Did you know it takes on average between 7 to 15 interactions with a prospect before you get to a point where the real discussions start. It’s only once you have got to that point that you can talk about your service and start your sales pitch. The reason it takes between 7 to 15 interactions is because the sales process can be influenced by the scale of the prospect company, the size of the sale and how active your prospect is. Calls go answered, emails aren’t replied to and communication can be delayed so it can take a few attempts to get in touch. That’s when you know it’s time to change your sales model.
How to change and improve your sales model
Often businesses will try and make this process faster. They do this by automating the process of sending the initial communications, sending them out faster and in a much larger volume. This can include emails, outreach and other communications methods. However, the fundamentals of their sales process never really change.
While this can help businesses speed up their sales, they will quickly reach the point where their existing process is as efficient as it can be. That’s the point where they need to start reconsidering their fundamentals and seeing if another method might be more effective.
Take Elon Musk for example. When he was starting out with SpaceX he thought hard about how he was going to do it. First of all he went to NASA and looked out how to make their rocket cheaper. Then he went to the Russian Space Agency and did the same to their rocket.
Once he got to the point where the existing rockets were as cheap as can be, he went back to the basics of science and physics, all along thinking about the principle of “if this is what we’ve got to do, what’s the most efficient way of doing it”. It was only at this point, when he considered the fundamentals, that real change was made.
There comes a point where there is only so much you can do with a model before that’s the best you can get. In sales, we often see people doing the same thing, they’re taking a process that by its nature is inefficient and trying to make it more efficient. They quickly discover that there is a limit.
Pushing past those limits
Any sales process can be improved and any salesperson can become more efficient while still using the same underlying activity. However, there comes a point where the process can’t be made any cheaper, faster or more productive.
So what’s the alternative? How do you change your sales model and push it past those limits of efficiency?
This is where we think we have nailed it here at Maverrik. We have focused on changing the fundamentals to make sales even more efficient and an easier process for people who are not naturally salespeople to follow.
We began by unpicking what a lot of people were doing to identify the models being used. We found that underneath most sales processes the same method was still being used. Cold calling, but retranslated for social platforms.
Sales teams understood that people weren’t interested in their pitches but instead of changing their fundamentals, they automated. Yes, this does make it more efficient, but we know that it can be quicker and it can definitely be better.
The Maverrik way
When thinking about changing your sales model, we decided we needed to focus on the following principles:
- Making the sales process shorter –
7 to 15 interactions is too many, our aim is less than 10 and ideally 3 to 7.
- Building relationships as we sell –
This is because a lot of the sales outcomes are determined by who talks to the person and how that person reacts with them. So we need to make sure the relationship is nailed.
- Seeding a bigger pipeline –
Often many businesses run out of pipe line and end up having a dip in the figures. Our goal was an inexhaustible pipeline.
- Ensuring anyone can do it –
If a process can be used by anyone, you can easily expand your sales team and increase your sales capacity.
The model we created can be used by anyone to sow the seeds for future sales while building relationships and reducing the time it takes to make a sale. Instead of cold calling, which I hate, our model involves creating beneficial relationships that are built on trust and confidence.
The issue that now arises is teaching a new model to an existing sales team. Yes it is easy to follow, but often salespeople have learned processes that are hard to break. The key is managing to get the sales team engaged with the model, staying engaged with it and not reverting back to the previous way of doing things.
Once this is achieved you can build a long term sales model that will feed itself. It can have an accountable structure, targets and numbers, but businesses will need to come back to the first principles and decide what they are trying to achieve in order for it to be successful.