A good sales team and sales process are an important part of any small business.
Even if you have a great product or service, you need someone to sell it to potential customers and bring future partners to help your business grow. Part of having a good sales process is quality control, or QC. This is a business term for constant reflection: the sales process, in particular, the follow-up lead process, is one that must always be audited and adjusted. Seeing the whole process as something liquid can help your company stay dynamic and lead to meaningful growth.
“The sales process must be part of the entire organizational culture, because sales aren’t just about finding customers, it’s about finding the right customers,” said Mike Black, CEO and founder of Inciting Marketing Solutions. Black said that he started his company after seeing a gap in the industry, and constant auditing of the entire sales process was one of the factors that led to the overall growth of his company.
Before exploring how to properly analyze internal processes, it is important to understand the nature of QC and why it is an important part of the sales process.
Why is QC important in sales
Part of a good business process is constant improvement. After all, if you can’t recognize inefficiency or inconsistency, adjust your process and your business better, how can you expect your business to succeed? Black said further, “lead making is useless if the sales team can’t close, and all lead has to do with following a reliable sales process.”
Black also said that often a lot of delays or problems with clients are the result of the initial sales process – the sales process must check potential clients to see if they will be good partners as well as selling your own products or services. Naturally, QC is a process where you don’t need to use expensive tools or complicated sales or marketing strategies. Instead, think critically about what your company is fighting for and how your current process is achieving that.
Jan Roos, founder of CaseFuel, broke the importance of QC into an mathematical analogy.
“If you multiply any part of the [sales] equation with zero, the result is zero,” he said. “Knowing your steps in detail allows you to diagnose fields instead of the whole process.”
If you do business, QC must be part of your daily responsibilities. Some companies will introduce certain QC processes to ensure they monitor the clients they receive correctly. Others will do it on an ongoing basis and make QC part of everything they do.
How to audit your main follow-up system
Follow-up lead is an important part of the sales process where salespeople will work with potential clients to showcase their products or services and measure whether potential customers are good partners. Before you start with QCing this process, it is important to reflect on these questions:
What kind of business are you and what do you stand for? What clients do you currently serve? Who do you want to serve?
Black said that an important part of the QC process is aligning everything your business does with its unique value proposition. Recognizing your unique value proposition and redefining your goals as a business owner can give you the right lens to analyze your current process.
In general, some businesses will set clear QC and audit plans to constantly review sales, customers or new processes. This can be effective if your business is growing and you need to standardize the type of reflection that you are giving as a business leader. The specified QC plan can also be ideal for businesses that only serve one type of customer – if you only work with certain types of clients, the same strategy can be applied to each transaction and process.
You can start by compiling the specified QC plan for your main follow-up system by considering these points:
How does every salesperson filter potential candidates? How does each conversation take place during the process? What is the current follow-up process and does it provide clients that are suitable for our business? Does my sales team know what type of client is right for our business?
Once you have answers to these questions, you can plan and process to get answers in a sustainable manner.
Black said in Inciting Marketing, the QC process is more sustainable and does not follow a rigid process. Black will analyze every new agreement and new customer, as well as the entire sales and inspection process, at weekly meetings with his staff. He also said he would use this time to understand how to better serve current clients. If there are customers or clients who do not exercise, Black is not afraid to cut it.