Working in sales and business development within a number of different industries throughout my career (Real Estate, Retail, Travel & Marketing) has wwwght me a number of things, which I’ve taken on board here at Search Factory. Everyone is different, has a unique personality and sales tactics, but in most cases, there is generally the same process across different verticals that generate the best results.

Below is my standard sales process I undertake, in order  to provide the best sales services for prospected clients and achieve expected results for the company I work for:

Initial Contact

Whether an inbound lead, introductory referral or pure development from networking hustle, this is the process I have found most beneficial when dealing with prospected clients. You always hear the term “first impressions count”, well that is 100% correct in sales and marketing. Your first contact with a prospected client may be in person or over the phone or email. Regardless, you should present yourself in a professional manner as you’re acting on behalf of the company.  You can lose a potential client within the first 10 seconds of meeting them.

Brief / Needs Analysis

Your initial contact should allow you to develop a rapport with your prospected client. It is also the most important time and your best opportunity to receive the brief from the prospect. I like to refer to it as a ‘needs analysis’ as the brief will include a discussion of what the client needs. This would include goals, budgets, deadlines etc. Take this opportunity to ask them as many probing questions as possible, in order to be able to establish that your services can deliver the results they require.

Research

Now that you have the brief, you MUST begin a thorough research phase to develop an extensive understanding of the prospect’s website, business, competitors and general industry. For a search marketing brief, you’ll need to conduct keyword research to identify search volumes, average CPC’s and relevant keyword phrases and ideas. You’ll also need to identify their largest online competitors, conduct a website audit – how will is it optimised, landing page relevance for targeted keywords and overall site structure.

Strategy

Conducting research will allow you to develop a suitable strategy. Based on the research you have conducted and your findings, you should be able to construct a strategy with best practices in mind to provide desired results based on the client brief. The strategy component should take a reasonable amount of time to develop, as much brainstorming, additional research and creativity will be involved.

Proposal

Your strategy should be presented into a professional company proposal. We are working in a digital world, so ideally present it in a digital format. Your proposal should include a company overview, the components on the brief, research conducted (keywords, competitors, analysis), suggested strategy, pricing, proven results from recent and active clients and testimonials to provide some peace of mind of justification of your proposed strategy.

When delivering the proposal, of course be prepared, enthusiastic and show that you believe in the services you are selling.

Follow Up

Marketing budgets are often quite tight and restricted, so prospect’s need to ensure they choose the best possible provider. In most cases, they will need to review your proposal and weigh up their options. Chances are they are sourcing strategies from your competition also, and fair enough, clients need to ensure they are getting the best possible services for their marketing spend.

Further Follow Up

Without being too pushy, being eager to establish a new client, you may have to follow them up again, or perhaps a number of times. If you’re genuine about it and not trying to push the hard sell, persistence can be the difference between winning and losing a client.

After Sales Service

Closing sales is great. A win-win-win for the company, the salesman and the client. It’s not as simple as closing a client and not ever speaking or having contact with them again. After sales service is imperative in order to keep your clients happy and potentially be able to up-sell your current services (if they have seen justification and ROI in the spend of course). After sales service can lead to more referrals and a better relationship long-term.

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