Everyone remembers their first relationship, right? A lot of us remember it with the same sentiment too: What a disaster!
There are dozens of things you wish you had done better and dozens of things you wish you had not done - or said - at all.
Then came the second guy/girl, and you were a little wiser this time around. You had learned from your mistakes and already had a mental list of dos and don’ts, maybe some boundaries in place, and red flags to watch for.
By the time we hit our late 20s everyone more or less has a checklist ready for our ideal guy/girl and the telltale signs of a healthy relationship. We know how to be better partners and how to spot a potentially great partner.
Believe it or not, perfecting your sales process isn't actually that different. Most sales reps will agree that they’ve come a long way from their disastrous first-ever sales phone call, where they did and said things that make them cringe today.
Following a sales process means you are no longer chasing prospects blindly and hoping for the best results. Instead, you are being strategic about your cold calls and sales opportunities. It also means making a checklist for closing deals more effectively in the future using knowledge of deals that went far worse than you’d have expected. You know what they say about failures being stepping stones - this is that proverb in action.
Besides, as someone who has been around for some time (or more), you know what to do, and what not to. You have your mistakes and your colleagues’ mistakes to learn from, and successes to mimic. Although the very memory of them might sometimes make you cringe, learning from your mistakes is a step-by-step process and the best handbook you could have for making better decisions in the future.
That said, it’s quite rare that we can call to mind the best lessons from our mistakes in real time. And if you are thinking about past mistakes while making a pitch, you’re going to seem absent and far from presentable.
That’s why checklists are important.
You use them to remember everything you have to do in a day, to avoid forgetting items when you go to the supermarket and when you’re packing for a holiday… So why not have one for when you’re making a sales pitch? Why not create a quick sales checklist you can refer to whenever you are assigned a new lead?
Before we dive into the B2B sales checklist templates, if you want to give yourself that extra slice of knowledge about how you can create a solid sales pipeline, here you go.
Handy sales checklists to boost your sales
Here are some sales checklists that you can use at various points in the selling process.
Ask yourself: Who is most likely to purchase your product today?
You need to find potential customers who are a good fit for your company. This involves defining leads who truly require your product or service to address their challenges and pain points.
Buyer personas can help you achieve this; these little character sketches make prospects less daunting and more relatable. (It also makes the cold calling process a little fun.)
If you don’t already have buyer personas in place, start creating them step by step by asking existing or potential customers - or your competition’s customers - questions like:
- Duplicates in the lead list were checked against the database
- Lead meets the basic prospect requirements like :
- What is their age?
- What is their gender (if they are comfortable revealing this)?
- Have they got kids?
- Which income bracket do they fall in? (to analyze if the pricing of your product/service is working for them)
- What are their interests?
- What are their goals?
- What do they value the most?
Having an ideal buyer persona will help you understand the kind of prospects that match your product and thus make it 10x easier to engage potential customers.
Pitching and objection handling stage
At this stage, you want to underscore product attributes that add value to your prospect’s professional life and solve their pain points. You want to showcase your competitive edge in your sales presentation and you want to show them how your product can alleviate their pain points.
If your prospects do not understand what the value of your product is, they will not purchase from you. You can increase sales, inspire confidence, and close deals by emphasizing why and how your product is valuable. This is how a product upsells itself. Be sure to address the following points during this phase of the sales process.
Value addition checklist
- What value does your product deliver?
- How does it help the prospect in focus achieve their goals faster or with more ease?
- How does your product help the potential customer overcome any hurdles or obstacles in achieving their goals?
- How does your product eliminate any pain points that the prospect faces?
- What is the cost-value trade-off?
The sad truth is that even a valuable product can be overlooked in favor of a competing product. You also need to showcase your competitive edge. To create your competitive edge, you must first understand what else is available, and then address the following questions - also known as sales objections - in your conversations with the prospect.
Competitive edge checklist
- What are your rivals' claims? What makes your product unique?
- What makes your product more valuable?
- Specific to the prospect in focus, how does your product help them achieve their goals or overcome their pain points better than your competitors?
Other objections that might come up from potential customers may be linked to a lack of trust in your product or pricing and packaging.
General objection handling checklist
- Have you discussed pricing, payment schedule and packaging, and any objections that the prospect had with these?
- Have you showcased social proof - by way of case studies and testimonials from existing buyers - to overcome any trust issues that the prospect might have? As a social proof, you can also show messages on social media or a product review on social media platforms like Linkedin
- Have you offered and delivered a product demo to allow the prospect to verify your claims about your product’s value?
An informal closing process can lead to multiple setbacks - your start date could further be postponed, the client might walk back on the deal, and your CAC (customer acquisition cost) might go down the drain. And so would all the sweat you and your team have put in moving the deal further along the sales cycle. So, create a comprehensive checklist for your sales reps to go over with each prospect to ensure you've covered all of the bases and have everything you require to move forward.
- Has the prospect selected a product/service type that you can deliver
- Has the new customer signed the contract?
- Have you discussed a product delivery/ service commencement date? (If not then you can always follow up with it via messaging.
To gain loyalty from new customers, you need to give them reasons to be loyal - they need to feel cared for. A prospect's interaction with you shouldn't end after they've made a purchase from you, don’t ghost them right when they turn into paying customers.
Make your customer feel valued to maintain a strong association with them and encourage them to renew contracts, maybe upgrade their product choices in the future, and refer business to others which opens new sales opportunities for you. Ten one-time clients won't make as much of an impact on your business as one lifelong client.
- Have you reported sales to the sales manager?
- Have you processed and filled order forms or whatever process your sales organization follows?
- Did you remember to send a thank-you note to the new customer?
- Have you followed up to confirm the satisfaction of the new customers?
- Have you made sure to resolve any questions or problems?
Everybody wants to feel valued, and who doesn't like free stuff?
A reward system for your loyal clients linked to referrals is a great way to incentivize current clients to hold the flag for you by offering future discounted rates, rewards points, freebies, special access, and more.
This will not only help you keep in touch with your clients, but it will also help you generate new leads and increase sales with less effort.
Any sales team will agree that quoting a mutual acquaintance instantly warms a prospect to you, and for the most part, the client who referred you to them does so with the knowledge that the lead could derive value from your product.
Create useful, contextualized checklists with Wingman
No matter how good you believe your sales process is, there is always room for improvement - your competition is certainly pursuing improvement and that’s reason enough. With Wingman, you can use the team’s successes and failures - all easily accessible thanks to neatly categorized call recordings - to keep your sales process checklists on point. Metrics delivered at a click can help you see which parts of the sales process need improvement.
Here’s the thing. Even when it looks like your sales engine is functioning smoothly, you should perform a regular system check:
This means assessing its overall effectiveness, identifying and addressing limitations, improving prospect engagement, enhancing sales performance, and growing revenue.
With Wingman's assistance, your salesforce can achieve the growth you've been looking for. Wingman’s AI-powered sales intelligence platform helps your salespeople to close deals that are the most profitable.
You can personalize your client relationships by integrating your CRM, dialer, and business messaging applications like Slack to deliver truly useful insights when you need them. Wingman's sales intelligence will help your sales team’s initiatives be more efficient and data-driven. To get started on your AI-powered sales journey, schedule a demo today.