A key component of achieving sustained success is developing an effective sales process that is customized for your specific team. But, doing it right may be difficult, and creating a standardized procedure alone won’t always result in a team that is stronger or more productive. A rigorous sales process can often make reps feel constrained, which can have a negative effect on engagement and, ultimately, increase staff turnover.
Yet, sales representatives that adhere to a complex, organized sales procedure outperform those who don’t: In actuality, businesses with clearly defined processes outperform rivals in terms of revenue by 18%. And it’s understandable why; a systematic approach increases rep productivity, facilitates tracking and measuring success, and allows for more precise forecasts.
Here, we’ll examine the key components of a sales process and examine why taking the effort to create a solid, personalized process is crucial for increasing productivity and earnings.
A sales process is what?
The structure used by salespeople to bring each prospect from a first-stage lead to a closed purchase is known as the sales process. Reps operate at their peak levels when they follow a series of repeated, consistent steps. A well-established sales process makes it possible to measure progress and makes otherwise difficult purchase processes simple.
A seamless, consistent sales process that removes laborious processes might become a team’s competitive edge because 77% of B2B clients report that their most recent purchase experience was highly complex or tough. The proper procedure guarantees that your reps are working according to best practices, being as productive as they can be, and making the most of their time. The majority of sales representatives only spend about a third of their time actually closing deals, therefore developing and utilizing a good sales process is essential for increasing their output and effectiveness.
Let’s first examine how a sales process varies from both your sales cycle and your sales funnel before delving into its steps:
- A sales process is the series of procedures that salespeople take to close a contract.
- The series of precise, predefined processes or phases that salespeople follow is known as a sales cycle.
- The stages that prospects pass through before becoming clients are depicted in a sales funnel, which serves as a visual representation of the complete sales process.
The Seven Step Sales Procedure
- It’s crucial to remember that the sales process used by your company may differ based on a number of variables, including the size of the team, the industry, the target market, and more. Nonetheless, teams frequently incorporate the following phases in their process:
- Prospecting: Reps typically start the sales process with prospecting to get their company in front of potential customers and show off their team’s proactive attitude. This entails locating and contacting prospects who match the description of an ideal customer. As 71% of buyers say they like to speak with sellers early in the buying process, effective prospecting is essential for getting things off to a successful start.
- Preparation: Before your salespeople can truly close a deal, they must possess in-depth understanding of your service or product as well as your target market. In this stage, sales representatives examine consumer pain problems in-depth as well as rivals and your company’s own solutions.
- Making connections is the next step after your salespeople are aware of what they are selling and who they should be reaching out to. Reps should focus on customizing these encounters as 31% of sellers believe that offering one-to-one, tailored messaging is the most effective strategy. Salespeople may leave a positive impression with sincere emails, phone conversations, letters, and more that pave the way for a complete pitch at a later time.
- Presentation: Sales representatives may stand out from the competition by customizing a pre-made presentation to fit the needs of each unique client, even if 58% of sales sessions are unproductive for buyers. Sellers should concentrate on making the value of the product crystal evident to the client in this stage, showing that they are prepared to work with them, and providing them with a wealth of resources and industry knowledge.
- Managing Objections: It’s no secret that prospective customers sometimes hesitate to say “yes” at first. They’ll often have a list of queries and complaints regarding your company, your structure, your price, and other things. Your sales representatives run the danger of losing the transaction and not reaching their targets if they are not well prepared to face these arguments. Companies require strong resources (like virtual assistants) and best practices to address consumer problems and get through this difficult phase of the process.
- Closing: Depending on the size of the client’s business, its industry, its budget, the number of decision-makers involved, and other factors, it could take weeks or months until a transaction is really closed. Reps must keep customers interested throughout this phase of the sales process so they don’t go off or choose a rival. They must also be able to successfully negotiate the proposed contract conditions (such as pricing, scope of work, expectations, delivery timeframe, etc.) to avoid alienating clients or wasting excessive time on a deal that will never be finalized.
- Follow-up: It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to eventually close any deal, but responsibility shouldn’t end there. Representatives should stay in touch with their clients on a regular basis to build trust, boost the chance of referrals, and keep more consumers. Only a 5% improvement in retention rates may boost revenues by 25% to 95%, thus diligent follow-up is a crucial component of a strong sales process.