While GPS navigation systems have largely made paper roadmaps obsolete for physical journeys, a roadmap for reaching the destination of success in converting clients is still very relevant.
That’s what this series on Creating Your Roadmap for Sales Success has been all about: To help you create your sales roadmap so that you can move more of those hard-earned leads into clients and continue to grow that relationship individually and in reaching out to others.
Whether you’re a solo adviser, or you have a team, the benefits of defining your sales process include efficiencies, consistency, and, more importantly, the ability for you to work with more clients faster.
Yet, how do you USE the process to maximize the benefits? That’s what this final article in this series outlines…the key Practicalities for Using Your Sales Process.**
Practicality #1: Make It Transparent
The first practicality of using your sales process is to make sure that the journey is laid out with transparency, not only to you and your team, but also in your materials, website, and actions with prospective clients. This will help in setting expectations.
Let your prospects know that you are going to be their guide to making a decision that is in their best interest. Show that you have a plan to work through together. This will help them lower their guards and engage more quickly to make that decision faster and more confidently.
Practicality #2: Align Workflows
A second important practicality for using your sales process is to make sure that your workflows are aligned to the process and that you systematize whatever you can.
While it can’t replace the human interaction necessary throughout a sales process, technology can be your friend as it can make the before, after, and follow up items a whole lot easier and less burdensome on you.
Practicality #3: Confirm Resources
The third practicality for using your roadmap is to ensure that all of the resources needed for the process, both internal and external, are prime time ready — for example, workflows, reference materials, and programs and apps to help your team work efficiently. Verify your client-facing portals, documents, and tools are easy-to-use, reliable, and effective for delivering the results you need.
Practicality #4: Stage Your Pipeline
Next, use the sales process to stage your existing—and future—pipeline to your process.
How? Look at each person in your pipeline and map them to the stages based on the buyer commitment they’ve made.
This staging of your pipeline is often eye-opening—and maybe even a little scary—because it forces us to objectively look at the commitments that the prospect has made and stage the pipeline accordingly.
For the future, continue to add new prospects into your pipeline as they enter your funnel, map to the buyer commitments for each stage of your process, and set up your CRM with those sales process stages for an extra layer of automation and to make sure you know where each prospect really is, which helps with better forecasting.
Practicality #5: Build Metrics
Hopefully, you’re already measuring your conversion rate, but you can make the metrics stronger by measuring conversion from stage to stage of the sales process.
Building and tracking these metrics will help you diagnosis and correct any problems or hiccups within the process before they escalate. For example, there may be actions you can take to increase conversion or help your prospects progress more smoothly through the pipeline.
A Caveat: If your conversion rate from qualifying to the next stage is lower than you expected, or lower than it’s been in the past, but it’s because you are qualifying earlier, consider that a success. You’re saving yourself, and those misfit prospects, time and energy!
Practicality #6: Reference Your Roadmap Before Interactions
The sixth practicality is to reference your roadmap before and after your interactions to make sure that the key actions are being accomplished, By reviewing it in advance of your interactions, you can gain clarity on the objective for that particular interaction. This will help you better communicate with the person about the objective before you meet them, helping you use your time more efficiently.
Practicality #7: Change and Evolve
The final major practicality for using your sales roadmap is to monitor what’s working and what’s not. Be aware that your sales process is not a “once and done” project; it’s a living, breathing process that will be adjusted as you continue to learn more, pay attention, and measure.
Your process will also need to evolve as things change. There are variables that we don’t have any control over that will dictate changes and require adaptations. For example, a couple of years ago, who’d have thought that we would be doing so much more virtually?
So, create your sales process, pay attention while you’re using it, and continue to iterate to make it stronger and stronger. Don’t try to “set it and forget it.”
Like any other function within your firm, your business development and sales are going to be stronger and more productive when they’re based on a foundation with a process.
When you have clear objectives and all of the components outlined, anyone that is involved in the process is going to be able to do their part, and the prospective client is going to be able to make quicker and more confident decisions to work with you.
A Special Bonus: The Genuine Sales Process Template
And we have a bonus for you: Our easy-to-use Genuine Sales Process template for financial advisors. Simply click this link, fill out your information, and download it.
Where Will Your Roadmap Take You?
There you have it, everything you need to create, fine tune, and use your Roadmap for Sale Success. Now it’s time to put it to work for and your firm and discover where it will take you.
**As a quick recap, the first article in this series shared what a sales process is and why you should have one. The second article outlined the stages or the milestones to map out your sales process, and the third article examined the key components to include in your sales process. In the fourth article we looked at the hidden benefits of having a sales process.