We like this article by Al Davidson. With spring in the air, its time to clean up and freshen things up for the summer.
Your sales process needs to be freshened up every now and then. The 4 tips below can help you focus on some very important areas.
Spring Cleaning Your Sales Process? Here are 4 Tips to Consider
Spring is here, and many people use this time as an occasion for cleaning out their homes, garages, cars and otherwise doing a deep clean to de-clutter, re-energize and recover from the doldrums of winter.
But what if you could use this time of year as an opportunity to de-clutter your sales process, too?
Spring Cleaning is not just for your basement and garage; it’s also a chance to re-evaluate what’s working and what needs to improve with the sales performance of your business.
Sales Process Tips for “Spring Cleaning”
Analyze Your Sales Data
We’ve all been there: you finally get to a point with your home where you feel like “something here isn’t working,” and you decide to do a deep Spring Cleaning – getting rid of old furniture, de-cluttering, perhaps remodeling or renovating a room.
In the same way, you need to take a fresh look at your sales performance to evaluate what is working and what needs to change. So take some time out and do a deep dive into your sales analytics. For example:
- Where are your sales leads coming from?
- Which sources of sales leads are getting more important/less important?
- Where are you getting the best conversion rates at each stage of your sales process?
- How have these numbers changed in the past year?
- Which types of customers are giving you your best sales results? (The old 80-20 rule often applies – you might find that 20% of your customers are giving you 80% of your sales.)
- Which types of customers are the best opportunities for growth? (This can be a subjective decision; you might have certain industries or verticals or markets that you want to expand into which are not yet showing up in your sales results.)
Hopefully you already have a track record of sales data to analyze and compare, but if not, start now!
Create a consistent sales process with separate steps, based on the typical stages of discussion with customers in your sales funnel, from intake of new sales leads to closing the deal.
De-Clutter Your Sales Process
Once you’ve looked at your sales analytics, it’s time to take the next step and make some decisions about how to simplify and de-clutter your sales process. This can include everything from:
- Which stages of the sales process just aren’t working? Can they be eliminated or re-tooled?
- What sort of marketing collateral or sales literature are you using? Is it outdated or ineffective? Does it need a refresh?
- Re-evaluate your sales scripts and sales demo materials. Can you make them simpler, cleaner, quicker?
Ideally, your sales process should be adaptable and constantly adjusting to meet the needs of your buyers. Every sale is a chance to learn from your customers; use this knowledge to continually improve your sales process to boost your conversion rates.
Prepare for Big Goals
Spring Cleaning is an occasion to prepare our homes and personal lives for big changes or big events on the horizon – whether it’s preparing for a new baby, for a teenage kid’s graduation party, or hosting guests for a wedding, or otherwise improving our homes in a way to make them more hospitable for major moments in our lives. In the same way, use “Sales Spring Cleaning” as a chance to look ahead to your big sales goals for the rest of this calendar year.
Are there big trade shows or conferences that you’re going to be presenting at? Are there certain big clients you want to go after, new markets to expand into, or new products to launch? Spring can be an occasion to check your progress on your big annual sales goals – and make adjustments as needed.
What do you need to do differently starting now, for the spring and into the summer, to make sure you achieve your sales targets and maximize your chances of success?
Get Outside Help
Spring Cleaning is often such a major undertaking that it’s worth hiring help. Just as you might want to hire housekeepers for a deep cleaning of a long-neglected room, a landscaper to excavate an unused garden, or a carpenter to install new fencing at your home, it’s often a good idea to consider hiring help to improve your sales process – whether that’s sales training, consulting, or lead generation support.
Spring is a time of renewal and finding new sources of energy and optimism, at home and at work – bring the spirit of Spring Cleaning to knock the cobwebs out of your sales process, and you’ll find that the rest of the year is more abundant with opportunities.