Let's be clear - most deals don't close on the first call, and that unicorn opportunity that you happen to chance the right time and place timing on can happen but is so rare we should just ignore it.
In the wonderful world of sales, where competition is fierce, consistency and continuity are often the unsung heroes of success. The steady and dependable sales process, adding value and not pushing your agenda, builds lasting relationships and fuels long-term success.
I've stuck with opportunities for over five years in my career before I got the close. Why? Because I knew there was value to be added to the brand. Did it work out? One example resulted in a £1m a year account, an incredible relationship and some brilliant work delivered.
So, as I too often hear that one of the first stumbling blocks in sales teams is consistency, I thought it was time to share my thoughts on its importance and how it can be the key to pipeline and revenue growth.
Building trust through consistency
Consistency in sales, like everything in life, is the crucial study foundation success is built on. It's the trusty base upon which you can construct everything else. Whether you're selling products, services, or solutions, prospects want to know what they can expect from you, and consistency provides that reassurance.
When you consistently deliver on your promises, prospects begin to trust you. They trust that you will deliver a quality product or service, meet deadlines, and be there to support them when needed. This trust forms the bedrock of a successful sales relationship. It's what keeps prospects coming back and referring others to your business. But also consistency shows you give a sh*t about them and their business which is what any buyer wants.
Nurturing loyalty through continuity
Continuity in the sales process extends beyond a one-time interaction. It's about building relationships that last that focus on the value exchange. Continuity means staying engaged with prospects even if communication is one-way traffic. It's about providing ongoing value and support to nurture long-term loyalty. And if you're worried about messaging someone and annoying them? If you're being additive in terms of value, have the right cadence for your messaging so you're not spamming them. It'll be fine. If someone doesn't want to hear from you, they will tell you. Or at least they should. So if you're a buyer reading this and you don't want to hear from someone, just be honest and politely let them know or manage their expectations in some way if the time isn't right.
So the benefits? One of the main benefits of continuity is the opportunity to really get to know them and their business. When you maintain a relationship with a prospect, you can understand their evolving needs, the market challenges, what their biggest blockers are, and where you can add the most value. This information is like gold for refining your sales strategies and product offerings. It shows prospects that you value their input and are dedicated to improving their experience.
The ripple effect of consistency and continuity
Consistency and continuity in the sales process have a ripple effect throughout your business. When your sales team consistently follows a well-defined process, onboarding new team members and maintaining a unified approach becomes more effortless. This consistency leads to improved efficiency and better use of resources.
Additionally, consistent and continuous sales efforts contribute to a positive company culture. When employees see the rewards of their efforts, such as customer satisfaction and steady revenue growth, they are more motivated and engaged. This, in turn, results in higher job satisfaction and reduced turnover rates.
Consistency and continuity create a sense of security from a prospect's perspective. They want to know that they can rely on your business, especially when their own success is dependent on your products or services. When they experience a seamless and dependable sales process reinforces their confidence in your brand and encourages them to stick around for the long haul.
Tactics for achieving consistency and continuity
To implement consistency and continuity in your sales process, try these tactics as a starting point:
Establish clear processes - Develop standardised procedures that outline every step of the sales process, from lead generation to post-sale follow-up. Ensure that your entire sales team is trained on these processes.
Use technology - Implement automation to engage prospects in the cooler (fatter) end of your pipeline that you don't yet have a relationship with.
Find your rhythm - Define what feels like a good rhythm for you and assess every single row in your pipeline (at least) on a weekly basis and then decide which prospect needs to hear from you or not.
Feedback loops - Create mechanisms for gathering feedback from both prospects and your sales team. Use this feedback to make continuous improvements to your sales processes and offerings.
Value add thinking - Bring your content into the conversation, link it to what you know of their problems and add something bespoke to the message because that person matters to you (and if they don't, you need to reassess your own values).
Let's wrap this up.
Consistency and continuity aren't something to just give lip service to in your sales process; they are the key components to success. They build trust, nurture loyalty, and create a positive ripple effect throughout your business. By prioritising these principles in your sales strategy, you can create lasting relationships with prospects, drive sustainable growth, and secure your position in a competitive market. In the marathon of sales, it's the consistent and continuous effort that ultimately leads to the finish line. Be the tortoise, not the hare.