Once you have a handle on your Sales and Marketing process one of the issues to take a firm look at is repeatability. By this I mean the ability to execute the process on an ongoing basis. In my business experience, I have seen lots of "Bluebirds". Those are customers that show up out of the blue and buy product. These customers can be very handy. But they are out of the normal.
But here we are planning a business, not hoping a business or wishing it. This means that we have to have a regular series of activities that lead to Sales. That means that it is important to think through all the steps that lead to a Sale - from Brand Awareness to Lead Generation to Lead Qualification to Lead Conversion to Customer Retention. If you add all of these items together this is the Sales Process.
To make this process repeatable, there are three distinct activities. The first is up to the point of first Sales contact which happens when an advertising audience member becomes a Lead. The second is the process of converting a Lead to a Customer. Finally, there is a separate activity for Customer Retention. This last is not the focus of this article and I will post about it later in this series.
We have talked most about the first of these activities. This is all about the way that leads become aware of your products and services and then express interest in them. This is the Marketing side of the equation. The actions to take on this side are about the 4 P's of marketing: Product, Placement, Pricing and Packaging. In short words, have you crafted a message that your potential customers contain an attractive offer.
Once you have a Lead then you need a process to convert folks to Clients. There is a dual activity going on in this part. First is the Lead Qualification process. This is the process for you as the Sales Person to understand the needs and value of the client. The other process is the Lead Conversion process which is the connection of the needs of the client to the value of your product.
In order to make the process repeatable across these two phases there are several actions that you can take:
- Put your message out in front of your ideal client on a regular basis. Don't assume that potential customer will take up your offer on the first read.
- Measure the effectiveness of your messaging. Adjust your messaging to improve results.
- Once you have a Lead, work your process to convert a client. Measure the effectiveness of each step help provide adjustments to improve results.
This is the point that companies will use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software to help them manage the process. This provides users with information about customers and for the sales team about the process.
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