Sales Process Example - also called a sales cycle
This is critical for sales success!
The outline below is a simple example of a sales cycle used by a previous client. It defines a typical 7 step sales cycle for a pre-set appointment with a prospective customer. This cycle does not include prospecting and starts at the initial meeting. 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 cycle, role play their sales approach, and receive sales coaching from joint calls with their sales manager. Even with this training, most salespeople take short cuts, which leads to lost sales. Sales managers should insure sales personnel adhere to this sales process discipline
A 7 Step Sales Cycle
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 validate the purpose of the call with the customer and confirm the opportunity. This is your opportunity to work earn the prospects trust, which makes the next step easier
Needs Analysis - 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 can boost a sense of need by focusing on the prospect's pain points, asking questions that lead to 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, you will find the presentation to flow very smoothly to a close. The presentation is your opportunity to link the client's needs 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
Reclose - Plan to go in a loop back to objection handling and reclose at least one more time. Most likely, you will make several closing attempts before you successfully close each piece of business