The best way to understand the sales process is to see it as a cycle. No matter, whichever market you are in, the process is the same.:
- Identifying good prospects.
- Obtaining permission to work with them.
- Gathering enough facts to offer viable alternative solutions.
- From the facts, designing a set of solutions that fits the prospect’s situation.
- Presenting the solutions in a manner that prospect understands and accepts as realistic which results in the prospect buying our recommendation.
- Asking for referred leads.
Let us go through six distinct parts of the sales process:-
- It starts with identifying good prospects. Prospecting is the process of identifying potential buyers that lead to a group of prospects who are considered qualified. A qualified prospect is a person who has the authority to decide about the purchase, can pass the requirements , has a need of our products ,can afford to purchase and can be seen on a favourable basis. Prospecting forms the hub of entire sales process.
There are several forms of prospecting – cold calls, personal introductions, referrals, seminars, strategic alliances with other professionals, and direct mail.
2. The second step is obtaining permission to work with a prospect. This is called the Approach. It is the initial contact of a sales person has with a prospect. Since first impressions are so important in building a business relationship, this step in the sales process becomes vital to the sales person’s overall success.
In approaching the prospective client, there are two desires – to create and begin to build relationship and to disturb the client so they will see a reason to take our recommended action later in the process. In the approach, we will begin to sell oneself, sell the company and sell our services.
3. Gathering enough facts to offer viable alternative solutions is the third step, Identifying needs. Here a sales man begins to probe with questions to discover the facts about the client so that a suitable solution to the prospects concerns can be found. With all the data in hand, this step is where we determine with the prospect exactly which concerns are more important enough to deal with today and which should take priority for the future.
4. Designing & Presenting the Solution from the facts that fit the prospect’s situation is the fourth step. Given the data and the needs determined in the previous steps, this process is where the sales man recommends the proper product including cost, benefits and services to fill the need. Since, there are so many different products, combinations, and concepts to choose from, this step is one of the most creative step in the sales process.
Presenting the solution in a manner the prospect understands and accepts as realistic and meeting his/her needs is also included in this step.
5. Objection Handling & Closing : is the step that results in the prospect buying our ultimate recommendation. This step is where the sales man assists the prospect in choosing a solution. As a sales person we have to re-establish needs and close the sale. This is the step where client raises objections and a proper handling of these objections is important for closing the sale.
6. The last step in the sales process is called Referred Leads. During this step of the sales process we ask the prospect for referrals or recommendations – names of people known to the prospect who might benefit from solution offered by us.