“Sales Process” most often refers to the repeatable set of steps your sales team takes with a prospect to move them from an early stage to a closed sale. Many of the articles I have read on this topic refer to the Sales Funnel and the Sales Process as the same thing. However, my view of the two is somewhat different.
From my vantage point, you should have a clearly defined Sales Process for prospects and existing clients. Why? Because the sequence of events, hand-offs, deliverables and timeframes may be different for prospects vs. clients. These key differences should be understood by you and your sales team in moving prospects to clients, staying in-touch and building those long-term business relationships.
The “Sales Funnel” on the other hand, reflects all of the active sales projects that result from the various interactions with both prospects and clients.
Our BLF ELITE Mastermind group has been working on the areas of Sales Process and Funnel Management for the past two months. And I want to share some thoughts with you from our work in the hope that it will help you build more effective sales processes for your business.
Sales Funnel … Is opportunity driven. The Sales Funnel provides a visual snap shot of all of the active sales opportunities that you are working on, and their various stages of completion from warm lead to Customer Acceptance. It is also the virtual “lifeline” for your business to both new and existing customers in driving sales revenues. Continue reading…
It’s hard to believe that the New Year is well underway. We’ve already packed away the Christmas decorations, dusted off the holiday cheer and are slowly getting back into the swing of our daily lives and routines.
While we are just getting started on our prosperity plans for 2017, the Chinese calendar year for 2016 is coming to a close. The Chinese New Year does not officially begin until January 28, and is the year of the (Fire) Rooster. The Rooster symbolizes the dawn and awakening, where triumph and success can only be achieved at the price of hard work and patience.
“The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.”
This coming Saturday, January 7th, my mother will be celebrating her 103rd birthday with the Angels. I mention this because Mom was a wonderful example of what hard work and sacrifice is all about. Mom was adopted at an early age and grew up in the Depression era. Growing up she had to overcome extraordinary obstacles, including dropping out of school after the 9th grade, to help her adopted family out financially and “earn her keep” in order to survive.
Now we all know that success requires hard work and sacrifice, but what else? What is the key to success? Continue reading…
Get to Know Your Customers Day is observed annually on the third Thursday of each quarter (January, April, July, October).
This is a day to reach out to your customers and get to know them better. However, should it really be necessary to designate a day each quarter to get to know our customers?
Getting to know customers (at a deeper level) is a requirement for building a successful and thriving business or practice!
We have heard it recanted over-and-over again, “People do business with people they know, like and trust”. A large measure of building that level of trust is staying in touch. Likewise, the primary goals of any business are what? Get more profitable customers to buy, buy more and buy more often.Continue reading…
What is this “success” thing we all spend countless hours thinking and talking about and preparing for? Will we recognize it when it gets here?
The dictionary tells us that success is defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, or the attainment of wealth, honors or power”. This infers that success is a destination, place or thing with a beginning and an end. I would argue that our desire for success is the driving force within each of us that propels us forward throughout our lifetimes.
We all want to believe that our lives have purpose and what we do is recognized and valued. It’s only when we stop trying, stop moving forward in our quest to attain success and personal fulfillment that we fail. As Richard St. John reminded us in his 2009 Ted Talk, “Success is a continuous journey, a journey that begins with our first step”.
The popular belief that “people are as successful as they choose to be” is highly misleading.Continue reading…
I have been struggling to get this month’s blog article out the door. After racking my brain this past Friday morning to come up with some creative new content to share with you, it dawned on me why … I’m burned out.
This past year I have been blogging for three different publications and have not taken a break to do what I enjoy doing most at this time of year … say ‘Thank You’. So, since I am a little late with my thank you this year, I want to express my thanks with a special gift this holiday season.
If you sign-on to Meetup.com, you’ll find there are approximately 130,000 Meetups (884 within 25 miles of my office) happening at any given time that represent opportunities to network and build great new relationships.
With this over-abundance of networking opportunities at our disposal, why do many small business owners struggle to make networking work for them?
The short answer is that most are not prepared for success when they walk through the door. Yes, networking can be time-consuming, frustrating and expensive if you don’t take the time to adequately prepare in advance.
As my good friend Jeff Klein, the author of ’30 Seconds to Success’ and the founder of Speaker Coop says, “There are only two reasons to network – to get referrals and give referrals”.Continue reading…
“Your location is not your destination.” – Laverne Booker
This great quote and self-help book title by Laverne Booker is a perfect lead-in for our conversation about preparing for success in 2021.
Yes, it’s already that time again. Time flies when you’re having fun, right? The fourth quarter is now over, so it’s time to start focusing on 2021, and those opportunities and challenges a new calendar year will bring forth.
“There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.” – Zig Ziglar
As I have said many times before, great results and success boil down to three active ingredients – great people + great planning + great performance. This basic formula for success is straightforward, but there are a lot of steps in-between that are necessary to reach the destination. Continue reading…
Get your head out of the Cloud! Yeah, I’m talking to you (and me) and everyone else out there. Whether your business is online, offline or both, we all need time away from the keyboard and out in the ‘real world’ in order to effectively grow our businesses.
Although it has been said many times over that advancements in technology have brought us closer together, I contend that it has done just the opposite. While technology has made it easier for us to engage machine-to-machine and automate various aspects of our daily work lives, it has also diminished the “human touch” in the process.
At the end of the day, however, building a profitable, scalable and sustainable business still comes down to people and the human interaction that happens in the marketplace between consumers and suppliers. That personal connection is still a key differentiator. Continue reading…
“Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.” – Unknown
Let the 2nd half begin … and so it has!! Sorry all of you raving NFL fans, it is not football season just yet. We’re talking about the 2nd half of the calendar year and you know what that means? It is time to step up the action!!!
Time to get serious about closing out the year strong and setting the stage for an even better new year to follow. Much the same as in sports, why do we humans always seem to have a greater sense of urgency in the 2nd half (of the year) than we do in the first half?
Most would say it’s a result of their efforts to recover from a slow start, an unexpected downturn in business or a major setback that put them behind in reaching their annual goals. I say it is simply human nature. We all go through cycles in life and business, ebbs and flows, much like the four seasons. As a result, our pace or sense of urgency is largely influenced by the cycle we are currently in, and how we are performing.
How can we create a greater sense of urgency for ourselves and our respective teams regardless of the business cycle?Continue reading…
Yes, your sales pipeline is truly your lifeline for future business success. You have heard me say this many times before, “no sales forecast = no business; no sales pipeline = no business!”
We are heading towards a world of perfect knowledge. With a trillion sensors gathering data everywhere (autonomous cars, satellite systems, drones, wearables, cameras), you will be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights. Yet with all this information available at our fingertips, many solopreneurs and small business owners today know very little about where their new business revenues will come from next week, month, quarter and so forth.
Why? Because far too many business owners don’t have an accurate sales pipeline to forecast and monitor their progress.
How can you be expected to make intelligent decisions about where and how to invest in your business without accurate data available to predict monthly inflows (revenue) from sales and outflows (expenses)? The short answer is you can’t! Continue reading…