How to Create a Sales Process that Actually Works

Creating a sales process that actually works can be challenging, especially if you’re trying to sell something that’s never been sold before, like an innovative new product or service. How do you know what your sales process should look like? What steps should you include? How do you make sure that each stage in the process happens in the right order and accomplishes what it needs to accomplish? If you have questions like these and need guidance on how to create a sales process that really works, keep reading to find out more about how to create a sales process that works.

The Guide

There are tons of complex, nuanced sales processes out there (and even entire books dedicated to defining the perfect sales process). But for all their complexity, most of these strategies end up looking like The PPP. If you sell something and want to get paid for it — whether it’s in B2B or B2C — you should be using some version of The PPP. Here’s how it works 1) Prospect; 2) Profile; 3) Present Value; 4) Prove Value; 5) Close. That’s it! Put them into action, and you have a foolproof way to increase your deal flow while also selling more value per deal. All with minimal effort on your part.

This sales cycle is as simple as they come — but don’t underestimate its power! Let’s take a look at each step in more detail…

1) Prospect

Like anything else, you can’t sell something unless you have people interested in buying it. So before you sell something, figure out how many potential customers exist and where those people hang out. Identify influencers and build up your knowledge of potential pain points. (This is especially important for B2B companies.) And always be on the lookout for new sources of revenue; it might sound counterintuitive, but increasing revenue from existing clients often costs less time and money than trying to gain new ones.

2) Profile

Once you have prospect leads, start profiling them based on available data about their company or personal information — e.g., size of company, industry vertical, location, etc. Knowing what kinds of businesses are likely to make good prospects will help you target leads effectively and increase your chances of landing quality deals. Ideally, include relevant contextual information like recent news items relevant to your business, such as regulatory changes that affect industries or new technologies making waves in certain markets.

3) Present Value

Based on all previous steps and insights into potential customers, now is when you’ll actually present value through both messaging AND product selection. Regardless of who reaches out first (you or a lead), make sure every communication includes value-adding content within minutes — not hours! If someone reaches out via email with questions about pricing, including a breakdown of cost per user/client/etc will already set yourself apart from 99% percent of other providers online by educating rather than pitching. Whatever you do, avoid overselling by focusing on benefits instead of features or even price comparisons. There’s no better way to lose credibility quickly than overpromising and underdelivering… This brings us to…

4) Prove Value

The proof is in the pudding — if you want to convert one-time visitors into long-term buyers, only talk about results! This can mean testimonials from happy customers, client case studies detailing ROI metrics across different departments within a company, references for past projects…the list goes on. Put your numbers where your mouth is because nothing sells better than proof. And never forget: Content marketing is still marketing! Creating a great white paper, ebook, or another educational piece is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and establish yourself as an authority in your field.

5) Close

The final step — and arguably most crucial — is closing! You’ve done everything you could to position yourself as an expert in your niche and prove you’re worth hiring. Now, close on positive terms by asking for exactly what you want: A meeting.