For a small-business owner, there are few things worse than not getting the income you were relying on. A lot of work goes into setting up a deal or securing a sale. To have it delayed, dropped at the finish line, or the final steps leaving the customer feeling they had a less than amazing experience is disappointing, to say the least.
Customers who are not thrilled will not generate a referral or repeat business. Worse still, if a deal falls through, not only does it waste a lot of time that could have been spent on other deals, it hurts the projected bottom line and sets you back at square one.
Here are some ways to work faster and smarter to get across the line and prevent roadblocks in your sales.
- Make it easy: The way transactions are conducted is important. Customers are easily put off if there are too many steps involved, too many questions to answer, too many choices to make or too much paperwork involved. Take a close look at the decision making process your customers experience and consider whether there are steps that can be removed or made more efficient. This may be in the product experience in your store, your online shop or in the processes your sales team follow.
- Make it fast: Consumers are used to instant access to anything at their fingertips and have a “tap & go” mentality. People are busy, so as much as transactions need to be easy, they also need to be as quick as possible. Delays and lengthy processes are an invitation for customers to back away from the transaction or spend too much time thinking about the purchase or deal and may lose interest.
- Understand your customer: Building a rapport with your customers is a helpful tool in smoothing the way for transactions to be completed easily and without hesitation. If you understand your customer – who they are, what they want and what their pain points are – and show them that you do, you will be able to create an emotional connection with your product or service. This loyalty can result in return custom and referral business.Remember, customers’ needs can change, so check in with them on a regular basis, even after you close the deal, to check what’s working for them, what’s important to them and what they’d like you to improve.
- Automate: In the busy life of a small business, the help of automation is always welcome. The technology you use needn’t be limited to your accounting software. Look to the cloud for access to the latest solutions to help you get your deals across the line. A sales productivity platform can help keep track of all the deals you’re working on and how they’re progressing; a CRM system can help you manage interactions with potential customers and improve relationships. When it comes to finalising contracts, an eSignature solution such as DocuSign can help you get it signed off from anywhere, anytime and even collect payment at the point of signing.
By taking a few small steps, you can create a seamless customer experience and smooth the path to close deals more quickly and remove roadblocks obstructing your projected income.
Tom Hyde, Head of Small Business – APAC, DocuSign