Last week, we discussed the importance of mapping your sales process. The key reason we suggest you do so is that you can make your business less reliant on its leadership, offload sales team responsibilities and promote growth by distributing critical tasks among your team.
Today, we dive into what that REALLY looks like – what you’re probably doing now, and what you could do to make things more efficient.
Now bear in mind when we say “team” we aren’t JUST looking at your internal, full-time staff.
Your team includes everyone who has a hand in your firm’s operations, from your C-Suite, to that one guy who built your website three years ago, that you still email once in a while to make quick changes (and everyone in between).
In many growing companies, the onus is on the executives to keep the lights on. They delegate tasks, but not outcomes. This leads to a massive amount of pressure, and a top-heavy company.
What’s the difference?
Empowering a team member to own the result of any part of your business means, succeed or fail, they’re on the line for the strategy, planning and execution of that business function.
People who are empowered to own the result are more likely to go the extra mile, because they can take pride in the responsibilities they’re charged with.
For example – if consider the model we presented last week, where you have front-end discovery calls leading to a paid blueprint.
You can train a junior team member to field incoming sales opportunities all you like. But the team member who is empowered to own the outcome would instead have their performance evaluated on the number of discovery call they convert into blueprints. They become more likely to invest time into refining the process, and working with other team members who set up the calls to give them more, and better at-bats.
Yes, it’s more work to find the right person (or team) to take that ownership, but once you do, it goes a long way.
How Can I Tell Which Parts Of My Sales Process I Can Delegate?
The answer, unfortunately, is that if you haven’t mapped a process, and identified the component pieces, chances are there isn’t much ready to be handed over today.
The good news is, it isn’t hard to identify, scope and build those processes fast, when you have the right people in place to pick up the ball. There will be some challenges along the way, but you’ll be happy you worked through them in the long run.
In most businesses, the first part of the sales process to delegate is lead generation. Specifically what we’re looking at here is generating preliminary interest from a qualified lead.
A team member or external resource can work with you to extract and refine the critical talking points of your business, to get them to speak to someone on your team about your offering.
We encourage business owners and executives to start here, because this is the most time-consuming part of the sales process.
A close second to this, is the identification of qualified prospects. Finding a qualified lead list takes time, but when you have a clear understanding of your target market, and the subsets you serve best, you can maximize your reach. Let someone else go out and shake hands with strangers for you!
These two components of the sales process go hand in hand in offloading them from your executive team. If you have a sales team, imagine if they were able to spend their time closing interesting leads, instead of trying to hunt for them. If it’s just you, chances are you feel the pain of that black hole in your schedule even more acutely.
If you’re able to set your sales team up so they are only meeting with pre-qualified leads, you’re miles ahead of your competition.
Streamlining Your Closing Process
As we mentioned in the last article, we recommended splitting your close in a three-pronged approach: discovery call, strategy call and negotiation/closing.
The discovery call allows you to feel out people’s needs and see if there is a mutual fit. But more importantly, the discovery call be used to weed out leads so only the most qualified proceed the strategy call, saving your executives, closers, strategists or system architects massive amounts of time.
If you have your process down pat, discovery calls can be fielded by a well-trained, junior team member. Then, the strategist comes in for the follow up call once you know there’s at least a possible fit. It also impresses leads when you bring in “the big guns” for the 2nd call.
After your discovery call has demonstrated the value of working with someone LIKE you, in the strategy call (which we call a blueprint), your more senior team members are able to showcase why you’re the right company to provide the value for them.
Having this two-party system will go a long way to freeing your more executive staff to focus on the deals that are most likely to convert into business opportunities.
We’re considering going one step further. We’ve had such great success setting up discovery calls for clients, we’re planning to take on the next part of the process with a select few partners.
For some clients who have a strong handle on their sales process, and adopt the methodology we’ve outlined here, we’re exploring fielding discovery calls on their behalf.
This additional “sales support” as a service is something we’re considering rolling out in 2020. If you’d be interested in this type of service, let us know by commenting below and we’ll let you know when we roll it out.
And if you’re looking to optimize your sales process, let us be a part of your team. Consider booking a Growth Acceleration call to see how we might fit in, and augment your existing sales flow. We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses, and know what it takes to help awesome small businesses win big.