Sales Strategies-Follow a Sales Cycle
This is critical for sales success!
The outline below is a simple example of a sales process I used to train a previous client. It defines a typical 7 step sales process during an initial meeting with a prospective customer. It applies to remote (telephone & video) or field sales. There are many variations of this model created by other sales experts, but they all have a similar objective; to follow a a disciplined approach to selling.
Salespeople should be:
trained on the sales process
role play all 7 steps
get sales coaching from joint calls and role playing
Tip: Most salespeople don't remain disciplined enough to consistently use a sales process. They often don't spend enough time on the needs analysis and take short cuts, which leads to lost sales. Sales managers should coach the salespeople to consistently use the sales process that they were trained to follow
A 7 Step Sales Process
Pre-call preparation or pre-approach - Prepare for your visit. Who will you contact? What will you say. (have a script)
Approach - This refers to the initial greeting and some additional qualifying to find out if the client could be a solid prospect. Create a rapport and establish the purpose of the call with the customer and confirm the opportunity. This is your chance to earn the prospects trust, which makes the next step easier.
Needs Analysis - Once you believe you have earned the right to move to this step, you now have the opportunity to create a buying atmosphere. This is a question driven dialog. You should ask relevant open ended questions that keep the conversation going as you take notes. As you capture valuable information for your presentation, try to find the prospect's pain points or reason to do business with you. Look for an opportunity to build a sense of urgency for the prospect to want or need your product or service now. You must create a sense of need by focusing on the prospect's pain points, asking questions that lead to prospect identifying a need as it pertains to your product or service. Get them to feel the pain of missed opportunity before offering a convincing reason that you can fix their pain. Create urgency in a similar manner by focusing on the immediate benefit of a decision today. Do not mention any type of discount. This is a needs analysis. The timing is wrong and you should only discount if necessary. Avoid making a presentation even if you see buying signals. Finish your needs analysis
Presentation - If you performed an effective needs analysis, the presentation could transition smoothly to a close. The presentation is your opportunity to link the client's needs (pain points) to your products' benefits. Address the pain points. Provide relief from the pain with your product or service
Closing - Prepare to have some decent closing questions utilizing some common close techniques like the "choice of two positive close", the "Ben Franklin Close, and many more
Objection Handling - I like to refer to this as a final consultation. There may be some lingering technical questions that need clarification. The price objection often arises. Ask "other than price, is there something else holding back a decision"? This often exposes the true objection. Get training on objection handling or practice common objections and how you handle them
Re-close - Plan to go in a loop back to objection handling and re-close at least one more time. Most likely, you will make several closing attempts before you successfully close each piece of business