What type of business are you? The sales process for a B2B company is different than a consumer-facing business. Leads are gathered differently, there are more decision makers, and a distinct form of product knowledge is required for each. Understanding what type of business you are is the first step to becoming a better business. Your sales process defines how you sell your product to your customers.
Your sales process will generally follow this format:
Lead Generation – Finding your customers, or helping them find you. This might be accomplished through cold calling, advertisements, inbound marketing, or other forms of lead generation.
Lead generation is the most essential part of the sales process. If you don’t have customers coming in you’ll have a tough time selling anything.
There are a few types of leads:
Cold – These are people you’ve either cold called, emailed, or approached blindly. These are leads who haven’t shown any interest in what you sell.
Warm – These are prospects that have shown interest. They might find you your company naturally or be a cold lead that you’ve built a relationship with.
Your sales team needs to base how they interact with leads on how they’re collected. Cold leads require more information and trust than warm leads.
Qualifying – Reaching out to the list you’ve created. This is the part of your process where your leads are contacted.
Qualifying your customers is just confirming their interest. You’re making sure that your business fits their needs so that neither of you wastes any time. Some transactional sales might end here.
Demonstrate Value – Communicating the value of your product to your buyer. Value demonstration becomes more effective as your sales rep learns about your buyer.
This is where sales skills come into play. Your buyer needs to be educated on how your product will improve their life. Communicating the value of the product is a sales reps primary job.
Convince – Getting a decision from your buyer. Conquering objections is a key part of the convince phase.
Your prospect will have doubts or fears about their decision. Convincing your buyer requires building trust and communicating value to them.
Close – The actual sale. This will vary depending on the complexity of your sale. Contracts might be finalized or new terms agreed on.
How you handle each stage of the sales process says a lot about your business. Are there areas you can improve? Remember, a sale doesn’t end when it’s closed. Relationship management is an important part of keeping your customers happy and getting new ones in the door.