New Buying Process Requires Fresh Look at Sales
Consider this tweak of a familiar phrase: They just don’t sell ïem like they used to. If you own a business or work in the sales field, you may have noticed a recent transformation of the sales funnel. Sales don’t happen in the same order as they have in the past. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that the tried-and-true sales funnel approach is dead, it just means that you need to adjust your thinking about best practices. Let’s take a look at the old system, the new system and how to make the switch.
Traditional Sales Funnel Format
In the ïolden days,ï the salesperson was clearly in charge of the selling process. The ïfunnelï indicated the shape of the progression of getting the sale. You start with a huge group of potential clients, even though you are aware of the fact that many of them are not realistic leads. This is the large part of the visual funnel. Then the linear process continues and the large group of people is narrowed down to a smaller list of potential clients. Before the transformation of the sales funnel, the salesperson would go through this list and winnow the group down even further, to just a few possible sales. The closure of the sale is the bottom part of the funnel, and after that, the salesperson just has to work to build customer loyalty with the new clients. This process repeats throughout the year, working the same way each time.
New Frontier in Sales Style
In the Internet age, the transformation of the sales funnel means the buyers are in charge. They don’t necessarily want or need the help of a salesperson until they are just about ready to make a purchase. There is such a bounty of information online, customers are much more comfortable doing their own research than talking to someone who might push them to buy. Plus, there are many different kinds of information they can find, including industry write-ups, client reviews and social media posts. There is little chance a salesperson can have the same amount of power he or she once did in the marketplace.
Once of the most troubling aspects of the transformation of the sales funnel from a salesman’s point of view the fact that clients also are researching company competitors. These unqualified leads can’t be directly sold on the selling points of your company as compared to the competitor because those conversations don’t happen much anymore. In addition, potential clients are just as likely to put their trust in a friend’s recommendation as they would a testimonial from the company website.
How to Ride the Trend
This major transformation of the sales funnel is not the end of the world as long as you can understand how to get involved in the process. Customers will be coming to your business’s website, so give them as much useful information there as you can. Make sure it is all positive but not salesy. When they are doing their research, consumers want to be educated without getting the hard sell. You should look for multiple channels by which to tout your company’s strengths; social media platforms and mobile-friendly sites are two places you need to have a strong presence. Also, don’t let your accounts lag or let customer comments go unanswered. Thank people for kind reviews or respond constructively to criticisms.
To take advantage of the transformation of the sales funnel, take the time to view your company from a customer-centric viewpoint. Tweak things that seem unfriendly or unhelpful. If potential customers are in the driver’s seat and doing their own research, be as helpful a copilot or teacher as you can in support of your company. Then, when consumers finally do reach out to your sales staff to make a purchase, your employees can seal the deal using great customer service and maybe just a little sales charm.
The transformation of the sales funnel may have thrown many companies for a loop, but your business doesn’t have to be one of them. It might be good to wade into a new stream and try out this new customer-facing strategy. You are sure to learn something new about your company or see things in a new light. If you like what you see there, customers likely will, too.
In addition to learning how to adjust your approach based on the new sales process, you can learn how to make solid hiring decisions and improve your companies using the resources at Mighty Recruiter as a guide.