Regardless of their size, all businesses want increased sales. Some of them may even rely on product sales to make money. The fierce competition in the commerce industry, coupled with the changing market and demands, cause salespeople to face challenges in boosting their sales.
This makes the sales process an essential ingredient in closing deals. A sales process, when done right, makes the sale not just a goal but the outcome of a well-crafted plan.
What is a sales process?
A sales process is a series of procedures that a sales representative does to close and convert a sale. It serves as a thorough manual for them—an organized framework for increasing sales more easily and quickly.
By having a sales process, the overall sales efficiency of the business will increase, and its profitability will improve.
A sales process streamlines the entire sales approach, from prospecting through deal closure. The sales team gets clarity and direction from its various stages, allowing them to turn a prospect into a paying customer much easier. Hence, it is the easiest approach to maintaining sales momentum.
A standardized sales process makes it simpler to spot inefficiencies and challenges and address them immediately in order to increase sales.
The 6 steps of a sales process
The process of building a long-lasting relationship with clients is called sales process management.
The goal of converting a potential prospect into a paying customer necessitates the utmost attention to each step. Although each business has its sales process, the fundamentals are essentially the same.
Prospecting is the first step when the company hunts for new customers. The key to successful prospecting is to know where to focus the marketing efforts. They need to define who are the potential clients and closely match who would purchase their products and services.
Most salespeople and marketers tend not to pay attention to this step, which ultimately results in failure.
Identifying and targeting potential customers does not mean they are all qualified leads. In the preparation stage, salespeople make initial contact with the potential clients to know and understand their needs, their purchasing motivations, as well as their financial capacity.
The preparation stage can also be considered the “qualifying leads” stage, where the sales representative can use the BANT to simplify the process. This stands for
- Budget – how much money does the potential customer willing to spend on the product
- Authority – who is authorized to make the decision in this sale
- Need – does the potential client have a genuine need for the product
- Timeline – how much time does the potential client need to decide to make a purchase
Also called appointment setting, the business or the salesperson interacts with the potential customer for the first time during this stage.
Salespeople should really break a sweat if they what to succeed in this step. The work might be exhausting, but it is all worth it in the end when the prospect pays close attention to them.
Both in-person and virtual connections can be done, and each step should be carefully considered to encourage the prospect to a meeting. This meeting is the best approach to demonstrate the value of the company’s products and services.
The presentation stage is the most crucial step in the sales process, as this hugely influences the customer’s buying decision. In this phase, the clients are shown the goods or are given a presentation of the service. This step can also include understanding consumer demands and providing solutions.
With the gathered insights into the needs and concerns of the clients, the presentation stage is the opportunity to address those concerns. Salespeople should make the most of presentations and demonstrate the superior capabilities of the products and services they offer.
Before making a purchase, the buyer could hesitate or have questions, worries, or objections. This does not mean they are completely uninterested. Their hesitations have good reasons and are justified. These objections need to be addressed as if they are problems that need to be solved.
The sales representative should allow the customer to describe their issues and address their questions and concerns at this point. They should also assist in making an informed choice and offer solutions.
Almost all sellers encounter sales objections as a regular roadblock during the sales process. No business will casually invest in a fix.
Closing sales and following up
This is the make-or-break moment in the entire sales process. Achieving sales success means finding the proper closing technique.
Closing sales happen when a customer has decided to buy something or is about to. If the consumer wasn’t completely convinced before this point, the closing might involve providing alternatives, offering more discounts, and other incentives to seal the deal.
Companies should try to exceed the prospect’s expectations and highlight the advantages of doing business with them. The choice of words also matters when speaking with potential customers, so it is also good to pay attention to it.
To maintain a professional connection with the consumer and guarantee repeat business, it is imperative to follow up after a deal has been made.
Creating a systematic sales process management
A systematic sales process management allows businesses to build and execute a procedure that will enable them to achieve and exceed their sales targets.
Sales process management may include setting up a sales team. This sales team can work along with the sales manager and focus on various facets of sales, such as:
- Establishing the team’s sales objectives
- Choosing the sales process strategies to meet the sales objective
- Putting sales ideas into practice with the assistance of the sales team
- Assessing sales techniques and reporting outcomes.
It can also include techniques such as coaching the sales staff, gathering feedback, and forecasting and monitoring sales activity.
This kind of management might aid the businesses in understanding their positions in relation to their goals, who is performing better, who might want additional retraining, and how leads can be improved.