I own a small growing digital eCommerce agency based in Philadelphia. I'm searching for a mentor to help develop our sales process, as we are growing and running into issues due to not having a clearly defined sales process when it comes to starting a new relationship with a client. We work with Magento & Shopify Plus.
We have mainly worked on small projects the last several years, but our goal has always been to go big or go home. We are running into the following issues in our sales process:
- Initial contact with large clients generating between $20-200m in revenue we don't have a good process dealing with these size clients. We are trying to figure out how to put it all together so we can gather requirements in a structured process while being considerate of our time.
- Understanding what resources to bring into the sales process and when. Example: We have a client who needs a full eCommerce implementation with complex customizations and integrations, but then they also need marketing services. We don't have a process of when and how we bring in other resources to discuss their needs. Our biggest problem is having a process and structure because it might come off to a client that we are unorganized, but the real issue is we haven't figured out how to put it all together.
- How to estimate on phases accurately? We currently do it by hours, but we've been advised to do it by days.
Yes, a consistent sales process is vital so that you know where you are. You also want to know why you lost some orders and won others--I was over a decade into my career before I realized I had no idea why. And that's what lead to the change.
You need to understand your numbers.
You need to know what the process steps are, and how to proceed to the next one--or let the opportunity die if it should (hint: if you're trying to turn every prospect into a client, you're doing it wrong.)
And you must have your fulfillment process dialed in, which at present with the description of murky data-gathering and pricing it sounds like you do not.
Loads of info my my blog at http://www.salestactics.org
Let's discuss specifics on a call.
you have to first of all understand that sales processes will vary for different clients, however, you can create a universal engagement process where you take the client(s) through a discovery session. The more you find out about their problem(s), the better positioned you will be to solve it for them.
Bigger clients will respond differently compared to smaller clients, so you have to create a blueprint that focuses on results (they like to see than hear). They are not time wasters, and like you mentioned, you want to be considerate of your time as well.
To understand what to bring into a sales process will be based on the engagement you have with the client. The good thing is, this particular client asked for the marketing services. So, in that case, it won't be a hard sell. However, if you offer such services, and find out that a client may need it, you bring it up after you have already started working on the initial project, not before. You don't want to overwhelm them. First things first, then the others will follow.
Regarding phases, we could have a chat about structure and see what could work. Feel free to contact me if you need further help.
Sales effectiveness is what your business requires and there's no uniform formula that you can adopt to achieve the same. The first problem mentioned by you isn't about sales process, but absence of requisite capability. The problem is your inability to scope out a requirement and close the deal successfully. The capability could either be built or hired or outsourced.
Your second problem again isn't about sales process, but project planning. You aren't sure how to plan the deliverable milestone, due to which you are equally unsure of resource expectation. A part of this could be limited capability of your internal team. May be you rely on freelancers to get a part of the work done and you aren't sure of time guarantee. Once again, it's better to have a rate contract and stand alone engagement with an agency to get the work delivered.
The third problem mentioned by you is something that startups across the globe struggles with, especially services based. The best way is to decide what rate works for you guys, or the outsourced team, and decide cost per complexity of the work.
I can be of help in terms of helping you build necessary effectiveness and define critical business process. Let me know if you think hopping on a call could help.