What is Sales Process
According to an estimate, approximately more than 13% of the employees in the US are working in the field of sales. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an experienced person or a newbie; sometimes it’s difficult for you to close the potential sales deal. You must know about the product whatever you’re selling; because you’re going to explain it to the customer how your product or service is better to serve their needs.
Business and marketing books usually outline the 7 steps of sales process, and these steps provide you the basis of sales. But you have to customize it according to the needs and requirements of your business sales.
As it is said that learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist. Once you have successfully learned the process of the sale, then you’d be able to apply it in every field by molding, breaking and creating those steps to get the job done.
7 Steps of Sales Process
These seven 7 steps would help you to find and locate your potential customers; close the sales deal, and most importantly ask for the reviews and follow-ups. So that they would refer your product in their circles, here they are;
Step 1. Prospecting
Prospecting is the process of finding a lead or generating a lead, but it begins with a lead. Companies and businesses use various marketing methods of prospecting your lead. It can be through social networking, live streaming on some event, trade shows, referrals, cold calling, and shout outs.
In simple words, prospecting involving finding and recognizing your customers whom you perceive that they have shown interest in your product and service. Your offer would probably interest them based on their industry, demographic and other characteristics.
Step 2. Preparation
It doesn’t matter whether you have the right lead or not, your salesperson would have to take the first step of breaking the ice. It can be through email, phone calls, or social media. The purpose of the contact is to find out relevant information that whether your prospected lead is the right match of your product or service.
The matching criteria of your lead could be their need, budget or timeline. If the lead qualifies and falls within the criteria, the next thing your salesperson should do is to find out the needs. It doesn’t mean that you have to do it right now; you can have another phone call, or live meeting focusing on their needs and requirements.
Step 3. Approach
Now, you approach potential customers of your target market with a series of pre-decided questions. Questioning them would serve two purposes; first, it would make them look, professionals. Secondly, it would help you to know the important details of their needs.
It’s better if you have open-ended questions because it would lead them to talk. The focus of the sales staff should be on listening to their needs and requirements rather than talking about the product.
Once you know and understand your customer’s position, and where they are standing. Then this information would you in the marketing stage of creating your marketing and sales pitch. Don’t forget to ask the objectionable questions like;
- What problem they expect from our product or services.
- The thing the like or dislike about previous service providers.
- Their current situation
- If the new product would solve their issues, then how it would be like.
The sales staff should rephrase the answers to make sure that what they heard is right. If they have to ask some other questions to clear the gap, then they should.
Step 4. Presentation
When you’re going to present your product or service to your target market; then you should communicate the effectiveness of your product that how it’ll add value in their lives. The easiest way to do that is to create a bridge between customer’s needs with the features of the product or service.
That’s why the sales staff needs to be very careful in the need assessment stage while approaching and talking to the customers. Make sure that your sales pitch includes all those features that were the needs of the customers of your target market. At the end of the presentation, you should announce the launching date mutually decided by you and the customers.
Step 5. Addressing Objections
It would be ideal that you present your product or service to your targeted audience, and they don’t have any questions or objections. It’s because you base your product or service by the need assessment of your sales staff, and sales reps focus on delivering the best possible product. But sometimes there’s a difference of definition between your version of best, and their version of best.
If there are any objections and there will be some, then note down all of those reactions, thoughts, and objections. Answer their objection carefully, and share this information with your team that how they should handle such questions.
Step 6. Closing
If your lead prospect is convinced with your presentation, then he’d buy your product. Otherwise, he won’t. It’s the final and most important step in the sale process. It would be successful if you have completed all the previous steps with caution.
There are many key points to remember to close the deal like; handling objections, discounts and agreeing on the price, and presenting the product’s description well. When everything goes well, you’ll close the deal.
Step 7. Follow-Up
After closing the deal, it doesn’t mean your job is done. You should be in contact with the customers to talk about their experience. If the customer is happy, then he would share his experiences with his friends. Such referrals would increase your sales. You should also keep them informed about the latest updates, products, and services.
If you are not getting the desired results, then repeat the above sales process steps.
Different businesses are manufacturing different products and services. Therefore, sales process steps may vary from business to business. Sometimes, they would be short, skipped or lengthen out depending upon the situation.
Photo by Lukas