even too difficult to do the research. Most of your prospects will be professionals, so they are more likely to have a LinkedIn profile. But don’t just look at their employment history, and check whether or not they are a decision-maker. Look at their interests as well. To do this, you can check the posts they commented on, and look at the types of posts they make. 

Once you’re done with your research on your prospects, research on their companies too. You can check LinkedIn or the About Page of their website for this. Is the company small or big? How many does it employ? What is its annual revenue? How long has it been around? These are questions you can answer through LinkedIn or through a quick Google search. 

Finally, research on how you can help your lead as well. If for instance, you’re selling SEO services, you can look at how your prospect’s company website is doing. Analyze the website page speed, how much content has been indexed on Google. Do competitor analysis, keyword research, among other things. This way, you can provide some feedback on what your prospect needs in relation to your product or service during the meeting. 

With your research, you’ll be in a much better position to determine what your prospect’s pain points are. Plus, you’ll make him or her feel more comfortable, as you talk about other things that matter to him, other than your product or service. 

Set Tasks For Lead 

Before you go to the meeting, I suggest you set tasks for your lead. 

So for example, with the SEO company I worked for, we would always ask leads to complete these two tasks before the meeting: 

• Answer a short questionnaire regarding their needs and budget 

• Provide access to Google Analytics, and Google Search Console 

The idea is for you to get to know your lead better, and to determine whether or not he or she is serious about working with you. And then there’s the psychological factor too, which I won’t go into. When you set tasks for the lead,  basically, this will put you in a better position to be the prospect’s “teacher.” 

Come Up With That Sales Pitch 

Sure, you want to sell, but you can’t just start spewing things about your product or service without thinking to get your prospect to make a purchase. There’s a certain art to sales pitching you need to know in order to be effective, ask the experts themselves. Basically, it’s this: Your sales pitch should not be about your product or service. It should be about your prospect and his or her needs in relation to your product or service. 

Let me give you an example. Suppose you’re selling elearning modules to a prospect. You can’t start talking about your marketing module to an engineer who wishes to know about reverse engineering. In the same manner, you can’t start pitching about how you can make your prospect’s website load faster, if his or her website loads relatively quickly. 

In other words, for your sales pitch to be effective, it should address your prospect’s real-life problems and offer your product or service as a solution to those problems. Sometimes, though, the problem is not in the gist of the sales pitch, but in the way it was delivered. Let me illustrate. Which of these pitches to a company owner do you think would be more effective? 

• I will charge you $5,000 a month for SEO. For this money, I’ll design you a super fast high converting website with content focused around the right keywords. 

OR

• If you work with me I will make you $20,000 extra every month. It will cost you $5,000 a month for my services. 

Obviously, it’s the second option. Business owners want results, and by results, they usually mean the Return on Investment. In short, when you make your pitch, you have to bear in mind too that your words are your marketing tools. Don’t use words that will push your prospect away.  Change your vocabulary to build relations and increase sales, instead. 

Prepare Props 

Before you go to that meeting, make sure you prepare your visual props.With visual props, after all, you can drive home that point that can help you close that sale. 

Visual props can vary depending on your preference, but in sales calls, Powerpoint presentations are the most common.  Where I worked we used the SEO ROI graph that looks something like this:
 
seo roi graph

As you can see, the graph shows how much value increasing one’s online rankings has. I personally like this type because it shifts the attention of the prospect away from the cost of your service or product to the prospect’s potential gains. 

Whichever visual props you choose, make sure they are clear, simple and easy to read. 

Running Your Sales Meeting 

When making your sales presentation, there are a number of things you should also bear in mind. Let’s take a look at some of them in this section. 

Talk, Yes, But Listen, Too 

You might have a lot to say during your sales meeting with a prospect, but my suggestion is this---don't get carried away. There's what you call the 80/20 rule among top marketers and salespeople, which basically says sales personnel should spend only 20 percent of their time talking. The remaining 80 percent? He or she should be listening. 

This makes a lot of sense, since your goal as the salesperson is to make the prospect see that your product or service addresses the prospect’s pain points.In short, you need to get your lead talking about what those pain points are in the first place. Only when you truly understand what your lead’s problems are will you be able to address each of them in relation to what you’re offering. 

Focus On Value 

Once you’ve listened to your lead’s pain points, you can start your pitch. 

Apart from addressing each pain point in relation to your product or service, your pitch should focus on the value of  what you’re selling. Remember what I said earlier? No one wants to hear how much a product or service is going to cost him or her. Just think about it. If someone told you you’d be losing $90 for a pair of shoes, you might just change your mind about buying. But if someone tells you about the comfort the shoes bring, that’s a different story. 

Focus on what your lead can gain from what you’re offering, not on how much he or she will lose. 

Add A Sense Of Urgency To Your Offer 

During your presentation, you want to create that sense of urgency too. This is important because when you make the prospects feel that fear of missing out if they pass up on your offer, you’re most likely to make them act on your offer. 

The key here is to not come across as that person needing the work. If you show you’re in demand, too, you make your prospect see that what you’re offering has value

But don’t come across as an arrogant person either. So when you mention things like “I only work with certain types of clients” or “I don’t have much spare capacity” to add a sense of urgency to your offer, do so sparingly but strategically. 

Set Clear Steps On What To Do Next 

Every sales call should be closed with clarity. There’s never room for ambiguity or vagueness here. Although the goodbyes and thank yous are good, you don’t want to end your sales meeting with just those. 

So at the very least, after a presentation, you should have set another meeting with your lead for a quote on your offer. It’s best to send the quote to him or her personally, so you can personally explain how you came up with the computation. If you email the quote, you might have to wait for long for a response that might not even come. 

At most, you close the sale and your now-client pays up (fingers crossed). The point is, the “what to do next” after the sales meeting should always be clear and specific. 

Wrapping Up 

There’s more to selling than just making a pitch and then hoping someone makes the purchase. Although it is an art because it basically requires the building of relationships, it is a science, too, because there’s the need to follow and repeat strategic steps in order to close a deal. 

It can be hard to sell nowadays because of the COVID-19 crisis. But if you follow these tips to optimize your sales process, there’s no reason you can’t get that sale and land more clients in no time.

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