Tips on Transforming Your Sales Process
As entrepreneurs or small business owners, “It is all about knowing your customers” we hear this advice repeatedly, but what does it mean?
It means different things depending on your business’ needs. As a Customer Experience Consultant, I understand it as the points where your business is interacting with customers, how long it takes to respond, and measure those interactions; these are essential aspects to offer a customer-centric sales process.
The goal of any business is growing, and in today’s market conditions, we need to include the customers as part of the buying journey. It is a question of survivability; it may seem a daunting task, but centering your sales process around the customers will give you that competitive edge that you need to overcome the new market conditions.
There are specific challenges that I need to overcome to build my business, and I want to share them with you.
- There is no more travel, no more trade shows or conventions, and no more personal meetings with customers; sales is a remote activity.
- Working remotely means updating technical skills and managing a distributed team
- Getting your offers noticed through the web of trillions of other offers
- Customers’ expectations of real-time response require automation as much as possible
- Online reputation is critical to acquire and retain, more than ever with a limited budget for marketing
Indeed, we need to adapt to new conditions and at a light speed. Small businesses need to adjust to a new business development process and add the customer point of view.
We have jumped into the digital transformation, meaning that we need to use sales and marketing technology to be relevant and acquire new business or retain the customers that we already have.
Wait a minute! Digital transformation for small business owners doesn’t mean the same as for a corporation. There are many simple improvements that you can take advantage of without breaking the bank or putting your cash flow at risk.
Here are 5 approaches to be more customer-centric:
- Ask your customers or someone you trust to help you refresh your brand; it could be as simple as changing your website content, restoring your logo, or testing what kind of message resonates with your audience.
- A customer experience specialist could help you redefine your customer strategy, finding ways to reduce costs, and reassigning it to another area that needs more attention.
- Update your customer experience skills. Take 30 minutes to learn about customer experience best practices; micro-lessons are popping up every minute.
- Ask your customers or potential customers to understand the most effective way to service them.
- Make an online audit of your reviews, social media messages, emails, or conversations with your customers. If you are a new business, read your competition’s reviews to learn how you could better serve your ideal customers.
As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we need to know how digital changes the sales process and use our scarce resources wisely. Big consulting firms are probably out of reach, but still, you have some options to transform your sales process and pay more attention to your customers:
- Contract a part-time Virtual Assistant; they specialize in helping you with social media management, customer service & support, and other admin tasks. The most crucial part is that you will have time dedicated to “know your customers” better.
- Consult an OnDemand Marketing Specialist, they will refresh your brand, content and provide social media strategy, and they also manage your social media accounts. Most importantly, they will work your ads expenditure, so you don’t burn money without results, and you could pass those savings on to improve the way you serve your customers.
- Take a sales challenge to learn how to automate your lead generation without paying to advertise and learn how to sell by adding value for your customers.
- Get a Customer Experience Specialist assessment to take the next step to transform your business into a more customer-centric organization.
As an entrepreneur and small business owner, you think customer first. Now you need to put it all together to revamp your sales process and to reflect how much you care and how much value you are adding; it is not selling a product; it is the value of the sale and why you care and how you can solve your customer’s problems. Competing in new market conditions and keeping your eyes on the customers is a question of survival.