The Business Builder
The business builder is about generating revenue. Pure and simple. This is all Business 101 stuff, but stick with me, because we need to get past this basic understanding and ensure we are both on the same page.
You do that by moving your prospect from one point in your sales process to another. Each company’s process is slightly different, but it comes down to some major steps:
You have some marketing activity which generates a “lead” – nothing more than maybe a name, company and email address. They did something – attended a webinar, called you on a support line, downloaded something, or visited your website and gave you their email address. They are faceless, and there is absolutely no way to determine if the will ever buy from you.
What to Remember: You will have thousands, in some cases millions of leads. Never get over excited about leads, you want buyers – by you have to start somewhere and leads do become buyers – you just need lots of them.
This is a lead (person, company) with a legitimate need for your product or service. They have moved through a couple cycles with you, and now have either self-identified themselves or based upon your experience, you have identified them (through various lead type activities – because you are capturing all that interaction).
What to Remember: We all have a limited amount of time, focus most of your time on nurturing prospects, not leads. These are all actively seeking a solution to a defined need, which you can meet (or right now, they believe you can, and you believe you can). Prospects are not buyers (yet), you want move them as quickly as possible into the purchasing/buying cycle, and those who are not willing to be moved, should be reclassified to “lead”.
Once a prospect is buying, it’s time to work towards “closing” them. Each company will have their own set of rules around the purchasing cycle. Understand them and it will help you during the process. If you’ve done your homework during the prospecting phase and asked questions, you are prepared, if not, get prepared as quickly as possible.
What to Remember: Purchasing is a process. Once you are inside that cycle, there is little you can do to speed things along. You are absolutely at the mercy of the companies rules and regulations (and in some cases, governmental regulations). It’s all about dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s at this point. Just stay the course, it will all be over soon.
The “Buy” Decision:
No matter how a company started down the path, or how quickly they moved from stage to stage, there will be a decision made. And it will either be you, your competitor, or “we shelved it for now”.
What to Remember: You don’t have any control in the buy decision. All you can do is celebrate for the 5 minutes after getting the sale or feel sorry for yourself for that same 5 minutes. That’s about it.
Once that faceless lead becomes a customer, it’s completely up to you. Now is the time to perform, to deliver on all those promises you made during the sales process.
What to Remember: Never allow you’re enthusiasm for closing deals get in the way of delivering on what you promised. Customers can either be the biggest fans or the worst enemies to your future growth. If you deliver as promised (and over deliver in a few cases), then there will be other opportunities to “sell” and generate revenue with them. If on the other hand, you don’t – then expect to eventually go out of business.
The Lost Sale:
So what, you lost a sale. It happens, the most successful business only close about 30% of their deals. Which is why, you need figure out why you lost the deal (not to convince them to buy from you, but to learn and improve). Also, if you believe they made a decision, or didn’t really take your claims seriously, then staying “in touch” is great way to keep a toe in the door, “just in case”.
What to Remember: A lost sales is not a waste of time. It is a learning experience. But, it’s up to you to learn from it. Think through what information is important, figure out how to ask those questions, and any areas you believe need to be improved (or you have overwhelming evidence they need improving), then get back to work.
NEXT Installment is all about how our marketing activities support those phases.
Also published on Medium.