In lean start-ups the founding entrepreneurs often function as the company’s salesperson. This can be challenging for those that are uncomfortable in a selling environment. 请放心，它不需要如此令人生畏. 成功的销售是没有区别的任何追求. There is a systematic method that can be followed to achieve the desired outcome. Those activities once defined, can be monitored, measured and improved upon to increase performance.
Sales processes can be broken into three components: lead generation, 领导管理和前景转换. The following is a series of questions concerning each of the three processes. Review the questions and customize a list to your organization. Ask each person involved in the selling process to submit their answers. Then have a team building meeting where tribal knowledge can be shared, 为了所有人的利益. The more consistent and streamlined the sales process—the greater potential for overall company success.
Lead generation is the first step and a crucial aspect of the process. The ability to convert prospects to customers is based on the quality of the lead. Lead generation can take on many forms: cold calls, referrals, mailings, online forms and tradeshows. As a company, you have to determine your best source of quality leads.
如果你已经有客户, trace the sales pathway backwards to determine how they first learned about your company. Many times the most useful information can be gained by analyzing historical data. Maybe you believe many of your clients were obtained through networking, 然而，经过进一步的检查, you might learn that the majority of your clients came from speaking engagements or exhibition events. 如果你是这样的话, then focus your sales efforts toward obtaining speaking engagements rather than attending networking functions.
当你审计你的销售渠道, 你将了解到你的许多客户来自哪里, then reposition your investments to fit the appropriate channels. 一旦你知道你的渠道, the result will likely be that your customer acquisition cost will decrease significantly with savings going directly to the bottom line.
推荐是贵公司最大的资产之一. 贵公司是否有适当的流程来寻求推荐? You may be missing out on additional sales opportunities by not asking customers and partners for a referral.
Measuring the percentage of leads that convert to prospects is as important as measuring the amount of prospects that become customers. This early stage measurement examines the effectiveness of your lead generation process. Starting with a qualified lead provides a better chance for conversion.
Independent of the method you use to generate leads, you must have a detailed plan for follow up. Studies have shown that companies take on average 48 hours to respond to an Internet generated lead. Smaller companies do not have the luxury of a dedicated sales force and owners can easily get distracted by daily emergencies.
如果有一个明智的计划，任何事情都可以实现. Try to set aside a specific time each day/week for lead follow-up. Prospects will be more patient if they receive some type of response. At the least, have a computer generated message stating an expected response time.
9. At what point in the sales cycle do you determine if the prospect is qualified?
Wasting time on a prospect that has no intention of purchasing is missed opportunity for the one that does. 知道什么时候该切断联系，继续前进是一种学习的销售技巧. Those that succeed have an internal gauge that says, it’s time to move on.
“现在或不久的将来, the prospect must be able and willing to purchase your product/service at the price point you are selling”.
你是否正确地将时间投入到合格的潜在客户身上? What specific buying criteria must exist for a prospect to convert to a customer? 把前五名写下来是有利的. 他们能负担得起你的产品吗? 他们现在愿意购买吗? This list can be viewed repeatedly when going through the prospecting process.
By calculating your conversion rate from prospect to customer you have a method to audit your processes. Peter Drucker once famously said, “If you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This same principle for management can be applied to your sales strategy.
If you adopt the methodology that selling is a companywide responsibility you will have a selling machine that will constantly be producing new customers. This does not happen mysteriously; it happens as the result of planning and implementing processes. Invest some time developing a sales strategy, it will be time well spent.
特别感谢:洛莉·威廉姆斯 感谢她对内容的特别贡献. Lori is a business advisor at the Pasadena City College SBDC specializing in strategic planning, 金融, 市场营销和业务. 如欲了解更多有关PCC及SBDC小组的资料，请浏览: http://pccsbdc.org/about/staff/