Though every business is different, their sales processes all seem to follow a similar pattern. The typical sales process goes something like this:
- Do target audience research.
- Create awareness and generate leads.
- Make contact, arrange a meeting, and/or conduct a presentation.
- Submit a proposal and win the business.
But in most cases, that’s not enough. There should be more to a sales process. Most successful ones are carried out with two underlying goals in mind; establishing credibility and building trust.
Once those two bases are covered, revenue gets generated. And while those objectives provide the backbone for an effective sales process, there are some other interrelated and supporting components that need to work to see solid results.
This is the stage where research is conducted to gain insight into prospect behaviour and buying patterns.
It’s where prospect identification, confirmation, and lead generation come in with the goal of generating qualified leads, greatly reducing cold calling, and shortening the sales cycle considerably.
If we ask the right questions and get the answers we need, the prospect becomes a qualified lead, and we can move on through the sales process.
This is when meeting preparation, creating interest, anticipating and overcoming objections, presenting, consulting, audience engagement techniques, closing gestures, follow-up, and more all come into play.
If you can’t do all of these things, you’re not truly prepared.
The objective is to establish how our product can meet the prospect’s needs and help them overcome the issues and concerns they are facing.
This is where you make your first contact after the lead is qualified, whether that’s via phone, through a face-to-face meeting, via video chat, or through some other particularly immediate medium.
Now the goal is to help the prospect acknowledge the challenges they’re facing and specifically the impact of not addressing these within a given time frame.
We’ll be asking lots of questions to encourage the prospect to do most of the talking, but also to demonstrate our interest in them and their business. What we want is a list of actions the prospects needs to take in order to address the issues they’re facing.
Now we can explain how our product or service addresses the needs we’ve just identified. We’ll be confirming that the prospect agrees that our product is a good fit and we’ll be presenting our price which, given the needs we’ve already identified, should represent a solid return on investment for the prospect. If the prospect pushes back, this is where our skills in objection handling and closing come into play.
Now we can present our proposal which simply confirming in written format what we’ve already agreed in principle with the prospect.
Having won the business we’re under an obligation to make certain that we deliver on what we proposed and what the client agreed to.
- Follow Up
Above all, make sure you keep the client updated and do it regularly. If you did well, tell them. If you encountered an issue, tell them about it and explain how it was corrected. They’ll respect you in both instances.
Your own sales process might differ slightly to this approach, but it’s an effective reference point for virtually any company looking to put an effective sales process together.
If your sales process could do with updating, maybe we can help.
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