When it comes to making a sale, there are usually multiple steps that need to be taken or gone through before a sale is finally agreed and signed.  The diagram at the top of this article shows a very simplified version of the sales process. If only sales and life were this simple!

Of course, what that infographic doesn't show are all of the twists, turns, and doubling-back that's usually required to get a sale over the line.

Each step in the process is a "mini" sale in its own right

In fact, each of the steps in the sales process represents a sale in its own right. Why?

Because at each point you need to keep your prospective buyer interested and keen enough to get to the next point in the sales line. These are the touch points when individual sales can be lost.

At each touch point, you have to convince your would-be buyer to stick with you. By doing this, you keep your prospective client and the order that you hope to win, in play. In progress. Live or any other description that you want to use to say that a sale is not dead.

Lead generation is no easier

According to Salesforce, it takes 6-8 "touches" just to generate a viable sales lead.

To quote from one of their posts on this subject;

"Today’s marketing and sales landscape looks vastly different from that of just a few decades ago. With the advent of the Internet, blogging, social media, and a myriad of digital communications channels, the path to purchase is not a simple, straight line, but a complex and varied web of twists and turns – and touch points."

The same article goes on to explain why in the opinion of Salesforce this is the case. In summary, they highlight that;

  1. Consumers are immune to traditional advertising and marketing strategies
  2. A lot of information is needed to qualify a lead as “sales-ready”
  3. Sales resources are limited and must be optimized
  4. Qualified leads are more likely to convert to buyers

I'm sure that you are pretty familiar already with points 1 & 4. Here are some thoughts for you on points 2 & 3.

Cold prospects take ages to convert (point 2)

There's a good reason that most salespeople hate cold calling. It's hard work and doesn't usually yield short-term sales.

Cold leads are prospects that need a lot of warming up.

One way that you can attract warmer leads to your business is by running an ongoing marketing programme that educates and informs.

In order for leads to be "sales-ready", prospective buyers need to know what it is you do and the advantages you offer them.

Generally, you can't achieve all of that knowledge and confidence with one item of email marketing.

You need to build a story and you need to communicate this to your target market.

Using your website as an active part of the sales process via the use of dedicated landing pages and data capture is also recommended.

Remember that your website is probably going to be one of the first "touch points" a prospective buyer will have with your business.

Improve the performance of one or more touch points and you will improve sales converted (point 3)

Here's something important to think about.

You can improve the number of leads you convert to contracted sales by improving the effectiveness of one or more parts of your sales process line.

For that to happen you need to know what are the points that make up your process line.

Your website, as mentioned already, is one of them.

So, how do buyers get to your site? On which page do they land? Which pages attract the most prospects and where do they go from those pages?

Even small improvements can yield big results

By studying each point of your process line and improving it just a little, you can start to improve;

  • The number of leads that you attract
  • The quality of the leads that you attract
  • The speed at which they become active or "likely to buy" leads

Improve the quality of your sales data and you will have a stronger email list to work with

Improve the open and click rates of your email campaigns even by fractions of a percent and you are likely to increase visits to your website.

Use landing pages linked to your emails that include strong calls to action and you'll see more calls and direct emails coming to your sales team.

Sales Engineering: Fine tune the contact points within your business

Hopefully, you now see why it's important to know how and where prospective buyers can interact with your company.

Each touch point represents one of those mini sales landmarks that need to be negotiated along the way to getting a contract signed.

Improve the performance of each, even a little and you are improving the overall performance of your company's sales engine.

If you want a high-performance engine you need to keep it fine-tuned. If you are experiencing sluggish lead and conversion performance get tuning.

Not sure what to do? Call in a specialist that can help you get firing on all cylinders.

To your success. 

Blog By:

David O’Beirne
The Exhibition Agency Ltd
63 Vera Avenue, London N21 1RJ 
T. 0203 633 4665
M. 07858 374 051
Change your focus: Change your results

The views and opinions expressed in these blogs are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ESSA, its members, board or staff. Our members represent a broad range of views within the event industry, and we have provided this section of the website for their opinions to be openly heard and discussed.

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