WARNING: This is not about platitudes, attitudes or aptitudes! A sales process is not about simply adding enthusiasm it is about a real and workable sales system for your business.
A sales process is a systematic approach to selling a product or service. A growing body of published literature approaches the sales process from the point of view of an engineered discipline.
Reasons for having a well thought-out sales cycle include seller and buyer risk management, standardized customer interaction in sales, and scalable revenue generation. A major advantage of approaching the subject of sales from a “process point of view” is that it offers a host of well-tested design and improvement tools from other successful disciplines and process-oriented industries.In turn, this offers potential for quicker progress. A sales team’s fundamental job is to move a greater number of larger deals through the sales process in less time.
Specific steps or stages in a sales process vary from company to company but generally include the following elements:
- Prospecting/Initial contact
- Preapproach – planning the sale
- Need assessment
- Meeting objections
- Gaining commitment
An effective sales cycle can be described through steps that walk a salesperson from meeting the prospect all the way through closing the sale. Often a bad sales experience can be analyzed and shown to have skipped key steps. This is where a good sales cycle mitigates risk for both buyer and seller. A solid sales process also has the dramatic impact of forecasting accuracy and predictability in revenue results.