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What is Sales Process?
The sale process is more than just selling products or services and closing the deal. It is a step by step process which begins long before the contact of the customer and the salesman. Now, the question is what’s the point of following the sales process? Why not just follow the conventional approach of selling, sell the product and get it over with. It is because the sale process;
- Develops and nurtures the relationship between the customer and the seller,
- Helps you to implement marketing strategies effectively,
- Lowers the customer acquisition cost and bring more customer referrals,
- Allows you to speed up the sales
Sales Process Steps
Depending on the nature of business and different types of sales teams and reps; different sales teams follow different sales processes. However, the standard seven steps involved in the sales process which are mostly followed; starting from finding the customer, customer acquisition, sale, then building a long-term relationship with the customers.
Here are the 7-steps of Sales Process.
Step 1. Prospecting
This is the first step in the sale process where you find your initial customer, and then you check whether or not his need and demand for your product or service. While doing so, you also check whether he qualifies to pay for the product or not.
Step 2. Preparation
You make the first contact with your customers at this stage, by reaching the market and collecting all the relevant data related to the sale of the product or service. You also develop your sales strategy that how you’d target the needs of your customers.
Step 3. Approach
You approach your initial and prospect customer at this stage, this is the only chance you have got to connect with your customer. The contact could be personal, face to face, emails, or telephone calls. There are usually three ways to approach your customers;
- Premium. You provide a gift at this stage to your customer even before the occurrence of the sales.
- Questions. You ask certain questions to your customers at this stage, to attract the attention.
- Gifts/free sample. You provide a sample of your product to your customers for free. The purpose is to get the reviews of people.
Step 4. Presentation
You present different features of the product to your target customers and how they could meet their needs and requirements. The presentation could be in the form of a video, written post or a PowerPoint presentation. But it doesn’t have to be a lecture method; customers’ needs and demands should be listened first, and then plan the presentation accordingly.
Step 5. Addressing Objectives
You have successfully pitched your product to your potential customers; addressing customer’s views and objection is the most important part because it could save from a lot of future failure costs. People often ignore this stage; they just call it that these are just a few people. Those objections could be about anything, brand name, price, product improvement, etc.
Step 6. Closing
Successfully closing the deal is an art which requires a plethora of practice. The best practice is to start with the proposal of the product, present its different features before disclosing the price. Once you’re finished with the proposal, and then discuss the price of the product.
Sales tips: offer them some discounts, provide them available choices, so that they could make the decision what you want.
Step 7. Follow-Up
The blunder salespeople often make that they think that their job is done after the sale. That’s where they’re wrong. Getting reviews of the customers and how was their experience? It is also equally important. If they are happy with the product, then they’d refer your product to their friends as well.
Flowchart of a Sales Process
Flowchart of the sales process is a graphical representation of different stages of the sale process; that how a product moves from stages and then finally reaches the hands of the customer. Sales Flowchart is very useful to train new sales reps and employees and explain to them the importance of various stages of the sale process.
Sales process flowchart templates
Different types of businesses use different flowcharts because the stages to the sale process vary from business to business. However, there are different software which help you to create your customized flowchart.
Creately.Com. Creately provides you diagram and flowchart software where you can edit built-in flowchart templates and make your own.
Lucidchart.Com. Lucidchart provides your ready-made templates and also gives you the option of making some change according to your requirements.
Sales Process Example
Real-life example of one ‘‘real-estate’’ business which follows the sale process; even in the economic downturn where real estate business is one which is mostly affected. Stages of the sale process are as follows;
They search for the people who want to sell their house; after the search and compilation of the list. They contact the lenders and put their houses up for sale.
Submission of Documents
As the name implies, the exchange of documents takes place between the lenders and the company. They negotiate on the price and percentage of what they keep, and then they also discuss short term and long package details.
The lawyers of the lenders and the company check and review each other’s documents. If there’s any discrepancy to found, then the party is required to correct it.
After the reviewing and screening stage, all the documents are sent for the approval of the loan. If the documents are verified, the letter is sent to the listing agent. If it doesn’t, then each party make the counteroffer to close the deal.
This the final stage where all the finances are complete. Everything is finalized.
This is one example of the funnel of the sale process where parties follow each stage, and then they close the deal. There is no place for errors, each party should agree to all the terms and conditions. Nothing should be hidden, and all the parties should have confidence and trust in another; because this is the only way that they will close the deal.
Stages of funnel of the sale process may vary from business to business. Some businesses might have a few stages and others have long.