Sales can be daunting, especially for those who started their businesses with expertise in fields other than sales.
But here's the good news: sales is a skill that can be learned!
In this episode, we're breaking down the structure of the sales process and introducing key terminology to ensure we're all on the same page.
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No business owner I know started out as a professional salesperson. Now I'm sure there are some and good for them because sales is absolutely critical to every business. For those of us that came from having expertise and then turning to sell it, sales can be terrifying. But like every other aspect of business, be it finance, marketing, or project management, there's a structure, sales follows, and it's a skill that can be learned. In this episode, we're specifically approaching sales from the system's perspective. But, to have a productive discussion about it, we need to be on the same page for the structure of the sales process. Having this shared definition and vocabulary makes it a lot clearer on how to track and evaluate success in the system. Which we'll be discussing in upcoming episodes. When you have clarity on the specific steps that people take to become clients, not only can you begin to improve and predict the system, but it also skyrockets the confidence you have in that system being able to deliver the desired results. Let's get into the nitty gritty here on terminology and the definition of the sales process. We'll start with the terms used in the sales process. Likely, none of this is completely new territory for you, but I want to make sure we have a shared understanding so that there's no confusion later when we're wading into the systems. Okay, let's start with a prospect. A prospect is a person or company you've identified as a potential client for your service. Yeah, great. Next up, lead. A lead is a person that has expressed interest in your service. Said another way, a lead is a potential client who has taken some action indicating an interest in what you have to offer. A prospect turns into a lead when they've responded to an email or phone call from you confirming their interest. Now, we're going to talk about two categories of leads. Marketing Qualified Leads, MQLs, and Sales Qualified Leads, SQLs. It's possible that this kind of lead categorization might be new to you, or maybe you haven't spent much time thinking about this because you're too busy working the leads you have. Great. Categorizing leads this way helps to make your sales process more effective because salespeople are able to prioritize leads that are hotter, that is, they have more indications of wanting to buy now. Each business sets up their own criteria for when a lead gets moved into one of these categories, and these categories can change, these criteria for these categories can change over time. A marketing qualified lead, or MQL, has typically shown interest and has interacted with your brand in ways that suggest potential for becoming a paying client. Such as downloading content, booking a consult, or attending a webinar. If someone signs up for the newsletter, they're a lead. If they then download the budget calculator mentioned in the welcome email, they would then become a marketing qualified lead. A sales qualified lead, an SQL, is a prospective client that has been vetted and is deemed ready for the next stage in the sales process. Essentially, an SQL has the means and the authority to make a purchase decision. For kitchen and bath design businesses, the most likely criteria for becoming an SQL is having the right budget and being ready to make a purchase decision in the next 30 days. Okay, now that we've got the terminology handled, we can walk through the sales process. The sales process is moving someone from a prospect or lead, through qualification, into the design consultation. In sales terms, this is a needs analysis. From there... A proposal is presented in the form of a design and quote, and then the sale is closed when the client signs the agreement and pays the deposit. Sure, it all sounds so simple like that, but we both know that in reality it can be more complex when hiccups happen between stages or there's any uncertainty on the qualification criteria. However, the complexities are much easier to see and deal with when the process is outlined. Qualification criteria are clear and the information is in a trackable system. In the next episode, we'll be on the sunny side, talking about what makes a good sales system. Don't worry, you can keep it simple and still have a good sales system. What makes it good is the results it gives you, not how complicated the technology is. Heads up, Hire Help, my book on how to use experts to shortcut improvement, growth and capacity is launching October 23rd. Be the first to get the details on Hire Help and pre order by going to HireHelpBook. com Was this episode helpful? Take a moment to rate and review this podcast. Rating helps other kitchen and bath design owners discover our episodes.