Sales Strategies-Follow a Sales Cycle
This is critical for sales success!
The outline below is a simple example of a sales process I have used to train a previous client's salespeople. It outlines a typical 7 step sales process or sales cycle. 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 disciplined approach to selling. If your sales team does not consistently follow a sales cycle, you have an opportunity for significant sales growth simply coaching your sales team do so.
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. (use a script or calling guide if it will help you remember what to say.)
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. Make sure you are speaking with the decision maker or a decision maker. This is your chance to earn the prospects trust, which makes the next step easier.
Needs Analysis - You have established a dialogue that earned the right to advance 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 from their need 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. Again, finish asking questions. Do not jump into a presentation until you have asked enough questions and created that need.
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 - Most salespeople do not need strong closing skills if they've effectively followed the sales cycle to this point. 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. If you were effective during the needs analysis and presentation, you've eliminated many objections. There may be some lingering technical questions that need clarification. The price objection often arises. "Price" is the number one objection. It often masks the real objection. 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 again. You might make several closing attempts before you successfully close the sale.
Tip: What this sales cycle example does not include is the referral request. Although a typical time to request a referral is at the end of a call, there is no specific order for asking for a referral. Be aware for the proper timing....and, don't forget to ask for a referral!
We Offer Sales Consultations about the Sales Process Using This Model and More Advanced Models for a Truly Consultative Sales Cycle. This is a Great Start for Any Sales Organization.