What Is A Sales Process?
A sales process is the methodical and repeatable set of steps that every organization follows and incorporates all the activities from prospecting to closing the sales.
The way each and every company introduces their sales process differs. Some of them complete their sales cycle within just 5-6 steps however some of them take 6-7 steps, too, to complete the cycle.
A certain sales process can be called standardized only if the tasks are accomplished successfully at each stage of the sales process. Also, this is required for effective sales pipeline management.
7 Crucial Steps of a Sales Process
When you’re a B2C professional, you don’t need to think much about the sales process. But if you’re B2B professional, employing a good sales process is the necessity of the business. Here, we will examine those crucial steps in the sales process.
The process is about finding new, early-stage leads to start a sales process with. A good prospecting strategy means going deep into the list of prospects and extracting the best out of it. The best one is someone who is interested in and capable of buying your products or services. You can use Lead Forensics alternatives to identify your website visitors and begin the process.
Prospecting can be done through various ways- online research on sites like LinkedIn or Quora, where an individual can be considered as a lead on the basis of his/her profession and interests or you can ask your existing customers for a referral who might be interested in your products or services. Prospecting can, also, be done at places like conferences or some industrial events. Sometimes, the company itself provides a list of prospects.
2. Initiate Contact And Qualify The Prospect
No matter how much you have researched about the prospect, the only way you can know your prospect very well is by contacting them directly. Hence, initiate the contact with your prospect you found through prospecting and know about them and their interests in detail. It will, later, help you find out if the person is the right fit to carry the sales process with or not.
The idea behind qualifying the prospect is to utilize the collected leads. It gives an idea of prospects potentially willing to buy your products or services.
3. Approach And Offer
The primary idea of making an approach or offer is to get the prospect involved in the interaction quickly. Basically, there are ways to make an approach. The first kind of approach is known as the “premium approach” which includes offering your prospect a gift like the company’s diary, pen, notebook, etc. The second is called the “question approach” prospects are entertained with interesting questions being asked to them like- Would you like to pay just 40% for XYZ services for a year? And the third kind is the “product approach” where you offer your prospect a sample of your product or service as a gift.
Known as the heart of the sales process, presentation is the most crucial step of all the business approach you spend time in. The step is not crucial because of its name but the reputation of the whole company is at stake when this process is being followed by any sales professional.
When one is delivering the presentation, the person isn’t just representing oneself but the person is representing the whole company. Presentation isn’t solely about what you have prepared for but it’s about recognizing the needs and wants of prospects and later on demonstrating to them how your product or service will meet their demands and expectations.
5. Addressing The Objection
It can be the toughest part for many of the sales professionals because handling objections and ignorance of the customer isn’t a cup of tea for everybody. Only a skilled sales professional can handle or address the objections made by prospects correctly.
Most of the professionals feel low when they are being objected to by the prospect. However, they should understand that even objections can be a good sign for the business. It represents that, at least, the person has some interest in their product or service. This step can be very essential in finding out their weaknesses and strengths. One can find out what makes others choose their product etc.
To successfully address the objections, one should listen to the objections carefully and then understand that with a calm mind. Once, the problem has been analyzed thoroughly the objections can be addressed properly.
6. Ask For Sale And Close The Sale
Once you have answered the objections successfully and have convinced the prospect to buy from you, don’t delay and instantly ask them to sign the deal and close the sale. Again, many professionals have been found hesitating to ask for sale whereas one shouldn’t hesitate or feel shy about the same.
Closing a sale is the most awaited step of the sales process. Hence, do it quickly.
7. Collect Referral And Send A Follow-Up
Closing the sale isn’t the last step. Also, it doesn’t mean that once sales are closed your work is over. In fact, you should send them a follow-up or should conduct a survey so that you can know if your customer is happy with your product or service. If they have some problems using the product you must fix it as soon as possible.
If they are happy with your product, you can ask them for referrals who might be interested in your products or services.