Design Your Sales Process for a Smoother Customer Journey

There is a lot of effort that goes into selling and creating a sales process. A sales team needs to be constantly checking into new trends, tools, and needs in the market in order to know how to sell. However, none of that work will be fruitful if the customer does not relate to it at all.

The customer journey is what makes a sale happen, and it is as important as the product. Establishing a good relationship with a prospect early on can greatly impact the outcome of your sales deal. You have to make sure that you have an efficient sales process where a customer feels that it’s all about them and their company from the start. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Refine your target audience

The first thing to do when designing a step by step customer journey model for your sales process is to actually know your customer. As you want to sell your product, you have to know how to speak to your potential client, how to reach them, what they like, what they need, how they search for your product and many other aspects of their customer journey. You’ll need to take all of these aspects into account to design an efficient sales process. Research your target audience as much as you can, and not just through demographics, but psychological factors, behavior, etc. Creating a buyer persona can help you summarize everything you’ve discovered and visualize who you need to talk to. Finally bring together all the information about who you need to appeal to and find, in order to make a sale.

2. Develop a customer journey map

There are many stages to the customer journey that needs to be tackled, and all the stages have different parts to them as well. A great way to make sure that everything is covered is by having a customer journey map. This will help you organize yourself and work toward a checklist of what’s done and what you still need to do. Additionally, it will allow you to see the full picture that you are creating to make sure that it makes sense. It will also help you determine areas of improvement.

3. Read about and understand design thinking

Design thinking is a concept that has been made both possible and necessary thanks to technological advancements made in recent years. It takes the idea that “the customer is always right” to a new level by attempting to predict what the client will need in order to make a certain product catch their attention and drive their interest.

There are three pillars of design thinking: empathy, ideation, and experimentation. This means putting yourself in the customer’s shoes, coming up with multiple ideas and solutions, and testing them out before deciding on them. Testing is even more important when you are creating based on predictions and insights since they precede results. The only way to be sure that they are right is by testing them out.

4. Eliminate redundant steps in your sales process

The longer the process, the higher the chances of it being redundant. People are moving at a faster pace than before, and this just keeps on evolving. You need to make sure that your sales process is constantly being updated otherwise, you will not be able to keep up. Time spent on unnecessary steps could have been used in other activities to boost your team’s productivity. Additionally, if your customer journey feels redundant, you will quickly lose your target audience’s attention. Nowadays, everything is made fast and easy for customers, so there is no room for redundancy.

5. Evaluate which sales tools are effective and get rid of ones you don’t need

Another great advantage of the improvement of technology is that there is a multitude of tools for many of the services you need to provide as a salesperson. These tools can be used in data gathering and interpreting, which helps you to identify what you need to work on. There is a new app for every step of the sales process and the customer journey, and it is important to learn about them and use them to make things easier for everyone involved. In the same way, it is important to get rid of any tools that are not useful anymore, as they might actually do more harm than good. Anything outdated or that doesn’t seem functional needs to be retired as soon as you realize it is not helping anymore.

6. Create a customer experience survey to determine areas of improvement

Who better to tell you how to improve the customer experience than the actual customer? Having a proper survey can provide you with a lot of information. Finding out what needs to be improved and generating insight from customer’s comments can be used to better understand the client and the process. However, it will only work if the survey itself brings up everything that needs to be learned about the customer. Therefore, make sure the survey being used is constantly updated and is effective enough to help you as much as possible.

The core of the concept behind a customer journey should always be the customer. Multiple fields of expertise have come to analyze and comprehend clients in order to make them want to buy a certain product. It’s been proven throughout the years that they are the ones that should shape a system focused on selling to them, not the other way around. Each step of anything related to selling to a customer should be focused on them in order to guarantee effectiveness.

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James Meincke

Director of Marketing @ CloserIQ. Previously Recruiter @ ManpowerGroup & Freelance Social Media Strategist. University of Wisconsin Journalism & Strategic Communication Grad.