A sales process is step-by-step approach to selling products, services or solutions. A good sales process can establish a clear and simple path for prospecting, qualifying, educating, selling and support. Remember that it’s important to set and manage expectations early in the sales process.
Sales process involves identifying the steps involved in selling a product. Beyond knowing the basics, such as identifying potential clients and presenting your pitch, knowing each step of this process can help you plan out better promotional strategies. The process also serves as a blueprint for your sales team to follow as they learn about your company and its products or services.
Below are the steps of a complete sales process that companies can follow to convert a lead into customer.
Sales Process Steps
- Qualify Prospect & Make Contact
- Planning & Preparation
- Handling objections
Step 1- Prospecting
Prospecting is how you find people to talk to about your business. It’s the start of the sales process. Before you can make a sale, you have to find leads. There are lots of ways to do this. You could go to industry events, network online and attend seminars. Prospecting is the first step in the sales process. It’s your chance to do some research on your target clients and try to find ways of contacting them. This could be a phone call, mail, or email. The focus is on finding new leads using the methods you’ve identified as most effective.
Prospecting is the first phase of closing the sale with a prospect. A prospect’s name can also be called a lead, or an opportunity. Its purpose is to find and contact new leads/prospects for your sales team to work with. One of the ways to accomplish this task is through events, webinars, online conferences, social media such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Clubhouse, …
You acquire qualified sales leads and convert them into potential clients by identifying potential clients, contacting them, and setting up appointments. The purpose of prospecting is to uncover and turn contacts with sales prospects into clients for your business. In order to scale up your sales funnel, you have to scale up your conversion rates during the prospecting stage.
Step 2- Qualify Prospect & Make Contact
Once you’ve qualified your prospect and determined they’re a good fit for your sales team, it’s time to reach out. Qualify your prospect via phone or email. This is where your sales team makes initial contact with the people and businesses you’ve already identified. If at first you don’t succeed, try asking for referrals from colleagues that have worked successfully with them. Begin by creating an outreach email that summarizes their background, challenges, and why they would want to work with your company. Qualify the prospect through phone or email interviews once you’ve reached them. Carve out some time on one of your upcoming sales.
Make great first impressions on your clients with the sales team you’ve created. Create a smooth hand-off between marketing and sales with a qualified prospect list. With Comfy CRM, your sales team can create follow-up email templates, run calls, and track everything from start to finish. No more lost leads.
If you don’t have a sales team in-house, consider hiring an outside sales firm or individual consultants to help you make contacts and develop a strong pipeline of leads. Keep in mind that sales is a process. And the sales process begins by prospecting for new leads. Whether you’re an exciting start-up looking to forge partnerships with big brands or an established brand looking to increase your customer base, you’ll need to create or download professional logo-ed content for your prospects.
By following these strategies, you will begin your journey to building a trusted relationship with your leads that will translate into sales over time.
Step 3- Planning & Preparation
Planning and preparation is the next stage of the sales process. At this point, you develop your sales presentation and tailor it to your potential client’s particular needs. During this stage, you prepare yourself for initial contact with your potential customer. You research specific facts about your product or service and your competition. You also gather financial information about your possible client, such as the company’s annual revenue, profit margin, etc. This information can help you best tailor your sales presentation.
You will begin planning once you have identified what your potential client needs. Understanding the market and how it works will help you to develop a plan to position your product or service to clients. This is also the stage that you develop a sales presentation to be delivered to your potential customer, so your research is vital at this point. This includes information on your prospect, the market, product research, and creating a sales pitch. As you gather this information, you will be able to create realistic expectations about the potential outcome of your initial contact with the client.
Planning your sales pitch is essential to the success of your endeavor. The more you know about your product or service, and the potential client, the greater will be your ability to determine the best way to approach them with the facts as well as with a major selling point that is relevant to their individual needs.
Step 4- Approach
Approaches are a critical part of the sales process. With approaches, we make first contact with a new client and make sure they understand what we can do for them and start building trust. The best salespeople have been taught to approach every time they get a call, despite how busy they are. This is not only for first contact. Rather, this is a standard approach strategy for every call you make to the client.
The approach stage is the most important stage. Your prospect is still thinking about doing business with you, but hasn’t committed to it yet. In this stage, you need to clear up any misconceptions they have about your products and services.
Step 5- Presentation
For an effective sales process, your potential customer should be presented with your product or service in a way that solves their problem or need. This is accomplished using PowerPoint and/or conversation. However you want to engage your potential customer is up to you; just make sure they feel like your product or service met their need.
An effective sales process takes the time to make a personal connection with you and your needs. It’s not about selling you something, it’s about helping you find what will work for you. An effective sales process is more than just a well-formulated script—it’s about finding out what problems need to be solved so that it can be tailored to your specific needs.
Step 6- Handling Objections
Handling objections is crucial to sales success. It’s where many salespeople drop out of the process. Successfully handling objections and alleviating concerns separates good sales people from bad and great from good. And keeping the conversation focused on the product is vital to maintaining professionalism and avoiding getting sidetracked into irrelevant or controversial discussions with your prospect.
Great salespeople are great listeners. That ability is a skill that can be learned. Take your selling skills up a notch by mastering this step and addressing your prospect’s concerns proactively. The process requires good listening, empathy, and the ability to overcome objections in a positive way.
They all have one thing in common. They want the purchase, but they feel they have a problem that needs to be resolved before they actually buy. They still may buy, but not until that problem has been addressed. As a salesperson, you need to know how to listen carefully to your prospect’s objection, and then formulate a plan of action for addressing it so that you can move on to the next step in the sales process.
Step 7- Closing
Selling the product is only the final part of the overall sales process. Close can be defined as getting your prospect to take action on what has been discussed. To do this you will need to ensure they have all of their questions answered and that they are in agreement with the terms. Be sure to find out why they like your product, for example how reliable it is, how much they like a specific feature etc. Then make sure you write a letter underlining these reasons and send it along with the contract.
The sales process includes creating a proposal, negotiating the details, and getting buy-in from decision-makers on both sides. At this stage and beyond, you must listen carefully to what your prospects expect in order to accomplish their goals. Take notes for future reference, and be sure to convey all misunderstandings to the prospect back on track.
Keep in mind that you should never assume that the order is confirmed, as it could be that the customer still needs one more thing to ensure their happiness with your purchase. Your salesperson should never leave for the day without getting a verbal or written confirmation of both the order and payment.
Step 8- Followup
The follow-up stage is just as important as the sale. Insist on a follow-up with your client/prospect and set up a next meeting to address any concerns or issues that may arise. If you believe they should have any support after the event, be sure to have them contact you. Remember the buyer needs some small tangible reason to tell her friends about you. A simple phone call, email, or card would suffice.
Follow-up is an important sales tool. It allows you to contact a customer, even if he or she has had no need to call you since your last original purchase. The best way to do this is with a product-related mailing piece, such as an instruction manual or information on how to operate your new appliance. Your message should pertain to the service, maintenance, or care of what you sold. At the same time you can be requesting feedback from the customer about how you might improve future sales calls.
In Comfy CRM software, we make sure that you keep following up with your customers at the best time, which you can do it by creating a sales workflow and automate the whole task based on favorite triggers.