The Agency That Saved Itself in 45 Days (And the Four Elements of a Good Sales Process)
Establishing a solid sales process should be the foundation of every successful business. It's the ultimate way to ensure your agency has steady, predictable cash flow.
Let me tell you about one of our clients who managed to turn a seemingly impossible situation around.
This marketing agency had a considerable problem on their hands - they said they could only sustain operations for 45 days max before becoming completely insolvent.
The agency's accounts payable added up to over $700,000 and those in charge couldn't come up with a way to manage that. Even worse, different circumstances were working against them, keeping our client from introducing vital changes.
Immediately, we started working hard to prevent the impending doom. We began negotiating with vendors and lenders and handling loans.
Luckily for our client, our efforts paid out - the critical 45 days passed and the agency turned its cash flow around. We spent the following year working to improve the business and make the cash flow stable.
One of the factors that could've helped this agency avoid being in dire straits was having a strong sales process, and that's a rule for every business out there. It’s because a defined process helps create predictability and allows you to have a firm grip on cash flow.
In this article, we'll show you the crucial elements of building a good sales process to keep your cash flow steady and avoid many complications along the way.
The Elements of a Sales Process
Your sales process should be clear and refined, and it should help you define all vital aspects of your business for your clients. The process relies on four elements that describe what you do, how you operate, what’s your offer, and how you deliver it.
Element #1. What You Do Well
Understanding the strong sides of your business is, naturally, the foundation of all your efforts. However, you should make that point apparent to your clients as well.
Ideally, you should be able to explain what your agency does and what its strong points are in no more than one or two sentences. Use these as guidelines to create a clear message:
What is it that you're selling? How can you formulate it in a concise manner and explain the exact nature of your product or service?
Who are your clients? Your business shouldn't aim to serve everyone but rather a specific niche and an ideal client type.
Which problems do you solve for your clients? Having a clear promise on how your clients will benefit from working with you is paramount.
How are you different from the competitors? What's the reason your clients should do business with you instead of someone else?
You should address all of these points in a way that there’s no room for interpretation and using language that your clients will easily understand. Pointing out what you do well will be the backbone of your sales process.
Element #2. How You Operate
Your clients don't need to know every detail about your operations, but they should understand the elements that relate to them.
If your operations are efficient enough, the talents in your agency should have been assigned to the best-fitting roles. You'll also have a concise plan of how you handle communications and agency resources.
More importantly, your clients should be aware of how these operations benefit them, as it’s your task to explain the experience every client will have with your business.
Who will handle their requests and provide services? How will you communicate with the client? How does your agency use its resources to benefit the client the most?
You should be able to answer all such questions clearly and ensure your clients understand the basics of the process going on in the background. Doing so will make your clients confident in working with you.
Imagine that your client needs to explain how you're providing your service to a friend. You should provide them with all the necessary knowledge to give a straightforward answer to that question.
Element #3. What You Offer
Having an attractive offer is key to your sales process. Your clients need to understand in detail what value they're getting from your service. This is where you can leverage testimonials, case studies, and reviews to backup your promise.
Every service should speak to specific pain points on the part of your clients. You'll have to demonstrate a deep understanding of those pains and your agency’s ability to solve them. That may require a thorough insight into what your clients need.
You can even bring up issues that your clients may have but aren't aware of yet and present a way to resolve them. Think about their bottom line and make them aware of how your agency works to their benefit.
Element #4. How You Deliver Your Service
The way your service is delivered is a crucial point of interaction with your clients. While your promise and offer play a key role, your clients will be most interested in how you'll actually deliver on that offer.
Set up a culture of quality service that encompasses a sound delivery system and ensure your clients see it as added value. The most important aspect of your delivery is perception - what kind of experience your clients get from your service. They should be engaged in the process and feel like a part of the solution you're providing.
Your delivery system can be a pillar that builds trust and confidence in your business.
Building a Stable Sales Process
A sales process that offers a concise explanation of your agency’s service and value will help you expand your client base. Gaining the trust of your clients and making them confident in what you do is the ultimate way to secure your cash flow and create predictable results.
With a good sales process at the core of your business, you'll be able to move forward with confidence and without the trepidation of unexpected complications.