When it comes to business, one of the most important figures in daily operations is the sale team, specifically sales representatives. They not only assist with bringing customers into the fold, but they are responsible for encouraging, and eventually, bringing a sale to its close.
With sales representatives, there needs to be a flexibility within daily duties because they work with many customers, and they often aren’t alike. However, there is one thing that remains the same despite the differences in customers, the sales process.
What is a Sales Process?
A sales process is a potential customer’s journey from the realization that they have a need for a specific product to making an actual purchase. From a sales representative’s point of view, the sales process is set of steps that a sales rep takes from the beginning stages of customer awareness to a close sale.
Why A Sales Process is Needed
The Sales Process acts as a guideline for sales representatives, which is why having a process in place is crucial. Here are specific reasons why:
- Utilizes Sales Rep Talents: having a guideline in place as to how to move through the sales process doesn’t mean that sales representatives have to cut out their creativity or their style of working. Sales reps can use their talents to seamlessly move from one step to the next, but with a bit more structure thanks to the actual steps.
- Earn Qualified Leads: following a clearly defined sales process can help sales representatives filter out non-quality leads and identify the perfect prospects that will eventually lead to a sale.
- Strengthen Customer Service: the sales process focuses on the customer, so instead of pushing a customer into the next step, it allows sales reps to move efficiently, but with eases through each step, making sure that each customer has what they need.
Sales Process Steps
The sales process is a guide for sales representatives and it consists of five to seven steps. Those steps include:
In this stage, sales reps find potential customers and determine if they have a need for their products or services.
Prepare for initial contact with your potential customer by researching the market and collecting needed and relevant information regarding your product and/or service. During this step, it is also important to develop sales presentations tailored to your potential clients.
Make first contact with your client. Ways that sales reps initiate contact is through phone calls, emails and even face-to-face interactions.
Demonstrate how your product or service can help your potential customer. A presentation doesn’t have to be in the form of a PowerPoint, instead it can be simpler such as actively listening to the needs and wants of your potential customer and responding with correct and helpful information.
5. Handling Objections
Here is where sales reps listen to their customers concerns in an effort to address them. This oftentimes is an unsuccessful part of the sales process.
During this stage, you have the decision from the client about moving forward. There are also different closing strategies that including the extra inducement close which offers an extra perk to get the prospect to close, including a few month of service or a discount.
Once a sale has closed, the job of a sales rep isn’t over yet. Following up with your customers helps with potentially repeating business, but for referrals too. In addition to that, following up also allows for sales reps to make sure their experience was positive, which improves on customer service, as well.