What do we mean by a sales process?
A sales process describes when what is happening and by whom. It is a set of described steps, activities and methods for communication, contact moments and activities between a sales department and prospects or customers. It describes the most successful way to arrive at an order or assignment. In addition, a detailed sales process optimizes the relationship with existing customers.
A sales process consists of 7 different phases:
Phase 1: Prospecting
In the first phase we look for the right potential customers that fit the ideal customer profile. These are companies and organisations that have the most benefit from the offer.
Phase 2: contact
In phase 2, contact is made - mostly by telephone - (telephone acquisition). Nowadays, the first contact takes place more and more via social media including LinkedIn. A sales funnel helps to reach and get in touch with a (potential) customer. A sales funnel is a marketing model that describes when, what information is provided via social media and other channels. It supports the process by which prospects are made into a customer.
Phase 3: the customer call
The third phase is dedicated to asking questions and listening. To be able to make an appropriate offer, understanding of the situation and/or demand for help is crucial. Proper preparation, including refuting potential objections, is therefore a prerequisite.
Phase 4: Follow-up
This is the stage in which the proposal is made. With online proposal software, the advantages and value of a proposal can be made nicely transparent. This form of sacrificing impresses and convinces faster than traditional proposals. The tender shall be sent to all parties who have the power of decision.
Phase 5: close the deal
In the fifth phase it comes to a decision. Points of interest at this stage may be new objections and/or negotiations. Important detail: price is rarely the reason for whether or not to engage with each other. Confidence and return on investment all the more.
Phase 6: implementation
In phase 6, the fulfilment of promises is decisive for further cooperation. A good transfer is an indispensable link in this process. A transfer within the sales team and to the customer.
Phase 7: evaluation and aftercare
Evaluation and aftercare are sometimes skipped while these two activities ensure that the relationship with a customer intensifies and strengthens the role of a regular partner. This substantially increases the likelihood of repeated or new sales.
Benefits of sales process
With a comprehensive process description, goals are achieved faster and a sales team always has the right focus. The mapping of the work, activities and layout of a department leads to valuable information that can be used to set up or redesign a sales process. Studies, including a Harvard study into what top sales teams have in common, show that large organizations recognize the success of sales processes, provided they are secured, automated, and complied with. Companies and organizations that do not or hardly work with a described sales process run the risk of higher staff costs and loss of business-specific knowledge. Optimization and improvement of processes and business results are not given a chance. It is therefore important to ensure the sales process in the organisation.
CRM tool boosts and improves sales process
One of the most proven methods of securing all phases and associated activities of a sales process is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management). A CRM helps manage customer data, supports the process and communication within a team. The entire sales team has valuable information anytime, anywhere via the CRM dashboard. Consider: how many leads and prospects are in the sales pipeline, what activities are planned at which stage, customer buying behaviour, who is responsible or which customers need attention when and in what way. With this information, contact moments, offers or promotions can be timed just right.
With a CRM system, a sales team can focus better, manage contacts better and improve processes. Everyone has insight into all customer journeys. This saves time, prevents errors and makes it possible for every customer to be approached in the right way.
A CRM not only ensures and improves the sales process, it also creates more engagement, stimulates a team to create new ideas. In short, a CRM is the perfect solution for capturing and improving the sales process in order to promote sales and overall growth.