Let’s be honest; if we could pull it off, we’d all grow our cleaning companies at a much faster rate. If our sales team (or ourselves) could sell more business, we’d love to take on the challenge.

For most of us, sales is the bottleneck that stifles growth in our company. Unfortunately, simply picking up the phone and making more calls just isn’t enough to grow the pipeline.

While our industry is not complicated, the sales process requires intentionality, strategy and execution. You need a plan. You need to know what components you have in place and what missing links need to be filled.

Here is a quick breakdown of the components you need to have in place to build a healthy sales pipeline:

#1 - Value proposition
Before you start selling, it is critical to know what is being sold and why someone should buy it. This means more than having good quality products, good people and good customer service — that much is a given. What you need is something that really sets you apart from the competition.

#2 - Ideal customer profile
In addition to knowing what is being sold, you need to know who you are selling to. Not everyone is going to be your customer. A clearly defined notion of your perfect customer is absolutely necessary. Before you begin building the prospect list (next step), you need to know what type of customer qualifies to be on the list. Identify the ideal client profile DNA, write it down and stick to it.

#3 - Finding prospects
After figuring out what you are selling and the type of customer you desire, it’s time to go and find those prospects. In short, you need to build a list of customers that fit your ideal DNA and discover the contact person in those facilities. No one can just give you this list — it’s something you must build on your own.

#4 - Nurturing with calls, emails and content

While your list may have 500 or even 1,000 names on it, most of those prospects are not in buying mode. Therefore, you need a way to stay connected to these prospects so that when they decide to buy, you are at the top of their mind. This is the nurture phase. Develop a plan to show prospects you are credible, trustworthy and worthy of their business.

#5 - Proposals and closing the deal
Finally, you need a plan for closing deals. What will your proposals look like? What members of the team will be included in the sales process? What does your startup plan look like? Assuming prices are competitive, how will you push yourself ahead of the competition?
If you have a solid plan for tackling these five steps of the selling process, you are likely well on your way to consistent, stable growth.

Jordan Tong is a BSC consultant and founder of Elite Business Coaching, in addition to being a third-generation owner of Frantz Building Services based in Owensboro, Kentucky. For more information on his coaching services, visit www.elitebusinesscoaching.net.