The art of the sale is not just connecting with a customer or client, showing them your goods and services, collecting money, and calling it a day. There is actually a lot that goes into sales, whether dealing with B2C or B2B customers and clients. The truth is, it is a little bit of creativity and a little bit of factual support.

To get the right balance and be successful, you need a sales process. Why? Once you have found a sales process that works, you can rinse and repeat with a few minor tweaks to begin really selling to your target audience.

“The best salespeople can be from either side of the spectrum of art vs. science – but some of the very best salespeople know how to combine both attributes,” Al Davidson of Business 2 Community explained. No one can be great at every single element of sales success, but if you can combine both the “art” and “science” of sales in some way, you will be more successful.”

Balancing Creativity and Facts in Your Sales Process

You definitely need a personality to open and close a sale. However, without the factual support behind the products and/or services you or your sales team is selling, personality alone won’t cut it.

This is why a sales process is so important. It creates the perfect balance between personality and the supporting facts needed to make a convincing argument for why your business is better than your competitors.

Having an in-depth sales process ensures a few things . . .

  • Business branding and message are aligned
  • The value proposition is the same for the entire team
  • The sales cycle is mapped out clearly
  • There are defined rules to overcome sales obstacles
  • A management team is in place for higher level support
  • Flow is structured from open to close of the sale

When you have everything in place, the benefits will begin to roll in, and fast. The reason why having a sales process is a must-do for your business is simple. It is a way for you and your sales team to identify high-quality leads and close them in the least amount of time using the least amount of resources. When done right, you get the following benefits.

Customer Satisfaction Goes Up

When you have a sales process in place, each sale is done in the same way. This creates a very good feeling for customers and clients across the board. The exact process can have variations, of course, since not every customer is the same.

But the general way of making the sale should be relatively the same. As long as the principles are consistent, customer satisfaction will always be high. This is good for your customer lifetime value, as well as referrals.

Net More Referrals From Happy Customers

When customer satisfaction goes up, the number of referrals you net also increases. Why? Because happy customers love to talk about great experiences they have with businesses. It’s like the restaurant model. If the food and service are bad, no one will recommend the restaurant.

Generating referrals is also part of the sales cycle. “Save some time and energy, and ask your client if they have any friends or colleagues that might also benefit from the product or service you sell,” diagramming solution software company Lucidchart said.

Return Rate Drops Significantly

Lowering your return rate, or not needing to refund money on a service guarantee, can have a serious impact on your bottom line. The return rate for e-commerce businessesfor example, can be as high as 30 percent. For very expensive products and services, it could even be higher.

By having a detailed sales process in place, you can combat the high number of returns you may be seeing. For instance, by identifying reasons why customers or clients return products or ask for money back on services, solutions can be implemented into your sales process to ensure that those situations don’t arise.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.