Every Entrepreneur’s asking: “how to increase sales in my small business” so here’s one homework assignment to help,
Could you quickly and easily map out and diagram your sales process for your small business?
You might be looking to increase sales as a home remodeler, real estate agent, web development company, SEO company, new brewery in Minneapolis, foodie spot, chimney sweep or general contractor. It doesn’t really matter what kind of small business you are, I’ve met very few successful businesses that aren’t looking to improve and grow their sales revenue.
Mastering and documenting a sales process is one of the most helpful things a business owner can do in terms of “working on their business.”
The Fundamentals of Sales Growth – The Sales Process
Establishing Process, systems, and Ideology and documenting it
Here at FeedbackWrench, we believe that when business owners take time to work on their business, by developing systems and documenting them, they will be able to progress through the entrepreneurial ladder as described in the book “The E-Myth.” This is critical when answering the question “how to increase sales in my small business.
The Entrepreneurial Ladder:
Summary of the Ladder: In this ladder, everyone starts out as a self-employed person that’s decided to do the work for themselves, rather than working for someone else. But the technician is still bound to “time in, money out” model, where their income is driven only through their own efforts. Eventually, if you get some help through team members, you’ll get to the management stage. As the manager, you’re starting to establish processes and work with “Other people’s time” to produce profits for yourself – but the demands on systems, management skills, and leadership ability becomes the most critical. Finally, if you work diligently on your processes and empowering others to take ownership of all the work, which is much like preparing to become a franchise, your business will work without your direct efforts, meaning you’re a true entrepreneur.
I’ve found that there are many advantages to documenting your systems and business ideology if you’re an entrepreneur.
Benefits of documenting Systems and ideology:
- Creates consistent messaging
- Allows easier evangelism and spontaneous elevator speeches
- Provides website framework
- Makes content creation easier
- Hones your vision
- Helps you identify vague ideas
- Increases your conviction about your value proposition
- Allows you to more easily integrate new employees
- Creates an employee training framework
Sales process and funnel
This morning I had a funny conversation with my five-year-old daughter. I was dropping her off to school almost 15 minutes early, and I asked her what she does while she waits for her class to begin. She gave a very brief and simple answer by replying “we get a sticker and then go to school.”
My daughter’s response was definitely an oversimplification, and did not provides me any helpful substance. Such a simple reply is totally fine coming from a five year old, but too often it’s the type of response I hear from entrepreneurs and business owners concerning their sales process.
I believe that everybody within your small business, particularly the owners or principles, need to be able to grab a sheet of paper and map out their sales funnel and customer marketing process – at the drop of a hat.
Practice makes perfect, and allows you to be a guide
[inlinetweet prefix=”Great Sales” tweeter=”Great salespeople don’t push solutions. Rather, they are guides, relentlessly pursuing the client’s best interests” suffix=””]Great salespeople don’t push solutions. Rather, they are guides, relentlessly pursuing the client’s best interests[/inlinetweet][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Great sales people are guides not closers
The only way a salesperson can even make the shift away from being a close, towards being a closer, if they are confident that their solution is a wise choice for the client. Entrepreneurs, you’ll have to ensure that your product or service is a wise choice for people, so that you can become a guide for prospective buyers, rather than trying to push a close. Let’s just assume that you have a company that is worthy of the earning business.
If you’re acting like a guide, you’ll need to be a teacher to your prospects.
You cannot become a guiding teacher, without internalizing the process for the buyer and your value proposition.
You cannot internalize the buyer’s process or your value proposition, if you haven’t put effort into mastering it, rendering it down, and memorizing it.
Putting in the hard work of rendering down ideas and processes onto paper, is the first step in becoming a great salesperson that can guide prospective clients in a manner which is worthy of trust.
Therefore, putting your processes & value proposition onto paper leads to trustworthiness, and Trust is what sales is all about.
Therefore, documenting your processes, including your sales funnel and processes, allows you to more easily obtain the trust of prospective clients
Putting processes to paper can be as easy as sketching it out or typing it in a word document.
What should a great sales process look like?
When you first get started, I recommend keeping it very simple. Take at least one hour every week to work on documenting, memorizing, and perfecting a process such as your sales process.
Rather than shooting for perfection, start by mapping out the basics.
After you’ve mapped out the basics, it’s fun to open up a word document and use their “Smart Art” function to create some basic graphics about your process. You could also grab a sheet of paper for some post it notes and try and render down the process in a very basic manner.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]You will want to make two versions of any process, a version from both an internal and external perspective.
For the external perspective of your sales process, keep it extremely top-level and simple. This should be something you can put on an agenda which I would highly recommend whether you’re communicating on the phone, sitting down for a face-to-face meeting, or heading to a job site to start bid.
Use simple framework to start with something like this:
- Connect on the phone
- Fill out details on a web form
- Connect in person
- Develop proposal
- Established expectations and agreements
- Project implementation
- Recurring interaction
This is simply an example of what it could look like, and I would recommend keeping your terminology very basic. The idea here, is that by establishing this process, you’ll be able to speak to this process from your core without the need for any sheet or notes.
Documenting this process is primarily about internalization.
While this process can be hold and solidified into marketing material, Website content, and other things, its the greatest benefit is to help you internalize it so that you can present or teach at a moments notice.
When you document your processes from an internal perspective, you’ll want to start with generalities and evolve into instructional logistics.
- When you hire
- Instructional logistics
You want to create instructions for new employees that you’re going to hire someday.
Trust me when I tell you, you don’t want to wait till the time you hire somebody, to create documentation around your processes. That’s because the hiring process is difficult, and you will be so busy that you will waste time and money training if you don’t have some documentation about your sales process and ideology.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Few things waste as much time as an employer, than saying the same thing over, and over, in order to teach.
When you hire someone, you’ll be depleting your mental energy, and you’ll wish you had worked on these processes when you had margin.
I recommend to develop processes long before you think you’ll need them.
Implementing an employee:
We’ve learned this the hard way at our Minnesota tax and accounting firm, Nuance Financial. When we hired, we spent lots of energy trying to recruit the right kind of talent, setting up computers and technology, and a whole slew of other things we kind of forgot about, each thing depleting our reservoir. In fact, just setting up interviews, performing interviews, creating contracts, making official employment offers, setting up payroll, setting up W9 information, and abiding by the Bureaucratic nonsense our government puts on employers, can absolutely leave you dead…. not in a place to effectively teach or document processes.
Internal Perspective Sales Process
In order to establish a great set of processes, start with the basic process and then add on the following sections.
How to quickly establish an Internal Sales Process:
Answer these questions from a new employee’s perspective:
- What to do.
- When to do it.
- Why you do it
- Who does it.
- How you do it.
- Where you store it, systems you use.
- How do you know you’ve done a good job, what characterizes excellence here?
- What’s next and how do you setup the next step for success?
Nothing develops mastery better than teaching others creating teaching & training tools.
I’m not suggesting to small business owners to get tanked by doing all sorts of things like this – you need to work in the business like a maniac, but take time to work on your business a consistent and pro-active way. We know that the more you can document your processes, starting in a basic way, the more mastery you’ll discover and the easier growth will become.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
How this answers “How to increase sales in my small business?”
Sales: If you want more sales, you’ll need your sales people to earn trust by acting as guides. In order to act as guides in a consistent manner, you’ll need clarified and focused messaging.
Scalability: Do you feel like you’ve been called to build a company that lasts for generations? McDonalds, Coca Cola, and H&R Block all started as small businesses – but they eventually worked to establish and improve their systems. We now call this “Lean” processes, or Lean Six Sigma.
Continuous Improvement starts with establishing Processes and Documenting them.
I’m going to venture to say that small business owners are much more wise than you’d expect, much more wise than college graduates and w-2 employees…… That’s because an entrepreneur took their head knowledge and applied it – no matter how flawed or imperfect their abilities or knowledge was. If wisdom is perspective, than an entrepreneur is is rich with wisdom because the numerous hats they wear causes multiplied perspective with each experience.
Because entrepreneurs wear so many hats, they receive a “perspective multiplier” with each experience.
Entrepreneurs deserve to have their businesses improve, and their families can benefit greatly when they’re able to focus on their business.
Established Processes Becomes your Propaganda
Once you’ve established some basic processes, and documented them, you’ll be able to more easily transform from an outbound focused marketing system, to an inbound marketing system.
Website development and compelling content
When you work with a firm like feedbackwrench, we help you:
- develop amazing content throughout the web,
- enhance your online reputation, and
- get found by Google.
When we work with small businesses and entrepreneurs that’s have already done the hard work of writing down their processes, we can quickly get the web to serve as your best employee – generating leads much faster.
In order to cause your local SEO to improve, you need to create quality, relevant, and strategically focused website content. Your ability to do this, even with a firm like Feedbackwrench, is amplified through documented processes and ideology.
Documented sales processes amplifies your ability to produce quality & relevant content online.
You’ll be able to get more leads, close more leads, and grow your business for generations when you document processes like your sales process.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
FeedbackWrench Web Design Company Minneapolis Mn:
What we’re passionate about, our Mission:
We help local small businesses go from good to great, by being their outsourced business development and web team.
Why we exist, our Purpose:
We want to help business owners maximize their efforts, and build a business that lasts for generations.
Our Core Focus for Small Businesses:
- WEB: we make the web their best employee through inbound marketing methodology and SEO
- FEEDBACK: we help owners become wise through employee & customer feedback, and
- VISION CULTURE: we help their business last for generations by establishing a Vision Culture.
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