How to Build a Marketing Sales Process Flowchart

Are your sales teams drifting?

Do your salespeople and your marketing department ask you hundreds of questions every day?

Do you feel like you need a little more organization?

You’ve come to the right place. 

You’ve probably heard terms like sales funnels and b2b sales process flowchart.

“Yes, Juliana, very nice names but…How do I create them?” Relax, don’t get overwhelmed.

I have some good news: although many think that a marketing and sales process flowchart is difficult or something only professional strategists do, it’s easier than you think. 

And in this article, I’m going to tell you some tips, tricks, and sales processes template examples that you can use to get it done fast (they will help you even if you don’t have much experience in project management).  

You are welcome 😉

What Is a Marketing and Sales Process Flowchart?

The first thing to do is to have a basic understanding of exactly what you are going to do when you create sales process flowcharts. 

Like any other business process, there are a set of steps that you will do every time you go through the sales cycle with a customer. These will apply regardless of what you are trying to sell them and how big the sale is. 

So if you want to have success and maximize revenue, I recommend that you take note when building your sales strategy:

  • Prospecting and qualifying – you don’t want to go further with unqualified leads! Quality matters, always.
  • Pre-approach – warm them up to the idea that you’ve got the answers to their questions
  • Approach – once you have early rapport, introduce yourself!
  • Assessing needs – what does your prospect need, and how can you deliver it?
  • Presentation – it’s time to unveil your master plan!
  • Dealing with objections – there will be some, so don’t panic!
  • Commitment – the moment your prospect decides to go with you
  • Follow up – because the sale isn’t closed until there’s money in the bank! 

Every single sale in every single industry will follow a similar process to this. A sales process flowchart just formalizes it, so everyone on your sales team knows exactly how to proceed. 

With these sales process steps, your project management team can track each project from before the sale even happens. This way, the sales rep and PM can work together in harmony.

Making a Flowchart

Of course, your sales flowchart will need to break all those steps down into smaller chunks, so that your sales and marketing team always know what to do next. 

Sales flowcharts use a system of shapes and interconnected arrows to indicate which action should be taken when a prospect takes a particular action. Each type of process should be a different shape, and ideally a different color, so they’re easy to differentiate. These include:

  • Start – the start of the whole process
  • Process – what you are going to do
  • Subprocess – when there is another step or steps to be taken to complete a process
  • Decision – when you or your client makes a decision
  • Document – when processes, decisions, and other important information needs to be formalized in writing

Your sales flowchart should visually represent how you will approach, nurture, convince and close a sale. They make it easy for any employee, new or old, to determine what they should do next. This makes it easy to move the sales process along and helps to save time and money. 

Having a marketing sales process flowchart will be for your team like when the castaway finally sees land and stops swimming adrift. Yes, that much.

How to Build Your Own Sales Process Flowchart

Ok, let’s get down to the important stuff – start the action!

While there are sales process flowchart templates out there, this is a very personal and company-specific process. A good sales process will be based specifically on the products and services you offer and take into account your internal business administration processes. 

So, for instance, when your sales team needs to generate a quote number or process a purchase order, there will be a step on your sales flowchart that corresponds to that task. 

A B2B sales process flowchart tells your team what they need to do, and when, but it also makes it easy to track, project manage and measure results. 

So, to create a sales flowchart that is specific to your company and the products and services you sell, you might do the following:

  • Determine when and how you would find and qualify leads
  • Create an offer that would encourage them to opt-in
  • Create an automated process that shares high-value information
  • Identify a point at which you switch from automation to a human salesperson – usually when a prospect requests more information
  • Create steps to find out what a prospect’s pain points are, and how your offerings address them
  • Develop a quote and follow up the process
  • Identify when / if you will abandon the sales process – because sometimes, a customer just won’t take the next step
  • Create a new process to capture and manage orders
  • Integrate with payment and accounting systems
  • Develop a follow-up and after-sales process

Each step of the individual sales and marketing flowchart will be different, but it will always start at the very beginning of the new client relationship and cover all the steps until the sale is done, the product delivered, and the check-in the bank. 

There are many applications, both paid and free, that allow you to build your sales flowcharts in a very simple way. Make friends with the tools, they will undoubtedly save you from this one.

Formalized Processes Make Efficient Teams

You know I’m a big fan of efficiency (and I think all business should be). 

The biggest reason you should have a standardized sales process is so that you can quickly and easily replicate steps that have succeeded in the past. 

As you scale your sales department, a strong sales process lets everyone know exactly what they need to do to qualify more leads, nurture them, negotiate a favorable contract, and then close the sale. 

But this doesn’t start and end quickly. You might have to adjust your sales process when you first start developing it, as you learn more about what works and what does not. 

A formal process also makes it easy to onboard new sales reps and provide them with tools that you know work in your industry and for your company. 

Your sales and marketing teams will know how to go from one step to the next. Both departments will work in line and the day-to-day problems will disappear, and so will your headaches.

I always say that time is money, and without a doubt, a Marketing Sales Process Flowchart will save you time and maximize your revenue.

So, if you haven’t already started working on this, start applying some project management principles to sales, and discover how much it can improve your sales pipeline. 

Come on, it’s time to start kicking ass!

Top KPIs for Optimizing Your Sales Process

The best part of owning an agency? 

It’s all the stuff that happens outside the day to day of your agency – travel, watching your kids play sports, creating cool shit. 

It’s letting go and letting your business run like a lean, mean, well-oiled machine. Ahh, priceless! But priceless or not, we have to get a grip on our numbers — the sales process. 

If you don’t have one in place yet, grab our free Sales Process Toolkit. We’ll walk you through it step-by-step. 

To keep your agency running smoothly and scaling, you must keep track of all your processes, the people, and the performance. Today, we’re going to dive into the agency sales process with the KPIs you need to measure success. 

“But Juliana, don’t I just measure revenue when it comes to sales? My sales are great!”

Well, that’s good to hear, and it’s true — your sales process is measured in revenue. 

But that’s not all. 

Measuring revenue is one thing.

Measuring other top KPIs will help you optimize it, get straight A’s across your sales scorecards, and identify room for growth

And remember, you want to keep your agency running smoothly. These top sales KPIs will help you do just that. Let’s take a look at the metrics that’ll help you develop an excellent agency sales strategy. 

Why you need data to go from good to flat-out great: Sales accountability 

If you haven’t already, you need to start making decisions based on data, not feelings. The more we use data to make decisions, the more objective our choices will be. Ultimately, this will make our business more agile. 

The thing is, inaction costs money. When we don’t have the data we need, we won’t act. So, having data makes it easier for us to act and to make accurate decisions. 

Am I saying eff it to feelings? No. Sometimes it’s good to listen to our gut. 

But looking at the data instead of relying just on feelings will save us time and money in the long run while keeping sales accountable to raw, hard numbers. 

Profitability: The King KPI

All right, there are different types of profitability. But let’s keep it simple so we can get a grip on our actual sales numbers. What’s the simplest profitability KPI?

Sales minus costs. 

That’s where you get your bottom line or your profit margins. When you look at this super simple metric, it gives you the ability to identify and cut the fat. 

So, why is this important? It all goes back to sales accountability. When you’re able to see where things are dragging, you can cut that out and make your business more agile and profitable. 

Customer Acquisition Costs KPI (CAC)

Everyone and their uncle claims to be a marketer nowadays. No matter what, though, marketing is getting super competitive. Measuring how much it costs to get a new customer will help you keep these costs reasonable. 

Here’s how you measure it:

CAC = costs related to getting new customers divided by the number of customers.

And here’s an example:

Let’s say a SaaS company spends 20K on a marketing campaign and customer acquisition expenses. They get 3500 new customers from this campaign. 

So, 20,000 divided by 3,500 is 5.71. It costs the company $5.71 (CAC) to acquire each customer through this campaign. 

Average Sales Cycle Length KPI

“How long is this lead going to take to close? Oh crap. I don’t know if I can keep the lights on next month. Good thing I like Ramen. ”

Measuring the average sales cycle length will make your sales forecasts more predictable. Get a certain number of leads, and you’ll know what your numbers will look like down the line. 

This KPI can help reduce the whole feast or famine thing. If you measure this KPI and decide to reduce it, you can boost your revenue growth. 

Keep in mind that if you sell to small business owners, your sales cycle will be shorter than if you sell primarily to enterprises. Also, customized products and services will have a longer sales cycle than something pre-made. 

Where you get your leads is also going to impact this KPI. Outbound lead generation where there’s low purchase intent will equal a longer sales cycle. To make sure you get an accurate picture, segment the equation down to:

  • Lead source
  • Prospect size
  • Product sold

First step:

Add the (X#) of days from the first contact to customer conversion for all deals = Total (X#) of days for sales combined. 

Next step:

Total (X#) of days for all sales combined divided by (X#) of deals = (X#) of days to the average sales cycle. 

It’s essential to measure average sales cycle KPI before diving into the next — SQL, or Sales Qualified Leads, to win conversion rate. 

SQL to Win Conversion Rate 

Sales and marketing need to be aligned to keep the entire sales process running smoothly. 

Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) represent those prospects that have expressed enough interest in your business to officially enter the sales process.

Measuring SQL to win helps your teams stay on the same page regarding the volume and lead quality that marketing passes off to the sales team for sales proposals. 

With this KPI, you’ll know conversion rates and gain the insight needed to pinpoint opportunities to improve your agency sales cycle. This KPI will improve sales accountability. 

How so?

It helps uncover efficiency deal closers and if there are any problems with the quality of sales opportunities. Conversion rates can indicate whether or not there’s something wrong with lead generation efforts. So, here’s how to measure it:

(X#) of deals won divided by (X#) of sales qualified leads equals the (X#) win conversion rate.

Measuring Sales Process KPIs: Key Takeaways and Action Steps

All right, it’s execution time. The first step, grab a copy of your P&Ls going back the last six months. 

“Uhhh, what are P&Ls? Don’t think I have those . . . “

Then that’s your first step. You need the data from your profits and losses (P&L’s) for the last six months to even begin measuring your sales KPIs. It won’t take too long, and you should be doing P&Ls once per month. 

Okay, got your P&Ls? Calculate your profitability and find your profit margin. 

Do it per client or per service if you’re a full-stack agency. This will help you identify the clients or services that are costing too much. 

“I’ve got some loss leaders, but I upsell!”

Well, okay then. Include upsells in your total revenue. 

The key takeaway? Be ruthlessly honest with yourself, especially when reviewing profitability per client. Remember, it’s basing decisions on data and not emotions that are going to make you scale. 

Use your sales process KPIs to get hyper-intentional about how you design your business, make decisions, and overall, run your agency. 

Now, go out there and kick some as$, Gladiator!

Download our Sales Process Checklist!

Top 21 Client Interview Questions to Ask for Best Insights

Bill Gates once said, “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

Wait, what?

Did he just say the most unhappy?

What about the others? The ones you write home about — the happiest ones.

Well, they add to your learning curve, too.

Provided you know what they’re actually thinking!

That’s why you’ve got some homework to do. You’ve got to know which questions to ask clients.

If you’ve been wracking your brain to find new ways to reach and connect with your target audience, interviewing your clients during the offboarding process can give you great ideas and insight.

But Juliana, how do you conduct an effective client success interview with the right questions that get clients to spill the beans?!

Well, I’m glad you asked. This is how we do it with these top 21 questions to ask clients.


Why conduct a client success interview anyway?

Your agency must understand the customer’s needs and expectations with your offerings. Otherwise, it’s like spelunking without a flashlight. Asking clients questions on the front and backend of a job well done gives your team the info they need to be successful.

But I don’t have time to sit and chat with every single customer and potential client!

That’s true. Asking every single client that comes through your digital door a battery of questions isn’t very scalable, is it?

But if you reach out to customers for a success interview at specific times in the buyer’s journey, your team can get much-needed insight into what clients are feeling and thinking when in the thick of the experience.

Customer feedback is actual, real data you can act on to further optimize and scale your business.

Asking clients the right questions at specific points in their journey will reveal new opportunities you can capitalize on. Answers to client interview questions can also uncover some not-so-good things happening with your brand that needs fixing.

Scheduling a Client Success Interview

The first step in the process is to schedule the initial client interview. I know, right? Who would have thunk it?

While this might seem like a no-brainer, there’s a right way and a wrong way to scheduling a client success interview.

Imitation is the highest form of flattery. Feel free to borrow our process and flatter us.

We reach out to interviewees a week or two in advance before the date we have in mind for the meeting. All we do is send a simple email asking their availability for a 25-minute (tops!) client interview.

Tips for wording your email:

  • Get straight to the point — Tell them precisely why you’re reaching out. Personalize it a bit, so it doesn’t come off as standard boilerplate or, worse — spam.
  • Be respectful of their time — Be upfront with how much time you’re asking for — 25 minutes max.
  • Thank them twice — Thank them for doing business with you (or considering it if they’re pre-buying) and for giving you some of their time for the interview.

Remember to always be genuine in the email, keep it short, and forgo any pushy language.

While it’s true that the answers you get from them will be a goldmine of data and help you further optimize your business, they’re really doing you a massive favor here.

During the client interview, I ask them a battery of pre-selected questions designed to elicit a detailed response that helps set us up for future success.

But let me disclose these are not my questions. These have been passed down from generation to generation of marketers like a fable, and the source has been washed by the sands of time.

So, before we jump to the questions, here are a couple of tips from the pros on questions to ask clients:

Pro Tip: These are time-tested questions that have helped me receive some of the best responses ever. Altering them isn’t recommended. At all.

SuperPro Tip: Keep asking “why” to get to the heart of the matter. Go ahead. Unleash your inner five-year-old!

These top 18 questions to ask clients are broken down into different categories, depending on where the client is in the buying process. 

So go right ahead and copy these. I promise to be flattered.

Potential Client Interview Questions to Ask

I don’t know what questions to ask clients because I don’t know if I can even help their business yet!

If you’re not sure if you can actually help improve their business, ask your potential clients these critical questions to understand their goals, expectations, plans, and objectives.

Set yourself up for success during the onboarding process!

  1. Before we started working together, what were you trying to do? What were the challenges you had? What were you trying to accomplish? Why? What were you frustrated by? What problems did we help you solve in your business? Why?
  2. What did you want? How do we improve your business? Why? They need your help and are here because they would like to work with you. Try to understand their business ideas and vision so that you can help them better.
  3. What are your expectations? Keep track of client’s expectations. As scope and expectations change, so should the contract?
  4.  What was your fear? What were you concerned about? What was your fear if you didn’t get what you wanted?
  5.  How did the other people involved in the decision all feel about this? What did they want? What were they frustrated by? What did they fear?
  6. What is your overall budget and projected starting date of the project? Knowing both pieces of information allows you to develop an accurate estimate that matches not just on price but also helps you accurately prioritize projects.
  7. What are your expectations on having good customer service?


Don’t over-commit just to win the client’s business.

Quality matters, and not every client is the right one for you. Have some self-respect and quit chasing all the dollars!

Questions to ask potential clients: Understanding the pre-buying process

Use these questions for understanding where your potential client is currently in the pre-buying process and if you can meet them there. These questions are beneficial when conducting a sales call.

Prospective client questions to ask during the pre-buying process:

  1.  What was most important to you when you were making a decision?
  2.  What factors didn’t matter as much?
  3.  Who was involved in the decision-making process? Who made the final decision or signed the contract? What was their title? It’s critical to figure out if you’re speaking to and dealing with the right decision-makers and understand the entire process for a business or project.
  4.  Who else did you look at? What other companies did you talk to? What other ways did you look at solving this problem?
  5.  Why did you decide to go with us versus other companies or alternatives?

There are two vital answers you need before you agree to work with a potential client:

  • Is there an actual need for your offering?
  • If so, is this person a good fit for your business?

You need both if you want to forge a long-term business relationship with the client and get referrals.

Client Questions to Ask for Understanding the After-Sale Process

When you clinch the sale, asking clients questions about why they chose your specific company and why they like your brand can give your marketing team a lot of valuable insight.

Ask these questions after the sale:

  1. What do you like about us?
  2. How could we improve? Any feedback?
  3. If you were to describe what we do to another company, what would you say?
  4. Is there anything else you want to add or how we can be helpful?
  5. Based on what you know about us, can you think of anyone else whom it might make sense for me to talk to?

To make the process simpler, I open a Google doc on my screen before I start the client interview and copy and paste the questions listed above.

I take as many notes as I can to fully capture the feeling the customer has for my brand.

Offboarding client interview questions and critical insights

Scheduling an exit interview with your clients helps get the much-needed brand clarity to drive more customers to your offerings.

An exit interview also gives you the perfect opportunity to uncover any gaps in your processes and where you can improve your offerings.

Conducting an offboarding client success interview also enables you to figure out what your target audience genuinely wants — not what the industry says they do.

So, if you’re keen on capitalizing on consumer decisions and behavioral studies, begin the charity at home by interviewing your clients during the offboarding process.

  1. Schedule your exit interview. Use the question “why” to dig for those nuggets of insight.
  2. Ask questions that uncover your client’s pre-buying processes, like why they chose your company over a competitor and who was the ultimate decision-maker.
  3. Uncover your client’s after-sale thoughts. Find out what they enjoyed about working with your company and what they didn’t.
  4. Use the end of the interview as an opportunity to ask for referrals.

Oh, and always remember to thank them before starting the client interviews and again while wrapping up.

After all, they’re doing you a favor.

So, be sure to treat it like one.

Questions to ask clients: Be proactive and take action

You won’t know if you don’t ask.

Conduct a client interview during specific points in the buyer’s journey to get valuable insight into where your customer’s heads are at.

  • Send a short and sweet email that gets straight to the point.
  • Remember to thank the client in the email, during, and after the interview.
  • Keep the interviews short (15 to 25 minutes) and respect the client’s time.
  • Simplify the process. Pick your questions beforehand and have a Google doc open during the interview.

Bottom line? It’s on you to find out precisely what your client needs, how you can serve them, and why they’ve chosen you over a competitor.

Asking clients the right questions during specific points in the customer journey will help you optimize your business for growth.

Are you falling through the cracks and gaps in your client process? That’s a bummer. There’s a better way to live.

Schedule a free session with us today, and let’s talk about how we can fill in those gaps and get your agency running smoothly!


Is your CRM System Leaving Money on the table?

“Any tips for making sure we don’t derail during this time? I
already feel like we’re changing strategies by the second (internally and client-facing) and I want to make sure

1) messaging is consistent

2) the team doesn’t feel overwhelmed with this very quick change and need for action.

Does that make sense??” [sic] 
asks Kate, a project manager of my beloved client.

It does if:

Your facebook feed is filled with Corona memes to distract you from

Your news feed that is FUD-filled (fear, uncertainty, doubt – so you don’t have to urban dictionary) with echoes of the last recession

Your WhatsApp is blown up by frantic friends and family away

You’re not sure which clients are sticking around, even if you feel like you have them under legal lock and key

And worse… you are in a confined space with those closest to you while trying not to kill each other. 🤬You wish you could SOS yourself out of a Vampirina tranz because kids are home all day

Oh and did I mention it’s happening to your employees and clients, too?

Now that I have made you feel super warm and fuzzy 😉 I promise there is hope!

Download our Sales Process Checklist!

In times of crisis, people look for leadership.

> If you are reading this, you are a leader.

> Step into it.

> Own it.

 The best crisis management we can model is the Situation Room of the United States (setting aside your feelings about the current administration) It’s an effective way of managing crisis because it swiftly and effectively deals with the volatility by managing:

· Information: parsing and prioritizing data that’s incoming from various sources

· Dissemination: to whom and how to share relevant and urgent communication

· Action: deploying and implementing tactics despite a barrage of new information coming at you (i.e revenue and resource changes)

· Support: making sure the nation (in your case – clients and team) feel supported throughout


Five simple things to implement your own “Situation Room”:

  1. The Situation Room – needs to take place in real life (preferably with social distancing in this case). Whether that is a Slack channel, Zoom huddle or your team sneaks into a football field and then stands 6 feet apart (jk), you need a time and place to gather the info with the Gladiators you appoint.
  2. Opening and closing debriefs – there is a phenomenal amount of info to digest between closing shop and opening … then it cycles throughout the day. This is crucial to pivot and/or course-correct quickly.
  3. Create a change board in your project manager – this is a project or board where new ideas that flood from you and the team get placed to be approved, denied or delayed based on resources and urgency. This will help keep track of all competing projects and ideas.
  4.  Measure the capacity of both hours and emotional stress – this is a prime time for people to be on edge and overwhelmed. Track hours for the good of everyone’s sanity. Support your people by checking in. Are their families healthy? Will they have Wi-Fi outages (SE ASIA)? Do they need to make appointments to go to supermarkets (certain South American countries)? Stay informed… Any new data will: Affect workflow.  Affect productivity. Affect your business.
  5. Lastly, Lead; In your industry. In your business. In your home. As a kid, my stepdad would constantly ask me “Are you a leader or a follower?” That is ingrained in my head. Be the reliable, constant, future thinker your team and clients need you to be.

If you need to silently scream into a pillow, reach out and I’ve got your back.

Leadership is the manifestation of Expansion, Empathy, and Empowerment.

Kick some ass and let me know if you have any questions.

Legit, send me an email – I read them all (I’m unfortunately addicted and stuck at home), I promise to respond.

Let’s grow together.

Download our Sales Process Checklist!

How to Price Your Services: 4 Service Pricing Strategies

how to price your services: Pricing strategies

Yes, it’s a tough one.

At some point, we’ve all asked ourselves, “How much should I charge for my services?”. 

Crying, despair, indecision. Well, I think I’m exaggerating.

But the reality is that in most cases, the answer is a big question mark.

It can’t be too high. 

It can’t be too low either.

Unfortunately, there is no magic pricing formula. It would be a lifesaver for many business owners.

The key? Finding the right balance as you determine pricing.

But it’s not that simple. And that’s why I wrote this beautiful and inspiring article in which I want to give you some tips on how to price your services.

I’ve got good news for you: there are several established service pricing strategies you can use to set your prices.

Another thing you have going for you? Services prices are never set in stone. You’re always in control and can make changes when you need to. 

Let’s get started.

Download our Sales Process Checklist!

Pricing a service is not the same as pricing a product

It may seem obvious. But there’s a reason I want to dwell on this for a few seconds.

Yes, service businesses provide services. Wow, I bet you didn’t even know that.

Here’s the thing: services are intangible. That’s what makes it difficult for small business owners to price a service.

There’s all this emotional clutter that comes with monetizing your services. 

It’s like you are putting a price on yourself and for service providers, you are. It’s your discipline, your years of study, and or practice. 

The amount of experience and crap you have to put up with to go out into the world and say, “This is how much MY TIME costs.”

In some cases, such as doctors or dentists, there are industry rate guidelines for pricing services, but often it’s about the actual cost and what the market can bear. 

Before You Start Working on Pricing

We’re going to get to the specific types of pricing you might use to price your services in a moment, but before we do, there are a few things you should consider. 

How Scarce Is the Service?

There are some services, like dog walking or house painting, which have a relatively low barrier to entry. Almost anyone can start these kinds of businesses with minimal investment, and there are no special qualifications or licenses required to offer them. 

On the other hand, a service that requires special training, equipment, and licensing, like plumbing or accounting, or one that requires a scarce skill, like web development, is much harder to start. 

When there is less competition in your field, your skills will probably be more in demand, and you will be able to price your services higher with value-based pricing. 

This might even apply if you are the only person offering a particular service in your area, either because you have some sort of exclusivity deal, or because you are the only company that does what you do in your town. This can add perceived value to your customers.

As a general rule of thumb, the more options customers have to shop around, the more dialed in your pricing needs to be, and the lower your desired profit margin will probably be. 

What Is Everyone Else Charging?

The next big question you need to answer is what everyone else is charging for similar services in your area. You don’t necessarily have to match their pricing if you are offering additional value, but this lets you gauge what the upper and lower limits in your area are. 

It’s important to note that price alone should never dictate your pricing. If everyone just starts undercutting each other, you’ll be in a race to the bottom before you know it, and that’s not good for anyone’s business. 

What Kind of Service Do You Provide?

The next thing you should think about is what kind of service you provide. Is it a daily requirement, or something that is an absolute necessity? Examples of this might be services like auto repairs or plumbing, which people require to be able to use their car or live in their house. 

Or are you offering a luxury service, that people purchase purely because they want it? Some examples could be high-end nail services, beauty treatments, or interior decorating. 

People who are buying luxury services might be willing to pay a little more for them because they know that they’re buying an indulgence. While people who are looking for a service that is a necessity might not have the money to spare, so price might be their primary consideration. 

Will You Offer Additional Incentives to Buy from You?

Finally, think about whether you will build any incentives to buy from you into your service. 

People might pay considerably more for a service if they have the option to pay it off over time. Even if the price itself is much higher, if the installments are more affordable, that’s a big attraction to potential customers. 

If you are selling frequently used services, you might find that offering a loyalty card or points program is a good incentive to buy from you. An example might be offering a customer their tenth dance lesson or fitness session free. This way, you can encourage repeat business, which might be worth the cost of the free offer. 

You might also be able to build referrals into your business model, by offering customers a discount if they encourage friends and family to sign up for your service. You would earn a little less per customer, but it’s a great way to build up your order book with word-of-mouth marketing. 

All of these extra considerations could affect how you price your services, but while you think of them, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of pricing services. 

What you have to take into account to set a fair price

pricing strategy

It’s nearly time to look at the four most common pricing strategies for services, but before we do, there are a few pricing basics you need to make sure you include in your considerations and calculations. 

Overhead Costs

Every business has what is known as overhead costs. These are costs that aren’t directly related to providing the product or service, but still need to be paid. They differ for every business, but they always need to be factored into your pricing. Overhead costs might include:

  • The cost to rent an office space
  • Your business license and permits
  • Utilities and telephone costs
  • The cost of office equipment and furniture
  • Stationery and office supplies
  • Marketing and advertising costs
  • The cost of software and online services you use

All of these costs have to be paid whether you make a sale or not, but you still have to recover them when you make a sale. So, it’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of what it costs to run your business before you ever make a sale. 

Cost Plus Pricing

Cost-plus pricing is the simplest way to price services. You calculate the direct costs of providing the service, add your fixed costs and overhead costs, any indirect costs, and the markup you want to charge on the service. 

So, if you were providing a painting service, you would calculate the materials and paint you need to use, add a precalculated portion of your overhead costs, plus direct labor costs, and then add your markup to the result. 

It’s important to note that fixed costs and overhead costs can get a little trickier if you have more than one crew or team working on projects. So, for instance, once you have calculated your fixed costs and overhead costs, including the salaries of administrative and non-field staff, you still need to divide that by the number of days in a year or the number of working hours. Then you need to further divide that by the number of crews you have worked. 

So, if you have four painting crews working for you, each one of them would cover a quarter of your fixed costs, plus direct labor, and material costs. 

This does make it a little more complicated to calculate costs using the cost-plus method, but it also means that your price to your customer can be a little lower, or you can make a little more profit when you have more people working for you. This is why growth is such a good thing for businesses! 

The 4 Major Pricing Strategies for service businesses

price and services

Finally, it’s time to take a closer look at which pricing model you could use to price your services. It’s worth noting at this point that you don’t always have to choose just one. 

Sometimes, companies offer vastly different types of services to different types of customers, or they might choose to price below a certain value using one method, and above that value with another. 

It’s your company, and it’s entirely up to you. The only hard and fast rule is that you need to make sure you’re making a profit, and price your services so that customers are willing to buy them. 

Adjust and tweak these as necessary, and make sure you review your pricing and profits regularly. You need to make sure that you’re always making enough to keep your business going, and money in the bank. 

#1 Hourly Rates

Pricing services based on hourly rates is a very simple way to work out pricing, and you can always be sure that you will be compensated for the time you spend working on a customer’s project. 

This type of pricing works best when there are no material costs to factor into the equation. 

Be warned, however, many customers will expect an estimate of how many hours the job will take, and while small fluctuations are expected, big differences might be a subject of contention. So, if there are any changes or any scope creep along the way, you will need to be very proactive about keeping your customer in the loop. 

#2 Retainers

Retainers are another great pricing strategy for a service business. They are easy for customers to manage, and they guarantee you a certain amount of revenue from every client every month

Lawyers and other professionals often use retainers to price their customers and include a maximum number of hours in their contract. Any additional time or work is priced at an hourly or per task rate. 

In some cases, when clients sign a contract for retainer-based services, they might require some exclusivity – which means you might not be able to work with their direct competitors. 

Since retainers mean a guaranteed minimum from each client every month, it becomes a lot easier to plan and manage overhead expenses. 

#3 Flat Fees or Lumpsum Pricing

Flat fee or lumpsum pricing is a price that is based on the entire job, at a single, one-time fee. 

So, for instance, you might quote a client to build an entire website, or to install their whole backyard fence for a single price. 

This type of pricing is a little easier to calculate since you just add everything together and then add your markup, but if there are changes or additions along the way, you might end up doing more than you bargained for. 

If you choose to offer a flat fee, be very specific about what is included, and what’s not. So, for instance, you might specify a website of a maximum of 5 pages or a fence of 200 feet, and that additional work will be quoted and charged separately. 

#4 Variable Pricing

Variable pricing could apply to any of the aforementioned types of pricing. 

Variable hourly pricing could be a discounted hourly rate when the quantity of work exceeds a few hours. Retainer clients might also get a discounted rate if they book above a certain amount of work per month, and lumpsum clients might pay less for bigger projects. 

This is usually at the business owner’s discretion, but some also have company policies that govern this. 

So, they might have one rate for any work under a predetermined number of hours or value, and then another rate for anything above. It’s best to be consistent though because it can be very hard to keep track of too many variables! 

Some companies also get around this problem by offering quarterly rebates. So, clients all pay the same rate upfront, but if they meet a predetermined target, they are sent a rebate check to refund a portion of their spending. This is a good strategy because it encourages customers to spend more money, so they can earn their rebate! 

No One Size Fits All Solution, but here are some of the tactics we use at ScaleTime

  1. Figure out the market you want to cater to ranging from accessible to affluent.
  2. See what your competitors are charging in that market. There will most likely not be too keen to give out pricing to you, but you can always have a friend or associate ask for pricing on competitive services.
  3. Insert yourself in the market and start putting your price point in the hands of potential clients. If there is no pushback, you are probably pricing too low. If there are no buyers, chances are your price is too high for your offering or market.
  4. If you are not comfortable saying your prices, your leads will know, they will smell blood and they will pounce.

Pick a comfortable price and stick to it. How do you price your services? Don’t follow a magic pricing formula that doesn’t exist. Set your prices the way that makes the most financial sense – No apologies!

You are the one that gets to go out into the world and say, “This is how much MY TIME costs.”

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