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How To Make Consistent Sales Without Trying

The 101 on how to start a sales process...
How To Make Consistent Sales Without Trying
By Christien Louviere • Issue #1 • View online
The 101 on how to start a sales process…

A client of mine is a small service-based business owner with less than 10 employees. One evening we were having a beer and she disclosed to me that she was having trouble creating and maintaining a consistent sales pipeline.
She was overwhelmed by which tools to use. She had a lack of confidence in her sales process because there wasn’t really one. And like many agency owners, she had started her business off of existing business from her previous agency.
I told her that creating a sales pipeline is difficult but creating a consistent one is just plain hard. That is until you get the deals flowing into the pipeline. The reason that it is so hard is that it demands a constant flywheel effect of marketing, sales and customer success.
A consistent sales pipeline needs to have 5 components:
1 - A well-defined niche
2 - An easy-to-use and mobile-friendly CRM tech stack
3 - A product ladder that does the following:
3a - Audience-building
3b - Lead-converting
3c - Sales-generating
4 - A sales goal
5 - A weekly cadence
Putting a consistent sales pipeline in place with these elements will create stability in your small service business and keep you from having to feel as though you’re always on the proverbial hamster wheel.
Follow these steps to build a consistent sales pipeline:
Step 1 - Before you do anything, get your mindset right by reading and/or listening to the following pieces of content:
Don’t just consume this content once. Repeat it daily until it becomes your own mini sales-process religion.

Step1a - Define your niche.
I can’t do this for you but just know that the longer the tail that your niche has the more likely you are to succeed.
  • CPA < CPA for independent truckers
  • CPA for independent truckers < CPA for independent truckers that transport chickens
  • CPA for independent truckers that transport chickens < CPA for independent truckers that transport chickens in the state of Georgia
10-4? ;)

Step 2 - Build an easy-to-use and mobile-friendly CRM tech stack.
I’m not going to give you a deep-dive on each of these technologies. But with this stack you will be ahead of 98% of your competition and able to build a consistent sales pipeline.
-This is the base of your CRM tech stack. It is used for contact organization, deal tracking and goal setting. The alternative here is HubSpot if you have lots of inbound content and are approaching more than 10 employees.
-This is conversational marketing or chatbot platform. It should be your primary means for collecting lead information and talking one-to-one with your customers.
-You will need an email marketing automation platform for sending out emails such as newsletters and announcements.
-This is a sales email automation platform for sending out emails from your inbox.
-This is the best source for updated information and prospecting.

Step 3 - Define your product ladder (audience, leads, sales).
I could write a book on the value of a product ladder for a small business. But here is the TL;DR version:
The product ladder is a way to view your marketing, sales and customer success all as one unit.
You are not big enough to have them separate. Frankly, the big brands that will survive already realize this. The ones that don’t are dying (or already dead).
Your product ladder should always be doing one of these three things:
  • Building your audience
  • Building your lead list
  • Building your customer list

Here are several samples of product ladder activities:
  • Cold calling = audience building
  • Writing a blog post = audience building
  • Instagram post = audience building
  • Slack Group post = audience building, lead building
  • LinkedIn post = audience building
  • Email newsletter = lead building
  • Facebook Message = lead building
  • Demo = lead building
  • Instagram DM = lead building
  • Text message = lead building
  • 99th text message = customer building
  • Snapchat DM = customer building
  • Tradeshow = audience building, lead building
  • Introductory Audit = customer building
  • New Product Release = audience, lead and customer building

Step 4 - Define Your Yearly Sales Goal
In Pipedrive or HubSpot you can set sales targets by pipelines. Figure out a realistic sales goal for the year and plug it in. I suggest doing this for each revenue-generating or (customer-building) product in your arsenal.
Then for each pipeline create basic stages that are weighted.
So for instance, a basic pipeline would be built out like this:
Prospects (0%) -> Reached Out (5%) -> Positive Response (10%) -> Recycle // Nurture (20%) -> Proposal Sent (45%) -> Verbal (90%) -> Closed (100%)
You can adjust the percentages as you get more data from actual deals but the template above is a good place to start.

Step 5 - Build Your Weekly Cadence
Your weekly cadence is what’s going to make or break you. You can do all 4 steps prior to this perfectly. If you aren’t handling your weekly cadence with some level of discipline then you will likely not make it or constantly live off of referral business.
A weekly cadence are the daily activities you execute on to advance your consistent sales pipeline.
Aside from not creating a weekly cadence, the biggest mistake I see small business team members make is being too aggressive in their weekly cadence. By “too aggressive” I mean trying to do too many scheduled sales activities. As a small business you have to wear multiple hats including delivering for your clients. You don’t need to jam pack your day with weekly cadence activities (unless you’re just a salesperson), but you do need to have at least one sales activity that you do per day.
And make no mistake about it, you will never have enough time to do it all in one day, so create high value activities that can be done a few times per day. This will keep you from stressing about what needs to be done.
Here’s an example of what my weekly sales cadence looks like:
  • Write 1 piece audience-building content
  • Followup on pipeline deals
  • Followup with all audience, leads and customers via 1:1 methods that are not email
  • Respond to emails or Slack messages from the weekend
  • Look for new prospects to add to the pipeline
  • Set meetings for the next 2 weeks
  • Reach out to to new prospects (they’re usually more settled than Monday)
  • Have at least 1 pipeline meeting
  • Reach out to existing customers
  • Have at least 1 pipeline meeting
  • Reach out to existing customers
  • Reach out to new prospects (they’re usually happier before Friday)
  • Have at least 1 pipeline meeting
  • Respond to audience, leads and customers as needed
  • Send email newsletter from personal and businesses
No one day has more than 5 things that I’m responsible for in the sales process. This allots me the mental space that I need to maintain a consistent sales pipeline without overworking myself.
This guide is meant to give you a taste of what you need for a consistent sales process. I say “a taste” not because you really need 1000 more things beyond what I gave you here. I say “a taste” because after you take the 5 steps that I mentioned above, you will begin to form your own world around it. I cannot do that part for you.
As small business team members, we feel that we always have to be everywhere all of the time and involved with everything all of the time. More often than not, the sales process gets overlooked until a client gets lost or a cash crunch seems eminent. You can avoid this by creating a consistent sales pipeline that becomes part of your business function.
The world will continue to be made smaller by technology. The only way that you will be able to earn your value is by inserting your unique human value into your building and sales processes. If you can build, you can be great. If you can sell, you can be great. If you can do both, you might just be unstoppable.

P.S....Need to optimize your LinkedIn profile?
Next week I’m launching a FREE email course called “How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile In 5 Steps”
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Christien Louviere

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