There has been plenty of discussion about how tech and automation can streamline the client experience and put your marketing on autopilot but selling remains a hands-on process to provide prospects with an authentic and personal touch. Turning leads into booked clients requires you (or your sales team) to show up on behalf of your brand.
Even though potential customers expect a real-life person on the other side of the screen, that’s not to say technology doesn’t have its place in a sales workflow. In fact, the most successful salespeople know that tech supports their process by fostering a consistent and efficient experience for new leads.
If you’re not leveraging tech to reach your full selling potential, here are four ways to increase your conversion rate and win over your dream clients.
Quicker response times
When a potential buyer is finished researching, they typically reach out to a shortlist of event pros who meet their needs. If you’re lucky enough to get an inquiry, there’s a good chance your competitors are reading the same email. In a perfect world, people would wait to hear from every option before deciding; but in reality, your prospects are looking for timeliness and aren’t afraid to jump on one of the first respondents to start a conversation.
Take advantage of templated emails to be the first one out of the gate. Most customer relationship management (CRM) platforms allow you to template or automate emails triggered by an inquiry. And while taking advantage of this is a must, don’t forget to add a personal touch. If you don’t love a CRM for inquiry responses, no problem! Canned responses in Gmail allow you to quickly update and send without much effort.
Documents at the ready
Have you ever had a great sales call, only to get radio silence after sending over a proposal? After hanging up, you draw up a contract, create an invoice, and send the package over—but it seems like your lead has gone missing! This often happens because of two reasons. First, the booking process is not digital and second there is too much time between the sales pitch and the contract, giving them a chance to hesitate, reconsider, and talk to your competitors.
Instead of relying on follow-up emails, adjust your process to close the sale while you are still on the call. Make templates for your contract and invoice wherever you have them (or opt for a streamlined platform that handles both sides). Then, when you’re on a call and your prospect sounds excited, let them know everything is ready to go and send it right away. Don’t let bookings slip through your hands; make the signing and paying process seamless by accepting online signatures and payments.
Seamless onboarding transition
Onboarding is often viewed as an entirely separate process from selling, but a great sales workflow tees up a seamless transition to make it official. If you already have a defined onboarding process for new clients, it’s a simple matter of connecting the first step to the final step of your sales workflow. For example, paying a deposit may trigger an automated email with a link to schedule a kickoff call and a new client questionnaire.
If you don’t have an onboarding process set, take a step back and review your sales process. What kind of information do you collect by the time they sign a contract? What else do you need to get started? Is there anything you want to include to enhance the onboarding experience, like a welcome gift or a complimentary mood board? When you use tech to streamline the transition, it also becomes easy to delegate sales and onboarding tasks to your team.
Consistent brand experience
As your team grows and more employees take on sales responsibilities, it can be harder to achieve a consistent brand experience. With so many personalities and voices to balance, tech helps to integrate your messaging and avoid discrepancies between individual team members.
Automated emails, canned responses, and branded documents ensure every prospect gets the same experience from the initial inquiry to the moment they put down a deposit. With your sales process streamlined, it won’t matter who a new lead reaches—whether it’s your most veteran salesperson, a new hire, or even yourself!
Event technology is made to facilitate a smooth client experience, but it’s just as useful before they sign on the dotted line. An efficient sales workflow sets expectations for a streamlined planning process, so don’t forget to optimize from the very first touchpoint!
Elizabeth Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. Elizabeth is also a lead wedding planner with award-winning firm Bridal Bliss, where she manages the Seattle team. In addition to recognition by Special Events in its Top 25 Event Pros to Watch series, she also earned a spot in The BizBash 500 for 2021.