In the past, the sales process was covered by a thick veil of secrecy. Companies could mask their real intentions using a bunch of attractive ads and complex semantics. And, it worked. For a while. Then, with the rise of the internet and the hyperconnected approach to the business-client communication, it stopped working.
Today, your customers, investors, and even your salespeople expect you to be open to them. This means transparency in your sales process.
That’s called transparency, and it has become a true buzzword in the business world.
For example, Buffer has proven their commitment to boosting transparency by sharing a publicly available spreadsheet, showing salaries of every employee by name.
Furthermore, under the slogan “Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication,” Zappos has built an entire department, Zappos Insights, to share their culture with the world. You can take a tour of their headquarters, register for Q&A sections with their leaders, and even take part in their live training events.
In other words, transparency is the foundation of a better collaboration between your departments, a stronger relationship with your customers, and a better understanding of what is going on with the sales process.
This is exactly why it needs to be taken seriously.
Here is how to make your sales process more transparent to both your clients and your team.
Track your Progress and Share the Results
To know what strategies work for you, you need to measure their effectiveness regularly. Most importantly, let your employees participate in this process actively. Tell them clearly what your expectations are and allow them to track their progress. Analyze all important sales KPIs, such as new leads, the average order size, conversion rates, the existing client engagement, or the shopping cart abandonment rates, and provide your salespeople with the feedback regularly.
The same goes for your clients. Let’s take digital marketing agencies as an example. How can you explain to your clients that a slight drop in rankings is not necessarily your fault? Well, you need to provide them with relevant data and statistics. Create weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports to validate your actions and show how your company has contributed to their bottom line. Automate the reporting process using a client reporting tool that allows you to give your employees the access to your dashboards. Choose tools that integrate well with other industry-related tools so you can track all the KPIs relevant to you from a single digital marketing dashboard and save a lot of time.
Have Clear Value Propositions
What do you do when you want to attract new customers or sign an important client? You probably go the extra mile in explaining why your products are the best. And, that’s all right, until you start promising them the moon. Even though each of the pro-bono perks you add seems insignificant to you right now, it may actually hurt your business. This way, you’re not adding value to your clients. You’ll just have to do a lot of extra work for free.
To avoid that, you need to set your value proposition clearly. Tell them how your products or services solve their problems, deliver all specified benefits, and emphasize why they should buy from you and not your rivals. Make your value proposition clear and easy-to-comprehend. Most importantly, establish your value and defend it.
Start Blogging to Bring Value
Being a leader in your niche doesn’t mean selling a bunch of products only. It’s about bringing value to your customers, as well. By providing quality, niche-specific, and relevant content, you will become a reliable source of information. Most importantly, you will inspire your customers to come back and search for solutions on your blog. Make sure you don’t write your content to boost your rankings or promote your business. Write it for your customers. Know what keeps them up at night and try to provide them with the actionable tips they can rely on. To make it more engaging, experiment with the types of content. Apart from traditional articles, you should focus on case studies, podcasts, explainer videos, and infographics, as well.
Boost Customer Experience through Social Networking
The number of social media users is on a steady rise. Statista points out that there were 2.62 billion mobile users in 2017 and predicts that this number will jump to 3.02 billion by the end of 2021. This means that the majority of your customers are on social networks and that you need to be there, too.
The reason why social networks are that important is the fact that they build trust. Today’s customers don’t trust branded promotions. Namely, they go to social networks to look for tips, referrals, and reviews. They read comments on Facebook and Twitter, watch how-tos on Pinterest, and keep track of your behind-the-scenes content on Instagram. Social networks help them familiarize themselves with your brand and the real idea behind it.
And, that’s exactly what you should offer to them. Take them behind the scenes, provide them with relevant statistics, ask for reviews, share news, and deliver social proof.
Also, use social networks to listen to your customers. Track their discussions about your brand and products and see what they think of them. You can use social media monitoring tools to get notified each time someone mentions you, and provide your customers with the honest, real-time feedback they’ll appreciate.
Implementing transparency into your business’ sales process is crucial. Always keep in mind that it is all about building a solid strategy. It’s also about providing relevant information, making yourself visible, and establishing a solid sales culture within your organization.
Pipeliner CRM allows you to implement a totally transparent sales process.Get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.