When I started my first venture, I remember internal processes being a complicated mess. I am not a very detail oriented person and this worsened the condition further. Over the last couple of years I have learnt from experience and my peers and mentors, the importance of having well oiled internal processes to enable the organization to function smoothly and efficiently. One of the most important internal process that needs to be optimized for a startup is it’s sales process. This process can be summed up briefly in the following major components:
1. Setting up lead generation processes.
2. Qualifying and processing leads.
3. Presentations and proposal development.
4. Closing the deal.
5. Keeping relationships with clients active.
If each step is defined clearly, and everyone in the organization knows what they are responsible for, expect higher conversion rates and faster processing times. The first step of the process is extremely important to keep the cycle moving regularly. In the past I have neglected lead generation processes, this leads to decreased activity and ultimately brings the entire organization down with it. Concentrate your efforts on ways to generate leads on a regular basis through a variety of methods. Some popular methods that we use are:
1. Offer case studies or downloadable material on your website that prospects can download by providing personal details. The other method is to offer material without the sign-up process on your website and include details about your services within the document.
2. Use social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin to connect with your target customers. Through these services, one can become an authority regarding a particular niche and provide insight and advice to prospects.
3. Start a blog or a newsletter where you provide prospects with high quality information. Through this method, develop a close relationship with your target market and occasionally pitch your services through this platform.
These are some strategies that you could implement to start generating higher quality leads. It is important to organize all the strategies you use, and ensure they are constantly updated and tweaked to get better results. Most strategies talked about in this post involve ways to become an authority figure in a particular niche. This is the fastest way to create a level of trust between the prospect and your organization. Once trust and a level of comfort is developed, the sales cycle starts to move faster and that is when the other 4 processes that I spoke about come into play. I will be talking about them shortly.
What does your sales process look like? What lead generation strategies have worked for you and why? Look forward to getting your feedback and comments.