I believe every business is a sales and marketing business. Even with the best product in the world, if no one knows about it, the business will fail. It’s taken years to build and improve Pure SEO’s sales process, and we are still constantly refining and honing it—it’s one of the most critical ongoing processes in the business.
For this article, I’ve laid out seven important techniques that have helped us build a winning system.
1. Create a sales process
Like most things in a growing business, having established systems and processes are critical to sustained sales success. Identify and utilise a good CRM; we use Highrise, as it allows salespeople to log interaction with their prospects, reminds them when and how to follow up, and provides good reporting for management.
2. Focus on improving your best people
Most businesses focus on their worst salespeople, helping them to learn and improve. In my experience, doing this disadvantages your best salespeople; being successful shouldn’t mean they get less attention. A good analogy for this would be a sports team—the best managers focus on their best players.
3. Provide value
At Pure SEO, our ethos is that prospective customers should feel like they have received value from our proposal, even if they do not choose us as a supplier. I personally like to go one step further. I want the prospect to come out of that meeting thinking there was so much value in it that they would have happily paid for it. That way, even if you don’t win the business, the prospect has a lasting, positive impression of you and the company.
4. Sell the right product
One of a salesperson’s most important assets is their ability to listen. Once they have heard what the customer really needs, they should then tailor a proposal to deliver something of value to the customer. For example, if a customer needs to sell products quickly, they should focus on paid advertising (Google Ads, Social, Programmatic) and not things that take time to yield a result (SEO, content).
5. Be transparent
Most products and services have strengths and limitations. Make sure that you are open and honest about the likely results, the activity you need to undertake, and the costs involved. Most businesses are happy to pay a fair price for something, so adding hidden costs or promising unrealistic results will only result in a poor experience for your customer.
6. Measure performance
Make sure you know the sales metrics that are important to your business. These could be anything; response times, number of calls, number of meetings, or even a close. Once you have data on the important metrics, you can then identify where salespeople are succeeding, or where they need to improve.
Ask for the business and close the deal. A lot of salespeople are great at having conversations and building rapport, but then struggle when it comes to actually sealing the deal. Don’t be afraid to close the deal, and don’t overthink it—just do your best, and then take your shot! Not every deal pans out, but you miss more overall by staying in your comfort zone.