With today’s powerful GPS software, most of us no longer get to experience the thrill of trying to find a path to get where we’re going, whether it be by foot or vehicle. Nope, instead powerful GPS navigation takes out that second guessing and efficiently moves us from Point A to Point B.

Of course, the downside to that is that we don’t get to discover the hidden gems along the way, like the cute little, delicious Cuban restaurant on a back road in North Virginia! But I digress…

The GPS does save us! From the stress of fighting with whoever else might be in that vehicle with us and there’s a resources savings for getting where we want to go.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had this GPS navigation to get us to the destination of a closed sale with a converted prospect?

Well, we do!

It isn’t powered by technology or energy but by a process that cuts out the second guessing, stress, and wasted time of unproductive sales conversations. What is it? A sales process. And whether you’re a solo advisor, running a firm, or growing a firm, having an effective sales process is crucial.

What Is a Sales Process?

A sales process has so many benefits, and this series of Timely Tips will lay out the what, the why you should care, the components, the stages, the pitfalls, and the hidden benefits of a sales process.

First, let’s cover what is a sales process and why should you care about it.

Let’s start by defining what a sales process is because many people use the term “sales process” to describe many different things that aren’t what a traditional sales process. They use the term when referencing their prospecting or marketing plans. Or maybe they’ll refer to the actual conversation with a prospect as their sales process. While those are certainly important pieces of a successful business, they’re not what we’re discussing here.

When I refer to sales process, it’s the roadmap from when someone first engages with you through onboarding them and growing that relationship. This roadmap with the stops and stages along the way is your sales process.

Officially, the sales process is a series of documented, repeatable steps that map out and allow you to track progress with prospects from first interaction through onboarding and beyond.

That’s it. And the good news is that financial advisors love processes and systems, don’t you? So, let’s give a process to this sales effort so that you gain all of the benefits and efficiencies that come with having that process.

Why Is a Sales Process Important?

So why should you care about this? After all, you’ve probably got enough other processes to document and to follow already, right?

Here are the three top reasons that you should care about having a repeatable and documented process for your sales efforts.

Reason 1: More Conversions

Having a sales process in place leads to more conversions. And there are many benefits to more conversions, aren’t there? For example:

  • More revenue
  • More clients to work with
  • More growth opportunities

A roadmap makes the process more efficient and effective for you…and for your buyer.

Most financial services “buyers” don’t buy financial services very often. Their past buying experiences with financial services, if they’ve had any, may have been very transactional and product-focused. There’s also a good chance they haven’t bought advice or planning before — and maybe never will again.

And many buyers come into the sales conversation with you ready to buy financial planning the same way they buy other things, like a TV, furniture, or a vehicle.

That’s why it’s you having a mapped-out process that guides them through their decision-making process and helps them make a confident decision. How? By setting expectations along the way that helps them focus on what’s most important for making that decision.

This process of collaborative selling is an information exchange between the prospect and the advisor that allows us to learn and clarify what’s important to them, what they want to do, what their situation is, and then be able to connect our value and how we’ll work with them so that they can see that there is value and that they should confidently move forward to agreeing to be a client.

Reason Two: Efficiency

There are efficiencies for you and anyone on your team for following a repeatable sales process. It allows better leveraging everyone on the team’s:

  • Expertise
  • Talents
  • Time
  • Efforts
  • Energy

And with that roadmap, you’re going to get from Point A to Point B more easily.

Reason Three: Less Stress

Selling is less stressful when you have a sales process in place. Why? Because you’re not figuring everything out each time. You’re not trying to decide, “What should I do next?” Or “Where are we going next?” or “Where are we really in this process?”

You’re also not competing with other people on your team who may be in this process as well. Instead, you’re working collaborative together to close the sale and help the buyer.

Summing up this intro, what is a sales process and why should you care?

A sales process is a repeatable roadmap that helps you earn more money, more revenue, and more clients with less stress and greater efficiency so that you get to spend time on what you really love to do, which is working with your clients.

In the next message in this series, I’ll lay out the components that need to be included in your sales process to make it efficient, have less stress, and convert that roadmap faster.