The Sales Process – Infographic
Today we are going to cover what is a sales process and how to create one for your team.
B2B sales efforts need structure and process.
An effective sales process can boost conversion, turn more potential customers into actual customers, and ensure the sales team encounters positive and consistent experiences.
In this post, we are going to focus on the sales process steps and how you can implement them in your business.
What is a sales process?
A sales process refers to a series of repeatable steps a sales team performs in order to move a prospect from an early-stage lead to a closed customer. A strong sales process helps reps consistently close deals by giving them a framework to follow.
Why build a sales process?
You can think of a sales process as a map that guides the sales team on their journey to turn potential leads into customers.
Not everyone is a natural-born sales rep.
With a standardized sales process, less experienced reps could quickly learn the best practices and learn what to do at different sales stages.
Building an appropriate sales process can make you more money. When your sales team has a common framework, they have a roadmap to closing those deals.
Let’s look at the steps to a typical sales process:
Prospecting – This is the process of sourcing new, early-stage leads. Prospecting might involve online research on sites like Linkedin. I can also include conferences or industry events. In addition, you can prospect by asking current clients or colleagues to refer someone who may be interested in your services or product.
2. Connect and Qualify Leads
Connecting and Qualifying leads involves initiating contact with those early-stage leads to gather information. At this stage, your sales team decides whether or not they’re a good-fit lead for your business and whether or not they’ll likely move forward in the buyer’s journey.
A sales rep may perform a discovery call (it can be done via email as well). During this connection. A sales rep can use questions like the ones below to qualify the prospect.
- What is your role within your company?
- What do you do day-to-day?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- Why is this a priority for your business?
- What other solutions are you evaluating?
3. Research the Company
Research is beneficial for sales reps to understand their potential client. This is an opportunity to offer more tailored and personalized experiences. By knowing your potential client, the chances of closing a deal improve.
Part of this stage involves understanding the prospects’ challenges and providing your product and services as the solution to those challenges.
4. Give an effective pitch
Once the prospect is qualified a salesperson runs a formal demonstration. Each presentation should be tailored to meet the prospects’ specific challenges and pain points. It is here that the sales rep can show the prospect the solutions to these challenges. A sales rep might bring another team member, like an engineer or an executive, to meet with them in order to demonstrate the level of service the customer will receive when doing business with our company.
5. Hand Objections
It’s important to listen to your prospect’s objections and questions that can help your reps better tailor your product to fit their needs. Through their research and presentation preparation, reps should identify and anticipate possible objections, whether about cost, onboarding, or other parts of the proposed contract.
6. Close the deal
Closing a sale is what every salesperson wants to achieve. It should result in a mutually beneficial, contractual agreement between the prospect and the seller. Once a deal closes, the salesperson receives a commission on the price they negotiated with the customer, and the account usually passes to an account manager or customer success representative.
7. Nurture and Continue to Sell
The deal is closed, so now what? Well, this is not where the sales rep stops working with customers. Sales reps should confirm that customers receive what they’ve purchased, but they should also play a part in transitioning customers to whichever team is responsible for onboarding and customer success.
This final step in the sales process involves continuing to communicate and reinforce value to customers. This is an excellent opportunity to upsell and cross-sell.
Using a sales process can significantly benefit from a standardized sales process and improve measuring, forecasting, and general management of sales.
Let’s look at some stats.
- Studies in the Harvard Business Review have found that companies that implement a sales process outperform companies that do not. With reference to the Dealmaker Index Study, states that 70% of the companies that follow a structured process in sales are high performers; over 70% of business forecasts were accurate for the companies with a defined sales process.
- One study by Harvard Business Review showed that businesses with a standardized sales process see up 28% in revenue as compared to those that do not.
- In another research, HBR reveals that 50% of high-performing sales organizations admit having “closely monitored, strictly enforced or automated” sales processes. Meanwhile, 48% of under-performing organizations have non-existent or informal sales processes.
What do these numbers show?
Revenue, performance, and forecasting accuracy- tend to go significantly up when a company adopts a standardized sale process.
A defined sales process can help identify what works and what doesn’t. Armed with this knowledge you can avoid making the same sales mistakes over and over again.
Your sales team can:
- Create and maintain long-lasting customer relationships
- Ensure higher customer lifetime value
- Reduce customer retention costs
- Get more referrals
- Increase sales revenue
Remember, a good sales process is not set in stone. A sales process needs to be revised and adapted regularly, making sure it reflects the current state of the market, your client’s changing needs, your team skills, and your business specifics.