No matter what you’re selling, every sale follows roughly the same pattern. It’s a rare sale that doesn’t include each of these steps in one form or another. Often salespeople don’t think of certain stages as being different events – for example, qualifying often happens as part of the cold call, the sales presentation or both – but each of these stages is, in fact, necessary to advance the sales process.
What is a Sales Cycle?
The sales cycle is a process in which a company undergoes while selling a product to the customers. The sales cycle encloses all the activities which are associated with the closing sales. Many of the companies have different steps and different activities in their sales cycles, depending on how they define it. Some people define a sales cycle is the time taken from starting from nothing to closing a deal. Regardless of the definition, businesses should always keep the track of the length of all their sales cycles to ensure that the selling process is very efficient.
Scenario 1 : You’re presenting all of your products to the executives of a tech company, wearing the only suit and a very convincing smile on the face. You’ve got to spend weeks learning about the pain points and about how the merchandise can solve pain points.
Scenario 2 : You have crossed across the country in between the second year and therefore the junior year college, now you are standing at the door of a suburban house. You have all the documentation regarding the house security in your hand, ready to point as soon as you play the door.
These two salespeople have very much in common. Whatever the methods that your company relies on each and every organization will use the identical basic stages of the sales cycle to shut all the deals.
Prospecting refers to the process of finding new potential customers. Your company might take care of the first part of this process by giving you lead lists to work with, or you might be responsible for finding leads yourself.
SalesBabu CRM has facilities to integrate with different third party softwares and web services to track and understand the requirements of prospective clients by reading various reviews and comments online or following blog discussions of various leads. Following these clients through different modes of communication if the best and fastest way to find prospects in todays’ world of online marketing and sales tracking.
During the prospecting stage, customer’s need to be convinced on the following two topics to be interested in your product or services:-
- What does your product/services do that no other product or services does?
- What problem or issue does your product/services overcome or solve?
Once we can convince prospects on above two points with product, we will be in a better position to book an appointment for the next stage of the sales process.
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2. Set an Appointment
It’s time to use those leads you collected in stage 1. Many salespeople prefer to cold call, send email, use social media or even mail out sales letters. The mode of communication to set an appointment, depending on the type of business or product we need to pursue and also the preferred mode of communication of the clients.
This stage of the sales funnel is majorly to strike a chord with clients and book a formal meeting with client for a complete explanation of product’s details.
At this stage, maintaining the track of upcoming meeting with new prospect is very important, every missed meeting is a missed deal for any business. SalesBabu CRM provides facilities which enable sales agents to send dashboard event, reminders and alerts for upcoming activities and keep our work item organised and well looked after for so that sales team can perform with best of their ability without missing appointment due to over work or mismanaged sales process.
3. Qualify the Prospect (add text in the image)
The idea of this stage is to confirm that your prospect is both able and potentially willing to buy your product. In many cases, companies lose a lot of money is nurturing leads who are either not capable to buy our products or might not be interested in our deal as of now. These bogus lead filtration helps in saving a lot of efforts and money for the organisation. Salesbabu CRM provides cloud based centralised database for contact management which helps in filtering clients based on their purchase history or demographic background to create a more productive set of final leads for further nurturing.
4. Make your Presentation
The presentation is the core of every sales cycle, and it’s probably where you’ll invest the most preparation time. Keep in mind that you’re not just selling your product. You are also selling yourself as a person to trust. We should make sure that clients understand the need of our product or services and have a clear picture on how the product would be beneficial for their requirements.This stage is very critical for either converting a prospective client to our customer or just losing the sales opportunity. SalesBabu CRM help in understanding customer’s need and create more personalised sales presentations for the prospects. With a centralised database and Mobile sales app feature, sales agents can amend these presentations on the go and share it with clients from anywhere and anytime. Also, they can provide required assistance and query resolution while on the move, to gain better visibility from prospects and close deals faster.
5. Address the Prospect’s Objections
Here’s where you get to deal with your prospect’s concerns. Objections can actually be a positive sign, since they mean that your prospect is at least considering buying or he wouldn’t be bothering to work out the potential problems. No matter how good the presentation stage would have gone, customers also have objections either for the cost, product features or added features.
As service providers we should be very attentive to understand the real problem with the client’s request and also record every minute details in the discussion to track them in the future and big sales deal to closure. SalesBabu CRM provides many features where the quotations, sales orders and other details can be recorded and amended to various version and every amended is recorded with detailed notes mentioned with every meeting and follow up.
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Once you’ve made your presentation and answered your prospect’s questions and objections, it’s time for the sale. Now there can be a stage of negotiation. In many cases, the deal is closed in the first attempt and client goes ahead with the sales order and product details provided. In other cases, sales agents need to pursue the clients with more promotional offers and edited sales orders as per the discussion and handle their requirements in more specific manner. We should also understand that along with the products, the additional features like customer services, inventory management etc, provided are very critical for deal closure. Also, if the deal is not finalized in one discussions, we can further nurture our clients with more meetings and discussions on product details and make sure we can exhaust all our options before losing the client completely for the business.
Why is the Sales Cycle Important?
Keeping track of all the sales cycles will give the businesses insight into the efficiency of their sales operations. The length of the sales cycle process can be tracked, analyzed, and compared with the standard length across the industry. If the company’s cycle is shorter than the average of its industry, it would mean that the company’s sales department is very much more effective than its competitors.
SalesBabu CRM is an excellent example of an automated sales management software which provides aids to business to track their leads and bring them to closure with customised and more productive sales closure options and facilities. With SalesBabu CRM, businesses can leverage the numerous features provided for faster, better and efficient sales closures.