No one likes being sold to. This informs the approach we take to our sales process, enabling our prospects to make an informed decision based solely on their situation and requirements.

Our sales process is based on years of experience of the type of interactions that lead to a positive working relationship. We look for partners rather than just ‘clients’ and we don't undertake any pieces of work for anyone unless we think it will have a positive impact on their bottom line. For this reason, it's really important for both sides to understand each other before starting to work together.

If at any point we feel like we can't help, we'll point you in the direction of someone else who can, or give you some advice based on our experience. If at any point you feel like it doesn't make sense to proceed, there is no pressure to continue.

sales process explained

Companies that end up becoming clients – and those that don't — have both told us that our process helps them to gain a deeper understanding of the problem they are trying to solve, and the possible solutions. And yes, in some cases that means they find out that they don't need our help.

This is how it works:

Get all the right people involved at the right time

This is not so much a stage in the process as a vital ingredient throughout. Everyone is busy, and we’ve got to be respectful of each other’s time.

It’s likely that you’ll have a few people involved in the decision making process, who all have a slightly different take on things. Your CFO may want to see how we’ll balance cost of customer acquisition with customer lifetime value. Your marketing director may prioritise trackable ROMI, and your sales director might want to boost leads and dramatically cut the time it takes for a lead to become a customer. Your CEO is likely to be more interested in how a predictable and scalable process for increasing revenue will enable the ongoing growth of the business.

Anyone that waits until the end to get involved will not have a chance to contribute to the discussion, ask questions or voice any doubts. Their needs won’t have been met, and as a result, we’ll either have to start all over again, or you’ll decide not to go ahead at all. It’s in everyone’s interest for as many stakeholders as possible to be present in the exploratory stage.

Setting homework

This process is designed to ensure that we can work together to deliver scalable and predictable business growth using all the tools and knowledge at our disposal. At times during the process we might ask you to complete a questionnaire or do some reading between calls. We are not trying to make you jump through hoops for the sake of it. We're trying to find out information that will help us to do a better job, and will help you to think about key factors ahead of any discussion. Rest assured that anything we ask you to do won’t take up much of your time.

The sales process explained step-by-step

1. Initial phone call

This is what we call a connect call, the sole purpose of which is for both sides to work out if there may be a fit between your needs and what we do. It's not going to take long, and there isn’t going to be any selling involved.

The questions we want to answer together are:

  • Do we both think there is a way we could help you?
  • How urgent is this?

If we agree there is a fit, we either book the next step now, or schedule for later if it’s not urgent. If there’s no fit, we’ll try and point you in the right direction.

2. Exploratory meeting

This is often the most important meeting in the whole sales process. It allows both sides to work out in detail whether your needs and our services are a ‘fit’ and whether we can work together.

We want to fully understand your situation, so that we can:

  • Work out where you are now, and where you want to be.
  • Learn more about your business, your customers and your internal resources, and delve deeper into why you need help
  • Share some tips and advice along the way
  • End up with an outline plan of how you will be able to hit your goals.

We would like you to:

  • Be comfortable that we understand your challenge
  • Feel that we can actually help you
  • Be happy to start planning how to hit your goals.

A good exploratory call takes 60-90 minutes and we’ll cover lots of information. Again, it’s crucial that you have all of the stakeholders involved at this stage (basically everyone in your business who cares about this), otherwise we’ll end up back here again pretty soon.

3. Goal setting and planning:

Now we both have a solid idea of what the goals are. The next stage is to plan how to hit them. At this point we would bring in our delivery team, to help you come up with a plan to help you achieve your specific goals. If we captured things correctly in the exploratory call, we’ll be well prepared and this session can be done in as little as 30 minutes.

The output is a clearer definition of what your goals are, some plans to hit them, and some options to consider. We'll also be able to give you a good idea of what those options are likely to cost, based on how much work is needed from us, and how quickly you want to achieve your goals.

4. Proposal

We'll bring you some considered options to choose from and help you work through them to find the best way forward for you.

If you’re happy and want our help, we'll sort out the paperwork and arrange a kick-off meeting to get everything moving. Your sales consultant will stick with you through your kick off and onboarding, and always be on-hand to help you out.

Why do we do it like this?

It’s not in our interest to sell to people we can’t help, or to push people into decisions they are not comfortable with. We deliver great results for lots of very different types of companies, and we also know that sometimes we aren’t a great fit.

If we’re a good fit for each other, we’ll go all in to help you hit your goals.

And if we are not a good fit, it’s far better for both of us to work this out early on and save everyone valuable time and energy.

Find out more about the importance of taking an inbound approach and putting the prospect first in our free business growth ebook. Click the image below to download.

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Topics: Sales Enablement

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About the Author

Sales Enablement, Training & CRM Consultant - helping sales teams get better.

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