Sales Process 2019
The Sales process is describing how a lead is converted into a sales opportunities, then becomes a closed deal.
In particular, there will be 7 stages as follows:
To understand the basic background about the lead and discover the sales opportunites
Proactively research the information about the lead: Once a lead is created via Book demo request form on the website, basic information including lead's name, website, country, email, phone is already collected. The info can be explored including, but not limited:
- Business background: products, country, market, scale, ...
- Technical notice: e-commerce platform, version, outstanding features, websites, ...
- Contact point: position, social networks, communication channel ...
Then make the first direct contact to see if the lead is only looking for what is out of the company's scope or if the lead is a potential one to the company's products and services. If so, let's call the customer after the lead is qualified.
- Back and forth messages to set up the 1st talk -> use a personal calendar so the lead can book.
- Unable to reach the lead -> try any channel that we can reach (phone, email, what'sapp, facebook, skype, company's phone, ...)
- The lead is hesitant to talk -> always use the researched information to start the conversation to make it as personalized as possible. Especially, breaking the ice or warm-up sentences to build rapport with the lead is highly recommended in any conversation
2. Analyzing (Discovering)
To analyze in details the customer's business model, desire, pain points (if any) and expectations. This is considered as the most important step during the consultation process as it decides how much you understand the customer and the more you understand the customer, the better solution that can be offered.
The ideal approach is to set up a 15-minute call with the customer to identify the above points, or else, chatting/emailing is also an option to do. The information is explored by asking multiple questions. The output will be including, but not limited:
- Business background: how long has this business operated, how many product categories are selling, unique selling point (USP) of this product, ... and future plan. In other words, this is the vision of the store owner towards this business. This info is important to decide the approach of the BC to next steps with the customer
- E-commerce plaform that the customer is working on, if it's already Magento, which version it is, or else, why the customer is moving to Magento.
- Number of physical locations, warehouses
- Current system (if any) and how it works
- Number of orders, products (skus) and customers
- Problems/Pain point and its quantified consequences and priorities of pain points
- Expectation or the ultimate goal of using an ideal POS solution
- Timeline of the development and timerange to finalize a suitable solution
- Customer segment
- Business model (diagram)
- Technial background of the contact point (in-house, agency, ...)
- Schedule next step: Pitching (when, who, how long, how ...)
- The contact point is unsure or unknown of the information -> ask for the right person and willing to schedule another meeting
- The customer is unwilling or does not know how to answer -> ask simpler questions like multiple choices questions or yes/no questions, or proactively tell a story of another business case to trigger the customer
- Too many information to be asked -> it's encouraged for the BC to go with the flow to make the conversation as natural as possible. However, prepare a checklist in advance, before ending the call, make sure to go through all the points in order to prepare for an effetive solution design phase afterwards.
To introduce about the company and products/services to demonstrate the ability to handle the customers' business cases.
This is where the BC utilized all the information collected in the Analysing stage to design the Pitch and the Demo to the customer.
- Pitching file: is a PPT file including customer stories, company brief introduction, team profile, development process...
- Prepare Sales Demo kit.
After the Pitching meeting, make sure to indentify:
- Customer confirmation about the business model/business flow
- Satisfaction level of the customer so far (the score for the demostration): the questions could be asked here is On the scale from 1 to 10, how are you satisfied with the demo?
- Fit& Gap analysis (can be used internally)
- Schedule next action/meeting
- Customer asks for more case studies -> Since it's related to the confidentiality, the BC can honestly share difficulties because of NDA with other customers, and ask to send more information later
- Too many gap of the solution -> what has been demonstrated is just the Standard package of the Magestore POS solution + share the posibility of all gaps as how they can be achieved in both business and technical aspects. If there is no gap identified, the Pitching stage can be emerged to the 4th stage below.
- The customer asks a uncomon flow -> ask the customer to describe the business flow and confirm the flow as it's fully understood, then discuss with the technical team later.
- Avoid to do monologue. The simple interative questions would be "how are you handling this process right now?", "how do you think about this flow?" ...
- Customer refuses to join a live Pitching and prefers sending the docs first -> Try to offer the live talk to the 2nd/3rd time as it's more informative and time-saving for both sides, the doc can be sent for deeper investigation later on. In case the customer insists on the docs, BC can be flexible then.
- The Pitching can be done several times due to different roles within the customers' company.
4. Providing a full solution
To provide the full and detailed solution addressing all the business cases. The business cases here are not only the shared and required ones by the customers but also the should-have ones which will help optimize the customer business.
After the Fit&Gap analysis, BC shall work with the technical solution to cover all the gaps, together with its proof of concept including the flow, mocks-up, other demos supporting the idea.
The full solution proposal here might be going through the demontration in Stage 3 again but it shall focus on the Gap left at that stage.
In this stage, the BC will also share the expected milestone, pricing, scope, development process in details.
After the meeting, below questions should be revealed:
- Customer feedback for overall proposed solution
- How does the evaluation process look like? It means how the customer will discuss internally regard the proposed solution
- Trial closing: if everything looks great, is the customer ready to move forward?
- Schedule the next meeting
- The customer seems to have concerns but does not share -> ask what might be the concern of their evalution team (this might be their boss/management board), which is easier to answer.
- The solution includes a major part related to technical design and the customer team tends to ask technically -> include a developer to this meeting.
- Don't hesiate to share the price/cost -> this should be done clearly and firmly. Even the customer keeps silent after the the price disclosed, ask the customer how the price sounds to them.
To discuss the customer's feedback about the proposed solutions of Magestore and other providers
Together with the full designed solution, BC will proactively understand the Evaluation board from the customer's side, even suggest the list of casts who should be involved in this process to make it quick and effective. There might be different roles like decision-maker, influencer, linker, buyer, user. Accordinglly, the BC can prepare accurate documents for each role to help the customer make the decision easiest.
After this step, the points should be clear:
- The criteria that the customer evaluate and their priorities
- Score that the customer gives to each solution
- Customer's bias solution and the pros and cons of the proposed solution in step #4.
- The customer does not show up in the meeting without any notice -> this normally happens because of the low trust or rapport, so the prior process should be reviewed and reflected. At this moment, the BC might have the follow-up with specific assumptio about this case until the break-up message. A technique could be used in advance here is to keep a to-be-confirmed point open in the step #4, which will be discussed in this meeting.
- Not knowlegable enough of other solutions -> hold on the reasons that the customer's still concerned about those solutions as there must be a gap in that solution, which makes the customer face the fence and understand the priority of those factors. Then conduct more researches to provide customers with more information later.
Before any negotiation call, make sure to:
- Define all the left points points that the customers are still concerned and propose a solution to handle them.
- Bear in mind the USP to the customer, meaning What do they really care about?
- Prioritize what’s most important to the solution provider: what would be willing to be given up
- Practice + prepare possible scenarios.
Be clear and firm, flexible during the call.
After the call, both parties will see:
- List of negotiators (included in the contract/agreement)
- Final terms and conditions
- The customer feels confident to move forward
- Avoid to be hesitant or unsure about any policy or confirmation
- There is some points that both parties can not agreed with -> define what is truly critical or can be made up, then this can be discussed with team or escalated to the upper authorities in special cases.
- Be firm on the rules but allow the room for flexibilitis. There should be pre-defined conditions for each exception.
7. Making decision and Procedure
To make the customer proceed the agreement with ease and confidence
Proactively ask for the procedure and provide all the necessary document. For each type of company, there should be different processes which lead to different timeline:
- Small business in which the store owner could be the decision maker and buyer, the payment can be proceeded immediated once the terms are confirmed. The preferred payment method is credit card. The document required is Sales Order
- Start-up or a managment team, this model does not require much administrative tasks but discussing among C-levels, the payment can be rather quick and method is normally credit card. The document require is normally Sales Order, NDA.
- Medium business: it should take around one week to pass from the decision maker to the buyer (the accounting) issuing the PO and make the bank transfer. The document includes Sales Order, Company info for PO
- Big or international enterprise: the process could be initiated by the decision maker -> Document submitted for Legal team -> PO issued -> Payment transffered by Finance/Accounting. This process normally lasts 2 weeks or more. Sometimes the PO net 45 days, which take the whole process upto 2 months to be done. The document required might include Sales Order, Business Registration, PO form, Contract or Agreement. For some special cases, businesses will require some special document to avoid the tax: Tax Residence Certificates, Form 9F
Action on the System
Meanwhile, the project should be gradually transfered to the solution development team to be ready for the customer's on-boarding.
- The risk of the processing time -> proactively expect this based on the company type, which can be identified in the 2nd step (Analyzing) or ask the customer about this process in advance to set the right expectation.
- Avoid to be too rush -> be helpful and appreciated instead.
Normally, once the Sales Order gets paid, the solution development team will be noticed immediately and prepare to on-board the customer by following two process: