What is an Automated Sales Process (ASP) and How You Can Use It to Quickly Grow Your Business
Although tactics for growth are abundant, it’s easy to get lost in all the noise. Especially now when there’s an oversaturation of marketing gurus, each with their own niches and opinions. Not to mention that implementing these tactics can be extremely hard and time-consuming.
So how can you increase sales, build loyal customers, and dominate your competition without wasting time and resources?
The answer is a perfect combination of strategies that come together to deliver consistent growth and revenue 24/7. This is known as an Automated Sales Process, or ASPTM, the growth marketing framework popularized by the book, “Growth Hacking: Silicon Valley’s Best Kept Secret” by Raymond Fong and Chad Riddersen.
What is an ASPTM?
In short, ASPTM is a growth marketing sales flywheel composed of 6 strategic elements to generate growth and sales. Think of ASPTM as the ideal salesperson that can identify the perfect prospect, close sales, and have the prospect coming back for more. But unlike an actual salesperson, a well established ASPTM can work all hours of the day.
ASPTM is composed of these six components:
- First Impression
- Engage & Educate
- Sales Technology
- Retention & Referrals
Below, we will take a look at what each component is, and why they are important…
Attraction: Getting Attention for Your Products and Services
Attraction is the first step and foundation of the ASPTM. Its role is to capture the attention of potential prospects and make consumers aware of your product/service.
Attraction exists both offline and online. Offline Attraction appears on TV ads, radio ads, billboards, etc. Online Attraction appears on popular websites such as YouTube and various social media platforms. They can either be content or carefully crafted ads.
The key to good Attraction is to know your ideal prospect as clearly as possible. One good way is to create an avatar. Avatars simulate a possible real buyer all the way down to not just their demographics (age, gender, income, etc.) but also their hobbies, likes and dislikes, dreams, nightmares that keep them up at night, etc.
After which, you need to find out the purchase intention behind the avatar. Ask yourself questions such as:
- Under what circumstances would they look for your product or service?
- What kind of problems are they trying to solve?
- What keywords would they search for?
- What’s their mood like when searching for the solution?
Once you find out the true intention behind their purchase, you can craft better ads and content to target your avatar. Doing so will allow you to pick out qualified buyers among average consumers as you growth hack your business to success.
First Impression: Turning Qualified Prospects into Brand-Acquainted & Intrigued Prospects
Much like a date or a job interview, first impressions are crucial. A person’s initial judgment can drastically influence their opinion of you. The same applies for your business. The first impression comes immediately after Attraction, it’s the very first experience a prospect has with your business.
In traditional businesses, this might be the storefront or office. The furnishings of a restaurant and attitude of the hostess can set the foundation of your dining experience. The tidiness of an accounting firm can instantly convey the professionalism of the accountants.
For online businesses, this is often your website, landing page, ecommerce storefront, etc. The challenge for online businesses is to keep your digital storefront up-to-date because the digital user experience trends are always changing.
First Impressions works hand-in-hand with Attraction. Once your attraction starts working, pay close attention to where your new prospects are heading towards. Is it towards your website? Are they calling your sales team? Are they going to your YouTube channel or Facebook page? Understand the route your prospects are taking, and strive to make good first impressions every step of the way.
Engage & Educate: Sellucating Prospect to Gain Their Trust & Business
Once you have attracted your ideal prospect, and have made a good impression, it’s time to nourish their interest and trust in you. An interested and trusting prospect is more likely to take action and do business with you.
In order to build trust, you need to appeal to three components of your prospect’s psyche. First, establish your credibility. Second appeal to their emotional response. Third, reinforce their logical justifications for purchase.
Here are the core components of Engage & Educate:
- Establish trust and authority
- Build a consistent brand
- Identify unique selling point
- Craft attention-worthy headlines
- Convey features and benefits
- Utilize copywriting
- Social proof
- Handle objections with FAQ
- Lead prospects with Call-To-Action
The nine modern modalities above combine to create the Engage & Educate component, which serves in creating interest, persuasion, and closing.
We establish trust, authority, branding, and social proof to increase your business’s credibility. Unique selling points and headlines will make your business grab more attention from your competitors. Feature-benefits and copywriting will increase your business’s closing power, and FAQ’s serve to handle any objections your prospects may have. The better you are at establishing yourself as the expert and authority figure while establishing rapport and trust, the higher the probability of your earning the business of your prospect.
Follow-Up: Establishing Your Expertise & Guiding Prospects Through the Buying Cycle
Here’s the harsh truth. Even with the most sophisticated sales process, the majority of your prospects will not purchase from you initially. This doesn’t necessarily mean your products/services aren’t appealing, or your prospects dislike you. It simply means that it can take time and repetition to turn interested prospects into loyal customers.
This is why having a Follow-Up system is so important. Without Follow-Up, you miss the chance to build relationships with potential buyers. Some common Follow-Up systems are phone calls, text messages, physical mail, emails, etc.
Follow-ups are often neglected by businesses. Not closing the initial sale isn’t the end of the world, and many businesses leave money on the table by not following-up with interested prospects who may buy in the future. The ASPTM component, “Follow-Up” helps you create an automated Follow-Up process to re-engage with your prospects well after you made initial contact so you can help guide them through the buying process.
Sales Technology: Shepherding Prospects Smoothly to the Point of Purchase
In the sections above, we talked about how “Attraction” brings eyeballs to the table where your “First Impression” assures them that you may have what they are looking for while “Engage & Educate” demonstrates how your products/services can help solve their problems and your “Follow-Up” continues to engage them. Now we come to the part of the ASPTM where we facilitate the actual sales process and makes it as seamless and hassle-free as possible for the buyers
With modern software and technology, we can turn offline sales tactics, such as upsells, bonuses, etc, into an automatic process online. This allows your business to convert and close sales while you sleep.
Here are some example Sales Technology for online businesses:
- Program that allow prospects to book appointments on their own
- Automated payment collection
- Automatic redirection to up-sells, down-sells, and cross-sells
Taking advantage of the numerous programs online will allow your business to bypass restraints of human employees and empowers your business to collect sales and make the process even enjoyable and gratifying for the buyer.
Referrals & Retention: Ask for Referrals & Retaining Customers for Life
Referral & Retention is the final component of the ASPTM. It’s designed to turn an otherwise one-time buyer into a loyal customer that keeps coming back for more. This system is designed to help your business foster strong long-lasting relationships with your buyers while gently extracting additional value through feedback that helps improve your product/service, testimonials that boost your credibility, and referrals that bring you additional customers.
Aside from teaching you the Testimonial Formula (spoiler):
[Specific End Result or Benefit the Customer Received] + [Specific Period of Time] + [Accompanied Customer Emotion] + [Customer Name with Relevant Stats]
…and acquiring powerful testimonials from your buyers, this component also helps you craft ways to incentivize your customers to advertise your business. A classic offline referral system is to hand them your business card. In the online world, the tactics are much more robust. You can easily use social media posts instead of a business card. In addition, you can provide bonuses for each new customer your prospects bring in.
Retention works very similarly. Provide your customer gifts or bonuses for their purchase, or give them a discount for future purchases, and thank them for their patronage.
The Power of Leveraging an ASPTM to Growth Hack Your Business
ASPTM is a powerful framework that will help you growth hack your business, both online and offline. Each individual component can be worked on independently and bring value on its own, while simultaneously building upon each other. Once you’ve understood all the parts, you’ll know the next steps to take to grow your business. With mastery of all the ASPTM components, you’ll learn to analyze your own business like a professional growth marketer, and be ready to tackle any potential marketing challenges down the road.
Once each component is correctly implemented, ASPTM becomes a growth engine that continuously attracts and close prospects. This article only serves as a quick overview. To learn more about each individual component in-depth, visit these articles detailing each specific part starting with “Attraction”, or purchase a copy of our book “Growth Hacking: Silicon Valley’s Best Kept Secret” on Amazon.
If you are looking to hire a professional growth marketing agency to implement components of the Automatic Sales ProcessTM, you may find our list of the “Best Growth Marketing Agencies in the US” helpful.