There are 3 elements to any good sales process:
- Electronically storing the details of the quotes. This starts by capturing enquiries from your website.
- Sending a nice, professionally designed proposal.
- Eliminating unnecessary steps.
How do you set these things up?
Electronically storing the details
In my experience, I’ve seen various different ways of organising quotes you’ve sent. Some businesses use a basic CRM system which keeps all the details together; other businesses most commonly use an Excel spreadsheet, and scarily enough some don’t document this at all. The Business Automation CRM in the Better Proposals App Store keeps track of all the proposals you send, when they’re due to be followed up with and more.
Whatever system you use, make sure it doesn’t let you miss any opportunities that should be followed up with. I would heavily avoid using spreadsheets at all costs. They are the death of all things automation and there’s little use for them other than to produce pretty graphs.
Another killer mistake is thinking, because you are excited about closing a certain deal, that you’ll remember to follow up when you are supposed to. Everything needs to be documented or you’ll forget it. You can not scale your business up, delegate and automate anything if it’s stuck in your poor brain.
Sending Professionally Designed Proposals
I’ve never understood why so many businesses don’t send professional looking proposals, instead of these horrific looking Microsoft Word “Quote Templates”. They are horrible, unprofessional and do not inspire any level of confidence. The way I see it, you have two choices. The first is to use a designer to professionally design a PDF which contains all the general information about your company, then attach an editable PDF with the costs and other specifics about the quote.
The downsides to this are that it is completely un-trackable, and PDFs are notoriously recognised as spam, so are immediately sent to most people’s junk folders, and you’ll have no idea if they even received your email.
Alternatively, you can send something web based rather than a PDF, so the look is consistent. This is what a proposal send with Better Proposals looks like:
Branded in your logo and colours, clean, and best of all - trackable. One of the biggest frustrations we have heard from business owners and sales people about sending proposals, is not knowing what happens after pressing send.
They have no idea if the prospect got their email, looked at the price and closed it, spent 30 minutes reading every word or anything in between. If you’re looking to follow up effectively and win more business, then knowing when someone opened your proposal, what they looked at and for how long is critical information.
Here’s how it looks:
I would love to tell you that there are many other systems out there that do this and you can take your pick but there’s a very good reason why we built our own. We just couldn’t find anything very good.
Eliminating Unnecessary Steps
Another issue preventing businesses closing more deals is that they make their prospects jump through so many pointless hoops. An old client of ours, let’s call them Dimpene, sold financial products. Here was their sales process:
- They would make their potential client fill out an initial form to capture their details.
- Then before they’d talk to them, the prospect would have to sign an NDA and a non-circumvention agreement.
- Then they’d need to sign an engagement letter if they wanted to go ahead.
- As if that wasn’t bad enough, the poor chap would have to go through almost exactly the same thing with the finance company they were being referred to.
Unsurprisingly, they’re finding it a challenge converting sales enquiries. Your sales process should be no more complicated than this:
- Have a conversation and extract all the information you need to produce a quote.
- Send a proposal with your terms and conditions attached with the ability to sign it online.
- Follow up at exactly the right time and ask for the sale.
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.