Driving higher sales figures is the primary goal of every business, yet most firms treat it as a mere chore and fail to see the science behind it. Sales not only has an economic aspect to it, and also deals with psychology in equal proportions. Therefore to ensure a greater market share, we must ensure that the entire steps of sales process are well thought of and streamlined from the very start.
With competition increasing each day in the market, it has become imperative for all businesses to push their salesforce harder. However, there are smarter ways to maneuver your sales teams towards success if you have the right strategy and tools in place. So let us discuss how you can drive more sales for your organization with a few simple steps of sales processes.
8 Steps of Sales Processes
Step 1: Prospect and Generate New Leads
Perhaps the most important step among all selling process steps is prospecting. Prospecting refers to the process of finding out about probable buyers in the market and shortlisting them using psychographic and demographic analysis. To do so, we need to understand what the product or service is and which type of customers are likely to buy them.
After prospecting, the next tasks are shortlisting and generating new leads. For this, we need to get in touch with probable customers and verify if they need the product or service. Marketing tools and social media also play a significant role in reaching out to consumers today and generating fresh leads.
Step 2: Qualifying New Leads
To qualify a lead is to determine whether they meet the requirements to buy what you are offering. This is important as it greatly saves your time and resources pursuing leads that won’t actually invest in the product or service being offered.
To qualify a lead, you must ask questions to determine if the lead is a prospective buyer or a decision-maker and whether they meet your product demographics or not. This can happen during a presentation, phone call, or even by getting a form filled up virtually.
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Step 3: Define Needs
After lead qualification, the next step is to understand your competitors and the challenges faced by your prospects that your product or service can help with. This way, you know what others are offering, what your customer needs, and accordingly place the product before them.
Understanding the unique challenges faced by your prospects is a surefire way to get closer to them. When you put yourself in their shoes, you understand their pain areas, their limitations, and most importantly, their needs.
This will help you immensely in the placement of your product as a solution to their problem, thereby creating a need for the service or product in their minds. Additionally, this process also helps you customize your marketing campaigns and enhance market penetration.
Step 4: Provide Demo (if needed)
There is no better way to let a prospect know that you can solve their problem than by solving it before them. If done right, not only does a demo drastically increase the chances of a purchase, it also creates a favorable impression in the minds of prospects about the product or service.
However, not all products require a demo and not all customers need one. To provide a demo, you need a well-trained salesforce that knows the product inside out and can demonstrate its virtues clearly before your leads, thereby increasing its value.
Step 5: Solution Presentation
Among all the steps of sales processes, one of the most critical is presenting a solution. It is so critical because it needs a lot of preparation for salespeople to understand who they are talking to and convincing them that the product is tailor-made for their needs.
As discussed above steps of sales processes, the research that goes into knowing prospects and their problems helps us present our product/service as the ideal solution to their problem. This also increases the credibility of the product and the company while establishing trust.
Step 6: Negotiation & Presenting a Proposal
Even if you have related well with your prospects and convinced them that your product/service is precisely what they require, that is only half the battle won. Your goal should now change from being a persuader to a deal-maker.
To create a mutually beneficial deal between your organization and the prospect, you will need to figure out all aspects of the deal and explain all aspects of what you are offering in your proposal. This is imperative to the sales process because it tells the prospect about exactly what they can expect from the company and what is expected of them. Without setting clear expectations, we easily misguide consumers on what they can expect from the product or service (e.g. benefits, warranty, contents, warnings, after-sales service, etc.), which may lead to customer dissatisfaction in the future.
After you have presented your offer, chances are that your prospects might want to negotiate over a few aspects and make you a counteroffer. Hence, you must know which aspects of the proposal you can compromise a bit on and which ones are non-negotiable. Remember that if you are providing a concession on something, you must ask them to commit to the sale based on it. However, if they ask for a deal that you cannot agree on, you must stand your ground, explain your reasons for doing so and offer them the next best thing you can do.
Step 7: Closing The Deal
After all the hard work, it is finally time to make the transaction. Summarize the terms once more and emphasize urgency using a ‘now or never’ offer or benefit to ensure immediate purchase and explain to them the value of your offering. However, no matter which closing technique you use, make sure that in the end, the customer feels like they had the upper hand.
Step 8: Follow Up To Acquire More Business & Referrals
The difference between a good salesperson and a great one is that the latter always keeps lines of communication open. Hence, it is a very good practice to follow up with customers and find out if they are facing any problems. You not only give your company a good name through this simple task, but you also ensure that the next time they need a similar product or service, or even an upgrade, they come to you. Keeping in touch and building a good rapport with customers would also ensure that if they know anyone with a similar requirement, they refer them to you.
Depending upon the product or service offered, some of these steps may be ignored. However, the fundamentals of a great sale would always be transparency, trustworthiness, and mutual benefit.