From Inquiry to Close: How to Streamline the Sales Process

From the time you get an inquiry about your products or services, the sales process starts. Here’s how to make the process more efficient for your small business.

For sales to take place in your business, you will first need to lay the proper groundwork and build a solid foundation. This requires good planning and execution – and the process begins in the inquiry stage.

Here are some tips that can help you streamline your sales process.

Regulate Your Inquiry System

You could be receiving inquiries in a variety of different ways, such as over the phone or in response to an advertisement; it could even be a walk-in customer if you have a retail store. The key is to record all inquiries in a particular format, so that the next stage of the sales process can be started.

You can design a simple inquiry form that your sales staff can fill out when an initial inquiry is made. This way, even though your inquiries may come in through various avenues, they will be converted into a single format that will be easy to access and process.

Identify Serious Prospects and Initiate Action

Once you have identified people who are serious about doing business with you, then collect all the data such as price, technical specifications and delivery schedule. You will then need to provide that data to your potential clients.

It is at this point that hiring good employees will be critical. You should hire efficient people who understand how your business works, and who can follow a set system so that work will not pile up if a particular staff member is not present.

Your sales employees will need to keep in touch with your clients; and if any additional information is needed, then they should provide that information at a mutually agreed-upon time.

Filter out potential prospects and people that you know are only wasting your time by only asking for quotes, or people who are unwilling to meet your terms.

Identify the Right Time to Close the Deal

Experience will teach you the correct time to act when closing a deal. If you let the process drag on for too long, then your competitor might get their foot in the door. On the other hand, acting too fast may only serve to frighten off a prospective client.

Your staff should also be taught the correct time for closing a sale. The data you have gathered from your client’s inquiry and a study of your client’s profile should help you and your staff close each deal at the right moment.

Follow up after the Product is Delivered

If the delivery is to be at the client’s place of business or home, then follow up the sales deal right up to the moment that the products are delivered. You or your staff can also make a courtesy call to check whether the client is satisfied after receiving the goods. As a small business owner, you can rest only after the entire process has been completed successfully, and that includes ensuring that your customer is happy.

By taking prompt action when an inquiry is received, you will definitely boost your profits. Developing a simple, easy-to-apply sales process and keeping the lines of communication open between yourself, your staff, and your clients, you will have successfully streamlined your sales process. Happy Selling!

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