A sales process is the set of steps your sales team follows when moving a prospective buyer through the funnel from the early stage of contact with that prospect to a closed sale and often continues long after the sale is finalized.
The ideal sales process serves as a template that enables and demands customization. While that might seem like an oxymoron, it isn’t. A well-designed sales process will make it easy to choose where and how you personalize your approach, build customized selling into every step of the journey, and for every individual prospect.
Simply put, it is a potential customer’s journey from realizing they have a need or want for a product to making an actual purchase. A comprehensive sales process encompasses all major customer interactions from preparation to selling to nurturing. And since the sales process is a journey for a prospect, it is a road map for a sales team.How to Step Up Your Sales- 3 P’s of SALES PROCESS by The Sixth Element
Even though your sales process should be customized to the requirements of the product and the sales person as a solution, these are general steps are recommended for building an effective sales process. Considering the wide range of understanding of the sales team with the framework of the sales process, it might be shorter or include some variation in the inputs mentioned below.
Typically, a sales process consists of 3 Main Stages; Pre, Actual & Post.
3. Post Action
Stage 1: PREPARATION
Product Knowledge: This step is fairly straight forward, but it is also the great undoing of many a technical expert turned sales person. When one is extremely well versed in a particular product especially a technical one, it is easy to get caught up in a monologue of all the great features it provides.
The technical expert turned sales person is so eager to explain how the product works or why it’s unique that the benefits to the customer are left out of the discussion. Never assume that a prospect will easily link a feature to a benefit. That relationship must be stated clearly (something done in the presentation step 4, after the needs assessment step 5). The acquiring of product knowledge for a “technician” therefore, is less about the features of the product itself, and more about how the customer will benefit from those features. When discussing product, the technicians mantra should be; “So what?” Consider those two words to be what the prospect thinks every time a feature is mentioned, and re-learn your product from that perspective.
Effective Sales Prospecting is considered as one the first processes of the sales cycle and is the bread and butter of an organisation. Because if you want your business to reach newer heights, you need to capture more prospects – every single day. Prospecting is one of the key stages of the sales process and simply involves reaching out to potential customers.
“There’s one more fact you need to acknowledge about prospecting – leads won’t just fall into your lap. You’ve got to take action for something to happen.”How to Step Up Your Sales- 3 P’s of SALES PROCESS by The Sixth Element
Unfortunately, most sales persons and their guides use ineffective and outdated sales prospecting techniques, instead of the effective practices that could actually lead to a higher volume of well-qualified leads (and make them more partial to prospecting). Just like every other aspect of the sales process, you need to put in the effort and focus required. This is the only way to prospect efficiently so that you don’t waste your time on unqualified leads that aren’t suited for your product or service. You have to schedule everything perfectly and keep track of your progress and failures.
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Stage 2: PRESENTATION
Setting up a product demonstration/ presentation gives you the chance to show off your solution. Whether it’s an in-person meeting or you’re using a video conferencing platform, research and preparation is key to delivering a result oriented presentation.
What are the main factors of delivering an effective product demonstration/ presentation? Quality product knowledge, a well-structured text, good visuals, and great communication skills to name a few. According to some studies, using humor, sitting/standing close to the audience, or speaking off script may increase the attention level of the audience.
The more you can personalize the presentation to fit the prospect’s immediate needs or wants the better you’ll be able to sell them on the benefits and features of your product. Frame the product as a solution to a problem facing the prospect or their business – and help them understand what they’ll miss out on if they don’t buy.
However, there are more tricks and details in the presentation making process which can make fair presentation in to a great presentation.
Remember: The 2 main reasons a customer buys are- Benefits & Fear of Loss.How to Step Up Your Sales- 3 P’s of SALES PROCESS by The Sixth Element
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Stage 3: POST PRESENTATION ACTION
Post presentation action involves closing the, actual paying up by the customer, customer service and customer relations.
Closing a sale is a term which refers to the process of making a sale. Closing is the final step of a transaction. In sales, it is used more generally to mean achievement of the desired outcome, which may be an exchange of money or acquiring an approval or a signature. In Sales you often need to think of prospect not as a stranger, but rather as a prospective customer who already wants or needs your offering. Such prospects need only be “closed”.
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Customer service is a process of ensuring customer satisfaction with the product or service that you offer. Often, customer service takes place while performing a transaction for the customer, such as making a sale or returning an item. Customer service can take the form of in-person interaction, a phone call, self-service systems, or by other ways. A satisfied customer is the best strategy of all to grow your business. By doing so, knowingly or unknowingly you have just appointed a brand ambassador for your self.
Customer relations for sales persons is the key to sales growth. It involves establishing a relationship with the customer and sustaining it by practices and strategies to maintain a your interaction with current and potential customers. You study data, buying behavior and analyse the customers’ history in turn to improve business relationships with your customers, specifically focusing on customer retention, product or service repurchase, referrals that ultimately drives sales growth.
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