Are you struggling to make regular consistent sales? Are you generating leads but struggle to close them? Then it may be time to examine your sales process. By having an exceptional sales process you will be able to create better-qualified leads, create faster sales cycles, have more predictable results and improve your relationships with your customers. With these benefits in mind, let’s look at the sales process.
What is the sales process?
The sales process is a framework in which your sales reps can follow to move clients from prospects to closed customers. It consists of several repeatable steps that are used to move a sale to closing. It is different from a sales methodology as this looks at how you make a sale and focuses on one aspect of the sales process.
What are the five steps in the sales process?
STEP 1: Prospecting
In this part of the process, you are looking for leads. It is important before you go on the hunt for leads that you define your ideal customer profile. By creating an accurate profile of your customers, you will be able to look for better prospects. You should look at your happiest clients and consider the following aspects:
- Income range
- Pain points
- Channel preference
- Business objectives
If you can’t find this information in your database, you can also look at their LinkedIn or Facebook pages. If you want to find out data about a specific company you can use CrunchBase. This will help you get the information you need to prospect your specific customers.
You can find potential prospects online on sites like LinkedIn or Quora or you can attend conferences or industry expos. Another way to get leads is to ask your customers for referrals.
STEP 2: Contacting
During this step, you will contact your leads and confirm whether they are interested in the product which you are offering. You will need to do a discovery call or email. This call involves asking your lead about what they do day-to-day and what problem they are trying to solve and why this is a priority for their business. When you have the answers to these questions, you can confirm if they are good a fit for your company. You may also ask them for a face-to-face meeting during this stage. When you have confirmed that the company is a good fit for your offering and they are keen to meet with you, it is critical to do research about the company and understand exactly how your product will solve the pain point of your customer.
STEP 3: Presenting
This is the next critical step in the sales process. You could do a presentation online or face-to-face. It is important when you present your product to your customers that you highlight how their pain points will be resolved. You should start with an example of life before your solution and one after your solution. This will encourage customers to consider your product. You should also use social proof to show how your product has helped other customers who are similar to the one you are busy presenting to.
STEP 4: Closing
What we have all been waiting for when the customer hands over the money. This is usually the time when your customer will raise any issues they may have with your product. One of the areas they will focus on is your competition. You could make a competition matrix which shows how your product compares to other products in the business. You should try to focus on the value of the product, not on the price. When you have addressed there concerns you can close. There are a variety of ways to successfully close a deal. You can find some examples here.
STEP 5: Follow-up
Even if you weren’t successful in closing a deal, it is important to follow-up. For closed customers, you can ask them how they are finding the product and if they need any further assistance. For customers who you failed to close, you could send them newsletters that are informative and will help you to stay top-of-mind for when they are ready to purchase from you.
By following these five steps, you will be well on your way to creating the ultimate sales process for your business.
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