What is a sales process?
A sales process is a step by step process that identifies the steps to be completed at each stage of the sale. Generally, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or a type of project management software is needed to do this effectively. Implementing and following a sales process not only helps increase profitability to the firm, but also increases value to the client. The sales process should be tailored to the specific needs of the company. However, the typical components of an effective sales process are: the leads, qualifiers, value, and support.
The easiest step in the process is lead generation. Through the researching of target client needs, their product life cycles, and wants, the sales reps can create the buyer profile. Therefore, the sales reps can be in a better place when connecting with a potential customer. Potential is the key word here. This is only the first step, so there will be an abundance of potential customers in this section. The next part is thinning out the crop to make sure people with only the strongest potential to actually buy the product are left. That ties into the next section.
The second step is vetting which lead is likely to convert to a sale. Qualifying a lead makes the sales process smoother since a sales rep can tailor an offering that is more attractive to a potential customer. It also communicates to the customer that they know the sales rep is attentive to his/her needs, and more importantly, that they matter. The customer always has to feel like they matter, or that they’re important. They need to feel like their business is appreciated, and that their needs will consistently be met. There are several other places out there that will do it, so jump on it first!
Once a customer’s needs are clearly identified through the qualifying phase, demonstrating how the product/service is going to benefit them makes closing a deal much easier. It is important that whatever value you are demonstrating be tangible and meaningful to the prospective customer. Therefore, given you have profiled them using that dynamic CRM, tailoring your demonstration to the target facilitates and adds value to the sales process.
With the completion of the sale, the CRM continues to add even greater value. Why? You will able to track at what stage of the order fulfillment the merchandise is in, the upcoming steps, and when to follow up with the client to refill the orders. The sales team can include notes and update them for the respective clients, and use them to support future sales. The CRM also helps ensure that after the sale a line of communication, say through email automation, is maintained with the client. Anything that can be automated should be automated.
Thus, identifying leads, narrowing down to the qualifying leads, demonstrating value to customer wants/needs, and finally, following up to offer support and maintaining a relationship are foundational components to an effective sales process.