Back in the day, we were taught about the 4 Ps of Marketing: Product, Price, Placement (distribution) and Promotion (advertising). Since then I’ve seen it grow to 6 Ps which also include People (targeted segment) and Performance (financial and/or share). I’ve even read an article that includes another marketing P: Public Relations.
At the danger of grossly over-simplifying things, I suggest that there are 5 Ps of Sales: Pain, Promise, Proof, Process, and Platform.
Pain: This is the issue, challenge or pain point your prospect is dealing with. A good sales person will uncover it, so that his or her solution is relevant.
Promise: This is what you as a product or service provider commit to doing for the prospect. This is your solution.
Proof: This is evidence that you’ve provided this solution to others and it has worked. Normally it involves data or a success metric.
Process: This is the repeatable, sustainable series of steps your sales team will use to consistently identify prospects, uncover their pain, and move them through the sales cycle to become customers.
Platform: This is the sales automation tool or customer relationship management (CRM) database that allows you to track your prospects, their stages in your sales process, your opportunities and your pipeline.
Deficiencies in any one of these areas will present problems for any sales team. If you don’t take the time to discover your prospect’s pain points, you may be trying to solve the wrong problem. Without having a good solution for that prospect, you are wasting their time and yours. If you don’t have good data to prove that you have helped others, then your story is not as credible as it should be. (When you are dealing with your first customers, start collecting data right away to build your “proof” story!) Remember if you don’t have a solid process and good platform–it will be challenging to train new employees, follow your prospects, compare data across salespeople, and know whether you have the pipeline you need to hit sales targets.
As a new business, you can’t afford to miss one of the 5 Ps of Sales, as these will be fundamental to your success! It’s never too early to focus on sales. “Nothing happens in business until someone sells something.” *
Melanie R. Varin
Chief Operating Officer, TopLine Results Corporation
With more than 30 years of business expertise, Melanie focuses on providing clients with winning strategies for improving their sales, marketing and overall business processes from assessment to implementation.
*Coined by Arthur “Red” Motley, former publisher, Parade Magazine, 1930.