The sales experience means a lot to customers. It is important for companies to understand the impact of the sales experience and continuously make improvements to the sales process to maximize its benefits.
In a recent USA Manufacturing hour on twitter, Host, Chase Bodor from Plastic Plus Technology, led a discussion on the topic.
Improving Sales Process
The chat began with participants discussing how improving sales processes can impact your business.
Rebecca Prox said the Digital Marketing Pro said, “One would think that improving the sales process would improve business profitability.”
Host, Bodor replied, “Louder for the people in the back, please!! Investing in the process itself would make a great return if done properly”
Ruby Rusine and the Social Success Marketing team said, “Improve your customer satisfaction. Get better insights into your customers. + more...”
Prox replied, “It's always about the customers!”
Host, Bodor then replied, “Absolutely!! What good are sales if you can't satisfy the customer in the long run??”
Nigel Packer from Pelatis Online said, “Any improvements in the sales process to increase conversions is great for the bottom line. We must remember not to lose sight of the customer when making changes.”
Pavel Stepanov from VirtuDesk said, “Faster checkouts, more customers, more revenue, and competitive sales advantage.”
Val W from Monofrax LLC said, “Let me count the ways. *Reduced costs, increased revenue, better communication (few silos), better customer relationships”
Host, Chase Bodor said, “46% of sales managers say improvements in sales infrastructure and technology will boost their ability to achieve or exceed sales quota.
Next, the chat discussed what account mapping is and how it can be used in this context.
Prox said, “Honestly? I have no idea. I'll watch the other answers.”
Rusine agree, “You and me both Becca. Will wait for the answers.”
Julia Gardner from Hourly – Insurance & Payroll said, “Teach me!!”
Stepanov said, “Sales team employees utilize it to understand how customer companies work, identify key decision-makers, and plan their next steps.”
He added, “It is used to gain insight into the organizational structure, decision-making processes, and relationships within the customer's organization.”
Host, Chase Bodor said, “Account mapping identifies the key relationships within the organization that you are responsible for servicing and/ or selling to.”
He added, “Maintaining good relationships with multiple contacts, especially those with decision-making power, will increase your ability to service customers more effectively and provide better solutions that fills the entire organization's needs.
The chat then went on to discuss how sales interactions can be made more meaningful.
Gardner said, “Nurturing a relationship with your client directly or their community to ensure trust!”
Host, Bodor replied, “Trust is KEY! And that plays into the customer service/ experience aspect. Can your customer count on you to have their best interest in mind throughout the sale and beyond?”
Rusine also replied, “Good answer, Julia!”
Prox said, “I'm always a proponent of making people feel like you've known them your whole life. Relationships like that go a long way!”
Host, Bodor replied, “I love that. My approach lately is to be as authentic as possible. That helps keep consistency in the relationship and build that report.”
Rusine said, “Listen well. Practice empathy. Have integrity.”
Stepanov said, “You can do this by personalizing your conversation and recommendations based on their needs. Aim to provide value instead of pitching your product/service right off the bat.”
Host, Bodor replied, “Absolutely. I love the personalized recommendations part of this answer. The person on the other end actually feels heard and valued when you provide something that's just for them (even if it's a common problem).”
Julia from Teitsch Kent Fay Architects, P.C said, “being compassionate and understanding when selling a service is always important.”
Brett from FreightPOP said, “Focus on understanding what your customer needs and build a relationship with them so they are more than just a number in the books!”
Stepanov added, “Transparency is a factor here. Be honest in every sales interaction. Avoid exaggerated claims or false promises.”
Packer said, “Know your customer. Make the sales interactions relevant to them and what they are buying.”
Host, Chase Bodor said, “Make each touchpoint valuable and calculated:
- interact proactively
- Create whitespace
- use dynamic relationship management tools
- stay customer-focused: double down on curiosity”
He added, “The term whitespace might be unfamiliar - it is used as a spacer between touchpoints for upselling. However, the same applies to customer service - when we create space it allows our customer to navigate their problem and educate themselves with your offering.”
Removing the Guesswork
The host then asked participants ways that you can remove the guesswork for your customer.
Prox said, “Be transparent and communicate everything you can communicate. Let them be with you through the whole process in some way.
Rusine replied, “Absolutely! Communication is key.”
Stepanov said, “Providing a clear step-by-step guide and making FAQs available for them can help.”
Julia said, “We try and be available to clients so that if there is any confusion, we can clear it up immediately.”
Rusine said, “Be proactive, transparent, and helpful.”
Packer said, “Know what they are going to ask before they ask and then deliver that information before they need it. By mapping their journey, it allows you to see what is needed at each point of the sales process in relation to their own process. As we sated in an earlier question, know your customer.”
Host, Bodor said, “Knowing your customer and their issues better than they know it is powerful. I've never understood how to get quite to that level - but I know planning and mapping is one of the key ways to get there!”
Host, Chase Bodor said, “Eliminate the guesswork by:
1.using guided selling
2.reducing response time
3.aligning sellers with buyers
4.taking a "challenger" sales approach
5.training sellers to be up-to-date on the latest challenges in the industry so they can educate buyers.”
Overcoming the Climate
Finally, the chat participants discussed if a better sales process overcome tough business climate.
Rusine said, “This one, I will leave to the experts.”
Prox said, “I would think so! When business is tough, we pivot. That's always been my motto. Make the best of what we have, focus a lot on quality product and quality relationships.”
Gardner replied, “This is a great philosophy, Rebecca!”
Kirsten Austin from DCSC Inc replied, “Love these observations, Rebecca. You are very wise.”
Stepanov said, “A more efficient sales process eliminates bottlenecks and unnecessary steps. As a result, your sales force will be able to respond swiftly and adapt to shifting market conditions.”
Stepanov added, “During a tough business climate, it becomes critical to focus on high-potential prospects and prioritize sales efforts effectively. A well-defined sales process helps identify and target the most promising opportunities and allocate resources accordingly.”
Host, Chase Bodor said, “As budgets tighten, opportunities become less abundant. Companies (and their buyers) will be more reluctant to move forward with new deals.”
He added, “A proactive sales and support team can work to protect their pipeline and refine the customer experience. This will help ensure that new, prospective customers feel safe moving forward. while repeat customers with, long-standing relationships, will benefit from established trust and communication.”
Anyone who champions U.S. manufacturing can join in on a new conversation each week on Twitter using the hashtag #USAMfgHour. The chat starts at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time/2 p.m. Eastern. Share positive blog posts, helpful articles, news, important information, accomplishments, events, and more with other manufacturers and supporters from throughout the country.
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