Podcast Episode

Show Notes: 

Welcome to The Sales Show! 

I'm Maree Kirkpatrick, your sales and business strategist. I'm a mum, a wife, and a multi-business owner myself. With over 15 years' experience in sales and business, I have worked with start-ups all the way through to multi-million pound companies. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I love helping service-based businesses make an income as well as an impact. Let's dive into talking about all things sales and business.

In this podcast episode, I will talk about the importance of having a sales process in your business to reduce overwhelm and mental load, particularly for women and mums. I was inspired by a conversation with a successful business owner who generates $25K to $30K per month but handles everything on her own.

A sales process is a series of repeatable, scalable, and trackable steps that take people from lead to becoming a paying client. This includes marketing, lead generation, and sales conversations, both online and offline. The podcast aims to help listeners streamline their business and make things easier by implementing a sales process.

I am absolutely looking forward to sharing more about sales and business throughout this podcast journey and on the sales show. If you have any questions or would like to get in touch, please contact me at [email protected]. Otherwise, you can visit www.mareekirkpatrick.com for some free resources or to get in touch.



Hello and welcome back to The Sales Show. I'm Maree Kirkpatrick, and I'm so excited you're here today. We're talking about 'Do we really need a sales process within our business?'

The idea for this podcast came to me during a recent conversation with another business owner who has been running her business for a little while. She is very successful in what she does, generating $25K to $30K per month continuously, but she's doing it all on her own. She has no team, no staff. She does all the lead generation, all the sales calls, and then services her clients, all on her own. It can be really overwhelming for her. She finds it exhausting, and her head is just ready to explode. Working six full days in the business with kids, it's full-on. When we were having this conversation, I asked her, 'Do you have a sales process within your business?' She said, 'No, what's a sales process?'. I thought, 'Wow, maybe people don't know that they need a sales process and aren't really clear on what a sales process is.' So today, I want to help you streamline things within your business. I want to help you reduce the overwhelm and take off a little bit of that mental load that business owners, especially women and mums, have when it comes to life. So I want to make things easier within your business, and I believe a sales process is one of the best ways to do that.

What exactly is a sales process? A sales process is a series of steps that we follow to take people from a lead or an inquiry all the way through to becoming a paying client. These steps are repeatable, scalable, and trackable. But if we don't have those steps mapped out and that sales process within our business, it can be really hard.

Your sales process includes things like your marketing and lead generation. It includes your sales conversations, which can be both online as well as offline. So it's not just about the face-to-face conversations we can have or about the Zoom calls or anything along those lines. Sales conversations can happen both online and offline. They can happen if you're an e-commerce business through the way that people buy on your website. So your sales process includes all of that. It includes your customer journey path.

How do you guide people through your business? It's about asking for the sale and having follow-up processes and conversations, such as emails, etc.

I remember when I first started working with one of my amazing clients who had been in business for longer than I have and was successful at what she does. She only worked a few days in her business because she had kids and said to me, "I'd like to grow the business and increase my income." I replied, "Great! Fantastic. Let's have a conversation." In our first initial conversation, she talked about all the processes she had for servicing her clients. When a client came on board, she did so many things and worked it all the way through the project until handing over the work to the client was done and dusted.

However, I asked her, "Do you have a process before the servicing of your clients?" She replied, "Yeah, they just click the link here and can talk to somebody if they need to." I said, "But where's the sales process?" And she replied, "Oh, I don't have a sales process.". "Great," I said. "Let's start there." Because I knew that when a sales process is implemented into a business, things are streamlined, more trackable, and it's easier to figure out what's going on within a business so we can figure out what needs to be changed and what needs to be implemented. So that's where we started, and I wanted to look at how we could put in a tailored sales process into the business. That's what I want to talk to you about today. I want to give you some tips and advice about what you can do and especially why you can do it. 

Here are three reasons why someone would have a sales process:

Firstly, it's pretty obvious that you can improve your sales results by identifying what's working and what's not working, and increasing your sales base around that.

Secondly, having a sales process gives you a consistent approach within your business as to how you talk to people, manage people, and put together your packages, services, and pricing. So you're not reinventing the wheel every time you have a new inquiry or someone wants to work with you.

Thirdly, it means you can scale, and no matter how big your business gets, that sales process will be flexible and will grow with your business, not within your business, but with your business. So it doesn't matter how many leads or inquiries come through your sales process, the sales process is capable of holding all of them.

You might need to get more resources or people, depending on the sales process you implement into your business, but it means you can scale it. It means you can turn on that marketing and lead generation tap and know that your business will be capable of managing all the leads that come in and that you won't drop the ball anywhere.

I want to share a story with you that happened to me just this week, and I was the customer. I went into a health club or gym because I'm trying to get my health and fitness back on track. I know that gyms and the fitness industry can be really daunting for some people. I don't tend to feel that, but I can understand how people do feel like that. When I went into this business, the first thing I did was jump on their website. Their sales process started when I jumped onto their website, not when I had a conversation with anyone. I booked my first workout and assumed, maybe incorrectly, that someone would come up and have a conversation with me about how it works, pricing, and all the finer details about what it would take for me to join this gym. Instead, I was put straight onto machines. I have experience in the fitness industry, so I'm not a complete novice. However, not everyone walking into that gym would have the same knowledge, experience, thoughts, ideas, or goals.

After the free workout, a coach came around with me and took me through everything from a machines point of view and exercise. While going around, I was wondering about the price, terms and conditions, and sales process. I assumed I would sit down and have a chat with the coach afterward, but it didn't happen. She opened a book on her desk with my name next to it and pointed to the numbers: $140 per month, $250 tech, and $100. I was confused and walked out. She had given me the owner's card and suggested I give her a call. So, I did. I enjoyed the workout, but I needed clarification. There was no connection to my goals. It was a logical conversation, and it was difficult for me to make a decision. The owner talked about goals, not specific ones, which I found really interesting. But there was no process that either of these two team members had taken me through. If they had sat down and said to me, "Hey Maree, welcome to our gym, we're so glad you're here. What made you jump onto the website and put in a free class? What's going on for you?" And I would have said things like, "I'd like to lose some weight. I would like to increase my fitness. I want more energy. I want to feel better. I want all of that. I want to be able to walk out the next day and feel skinny." It didn't happen. None of that happened. And so when I was making this decision, I was purely looking at it from a price. I was comparing prices. I had spoken to someone else that was a member of another gym, and they were paying a lot less. And I thought, "Okay, maybe." But I really wanted to go to this gym for a few reasons, but none of them came into the conversation that I was having with either of these two team members.

So I truly believe that putting a sales process into your business will be an absolute game changer. The reason why is you have an increasing conversion rate. If she had sat down and spoken to me about my goals, feelings, thoughts, and how long I've been thinking about joining the gym (which had been a long time, if you're wondering), and if she had enrolled all of that, it would have been a no-brainer conversation. But instead, I've had to speak to two different people, and that's only because I'm a sales and business person. A lot of other people would have walked out and gone, "Too expensive. Just can't see it. Not feeling it, not vibing it. Don't feel like they understand who I am, what I'm wanting, what my goals are." And that's really hard to buy if that stuff hasn't been brought into the conversation.

Now, this yes, is a one-on-one business-to-consumer relationship. So, as like I'm wanting to buy it from a personal perspective rather than a business perspective. But these conversations and these processes need to go across all types of business. So if you're dealing with consumers, if you're dealing with business-to-business, whether you are online or offline, whether you are a service-based business, or whether you're a product-based business, a sales process is so important.

Some of the steps in that sales process for them could have been, "Let's sit down and have a conversation about what the client is wanting, what their goals are, and what they have experienced in the past." She had no idea of any of the experience I'd had in the health and fitness industry. She had no idea that I had joined a gym previously, but every time I did a workout with them, people kept saying, "Oh wow, you've really got the hang of it. I was thinking, "Yeah, if you had asked some questions, you would understand that there is a little bit of background there." So my tips for you would be to put a sales process into your business. Map it out if you need help figuring out the steps you need to have in the sales process.

have a beautiful document called the Seven Steps to Increasing Your Sales. It's at MareeKirkpatrick.com/sevensteps, and it will take you through the seven steps you need to have in your business, whether online or offline. You can also put those steps into the sales process on a website. You can also put those steps into the sales process on a website.

Understanding what people want and mapping out the customer journey path through the business is important. Here are a few quick tips. Have a sales process within your business, whether you are the owner, a team member, or working for someone else. It's not just business owners we deal with. Staff members who listen may be in business development and sales and looking for ways to increase their sales.

Train every person who comes into contact with a customer, whether they are on reception, doing business development or sales, or delivering the product or offer. Everyone should be trained across the sales process so that the customer has a beautiful, streamlined experience. They shouldn't have to have five different conversations with different people in the business. In the Gym story, I was entered into the system three times. From a customer experience perspective, that may not affect me, but it also means that people have spent time and energy entering all my details. Streamline it, make it efficient for your business and team.

Another tip is to constantly check in with your sales process. Look at what's working and what's not. Having a sales process gives you data to understand where people are falling off or where they're saying they're not interested. A random thought along these lines is when people approach you in a shopping center and try to give you a leaflet and say, "Hey, have you thought about a new site?" People will automatically say no. If you were running that business, you would look for ways to adjust that initial connection because people are saying no right from the start.

Having a sales process will allow you to track those metrics, optimise what's working, change things out, and have all the data you need. So implement a sales process into your business. It doesn't have to be high tech. It just needs to be tailored for your business and for your clients. So that we can take people through that customer journey path from the moment that they touch your business all the way through to onboarding and follow-up. What sort of follow-up processes do you have? Do you have any processes that you follow people up with, or are you just saying, "Oh well, they're not the right person" or "We were too expensive so they didn't buy"? Those are my tips for you today.

As I say, go and check out the seven steps. A lovely document that I've got for you. It'll take you through some of the key elements that you need to have in your sales process. It's at MareeKirkpatrick.com/sevensteps.

I look forward to seeing with you soon and have a fantastic day. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the sales show. If you loved it, feel free to share it on Instagram and tag me at Maree Kirkpatrick so I can personally say thank you. If you really want to show me some extra love, I would love to invite you to leave a review on Apple Podcasts.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch by email at [email protected]. If you would like to find out more or how you can work with me, head over to Maree Kirkpatrick dot com. I truly hope that this podcast provides valuable information so you too can build a business with impact and income.