What are the 5 Steps sales process?
Ever wonder what exactly goes on when you're trying to sell something or convince someone that it's in their best interest to do business with you instead of one of your competitors? If so, then you may have wondered if there was some sort of formula for approaching this situation. Well, now we can answer those questions. In fact, using a five-point sales process takes the guessing out of sales. Here is an outline of the five important steps involved in any sale.
We'll walk through each step below:
1) Identify Your Target Audience
2) Discover Their Needs & Wants
3) Present Value Proposals (or Solution Options)
4) Close Sales
5) Follow Up With Thank You Notes
Let's start by getting clear on who our target audience is -- the person or people we want to buy from us. For example, let's say you are looking to open up a retail store. Who would be your ideal customer base? They might include men over 50 years old living alone without children. Or they could also be women between 30-50 years old married with no kids. The key here isn't just age but rather gender.
Once we identify them as part of our target market, we need to understand what makes these individuals tick. How does their lifestyle impact their buying habits? What kind of things do they like doing? Do they prefer to shop at physical locations or online? Are they more interested in unique items, trendy brands, or classic pieces? Once we know all that information, we will use it to create solutions based on their needs/wants. This will later lead into presenting value propositions that fit perfectly with their style, personality, budget, etc.
Now we move onto the next phase where we discover what these potential customers really want. We've established why they should consider working with us as opposed to others in their field, but now we need to find out what "needs" keep coming up throughout the conversation. There are three main ways to determine this: ask questions, listen, and observe body language. By understanding their wants, we can tailor our solution offerings accordingly. And, once again, knowing their likes and dislikes can help make sure that we offer products and services that appeal to them directly.
To put together our solution options, we need to present different ideas and concepts. This means creating multiple product proposals that give prospects reason enough to choose us instead of another competitor. Let's take a look at what happens during this stage...
What are the 4 types of selling?
There are four primary types of selling used today:
1) Selling Products - When selling tangible products, such as cars, computers, furniture, clothing, jewelry, food, beverages, toiletries, etc., your goal is to provide quality goods that meet the needs of your prospective client. So, you must first get acquainted with their requirements before developing your proposal. Then, you can begin offering specific features that match their desires. Remember, don't try to force your own opinion down their throats! Instead, learn how to work around their preferences while still giving them what they want.
2) B2B Services - Most businesses are focused primarily on making money via providing other companies with products or services. However, many small businesses lack the resources necessary to support large projects. That's where third party providers come in. As long as you can prove that you are capable of handling certain tasks independently, clients will usually hire you to handle their project.
3) Lead Generation - One way to generate leads is to post ads on billboards or distribute flyers. Another effective method is to write articles and press releases and submit them to relevant websites. Finally, you can utilize social media platforms to drive traffic to your site. All of these methods require consistent follow-up to convert visitors into paying clients.
4) Non-Sales Product Offering - Some business owners believe that because they aren't selling anything right away, they shouldn't worry about following a traditional sales model. But, if you think about it logically, most consumers purchase products not only to solve problems or improve their lives, but also to satisfy emotional needs. Therefore, it stands to reason that if you are going to attract people to your website, you better figure out how to connect emotionally with them quickly. Otherwise, they will likely click off your page and go elsewhere.
Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to every rule, but the point remains that you need to build relationships with potential buyers even though you won't immediately be asking for the order.
What are the steps of selling?
Whether you are trying to close the deal yourself or relying on outside professionals, everyone follows similar steps to achieve success. While the exact details vary depending upon your industry and goals, here is an overview of what typically occurs during each step of the sales process:
1) First Impressions - To set the tone for future interactions, you absolutely cannot underestimate the importance of having a clean storefront. Make sure that the space is well lit, organized, and free of clutter. Also, ensure that all staff members greet customers warmly and professionally. People tend to judge the whole package within seconds of walking inside. Keep everything simple and uncluttered. Customers can easily see your wares and compare prices at checkout.
2) Qualifying Prospects - After you gain entry into your prospect's world, you'll want to assess whether he or she has the financial capability to afford whatever it is you are offering. This is called qualifying. It helps weed out less serious inquiries and narrows the search parameters for the rest of the meeting. Don't forget to check for signs of wear and tear, damages, stains, missing parts, etc. These telltale signs indicate that the item has been previously owned and therefore reduces its resale value.
3) Assessing Need Sizes - During this step, you evaluate your customer's current circumstances and identify areas in which they'd benefit from improved performance. Determine whether his or her existing equipment meets his or her demands. Ask lots of probing questions regarding their current setup, and explore possible upgrades. A good idea is to research comparable models to determine which ones are actually worth purchasing.
Remember, you never fully appreciate how much functionality a new piece of technology provides until you already own a cheaper version. Take note of any special software programs that might come bundled with the device, too.
4) Creating Solutions - Now that you've determined the extent of the problem, you need to develop several viable solutions. Be prepared to share alternatives that fall under various price ranges. Provide detailed descriptions of each option along with pros and cons. Consider including images, video clips, charts, graphs, testimonials, etc. to highlight advantages and disadvantages of each choice.
Keep in mind that you are not obligated to settle on one particular solution. Offer additional possibilities until your customer decides which direction they wish to proceed.
5) Closing Deals - Before wrapping up your presentation, always remind your customer of benefits associated with your brand and explain how you plan to deliver what they desire. Always end on a positive note and reiterate your contact info to avoid losing touch altogether.
Finally, take care of the thank you notes after closing deals. Ensure that you send handwritten letters or cards personally, as emails can sometimes appear impersonal. Mentioning extra perks, discounts, bonuses, gifts, etc. can further add incentive to encourage repeat orders.
What are the 4 elements of selling?
As mentioned earlier, there are four basic components to successful selling: identifying targets, uncovering needs, proposing value propositions, and closing deals. Each element plays a vital role in achieving overall success. Below we discuss each component individually.
When determining whom you are targeting, be as descriptive as possible. Try to focus specifically on demographics like location, income level, marital status, education levels, occupation, hobbies, interests, etc. Knowing these factors gives you valuable insight into what kind of products/services appeal to them.
Your job is to identify the underlying reasons behind your customer's decisions. Understand what keeps bothering him or her. Is it related to health issues, aging concerns, family responsibilities, career pressures, etc.? Doing so allows you to design solutions that address real-life challenges.
Presenting Value Propositions:
After discovering needs, you are finally ready to formulate a strategy to reach your objectives. At this crucial juncture, you should be able to clearly define what your company offers versus your competition. Explain what sets your product apart from other choices available in the marketplace. Focus on highlighting benefits and not just features.
This is probably the easiest part of the entire sales cycle. After discussing needs, formulating value propositions, comparing your product vs. competition, and researching alternative solutions, you should have little doubt about which solution fits best. Just pick one and roll with it!
What are the 4 steps of the sales process?
The above sections discussed what typically happens during each step of the sales process. Next we examine what happens when dealing with actual customers...
Follow Step 1: Find Me An Order:
If you had trouble finding qualified prospects, then perhaps you didn't spend enough time searching for potential customers. Regardless of how intense your efforts were, the bottom line is that you need to track down leads and qualify them ahead of schedule.
Step 2: Establish Rapport:
Selling isn't easy, especially when you're new at it. And because there's no one "right" way to sell something -- what works for someone else might not work for you -- that can make things even more confusing. But using a simple 5 step approach to selling makes sure that you don't miss any important parts of your presentation or fall into some common traps.
In this article we'll take a look at the 5 steps sales process. We'll see exactly which items go on each list. Then we'll learn why these steps matter so much and how you can use them to streamline your own sales efforts.
First up... what are the 5 steps sales process?
The first thing you should do before starting your next sales call is to write down everything you want to say. You may think this sounds obvious, but if you've never done it yourself before then try it! It really helps get all your thoughts together.
Once you have outlined the main points of your pitch (which could be as long as several paragraphs), start writing notes around those ideas. Now, instead of just thinking about what you want to convey during the meeting, you actually put words to paper and organize your message accordingly. This gives you an advantage over other attendees who will likely only listen to what their brain tells them they need to hear rather than following along with a script. Plus, if you happen to forget anything during the conversation, having written notes ensures you won't leave anyone hanging without saying goodbye.
Now that you know what kind of format you want to follow, let's talk about what goes into making that plan come true. There are four major components to consider when creating a successful sales strategy:
1) Know your customer/prospect well enough to be able to speak directly to his needs and wants.
This means doing research on him so you understand where he stands financially, professionally, and personally. The better you understand him, the easier it will be to find solutions that meet both his goals and yours. If he has financial concerns, offer ways to help relieve those worries. Or maybe he's looking to build a large network of contacts, in which case you would focus on helping him achieve that goal while also providing a service for your client. Knowing your customers' pain points allows you to create products and services specifically tailored toward them.
2) Have a clear picture of what success looks like.
Before you begin talking to your prospect, decide whether you'd prefer to present a solution that provides maximum profit right away or a lower price tag over time. Also, figure out what type of ROI you hope to receive from the sale. Will it be cash, inventory, subscriptions, etc.? Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can craft a strategy designed to lead your prospect closer to achieving that outcome.
3) Make sure your product offering matches your customer's expectations.
You wouldn't show up to a job interview wearing pants two sizes too small, so why expect your prospects to behave similarlyly? Before pitching your idea, ask yourself whether your proposal lines up with what the buyer was hoping to gain by purchasing your product. Is it worth its cost compared to similar offerings? Does it provide value above and beyond what competitors offer? Are you presenting features that weren't asked for in order to increase the total price? Making sure the benefits outweigh the risks will keep you focused on building relationships based on trust.
4) Craft a strong closing statement capable of sealing the deal.
If possible, prepare statements for different scenarios beforehand so you aren't stuck scrambling to fill gaps when you walk through your sales patter with clients. A good opening line typically includes a brief overview of your product's history, followed by a few key statistics related to performance. After that, it's time to introduce yourself, share a bit of background information on your company, discuss your qualifications, and review your proposed timeline for solving problems and delivering results. Finally, wrap up the discussion with a short summary highlighting the most important aspects of your offer. When crafting these final remarks, remember to include specific details about what your business does, how it differs from others in the same industry, and why your team is best suited to solve whatever problem your prospect faces. Don't worry about coming off as overly confident -- studies have shown that people tend to judge confidence levels based on the size of a person's bank account rather than on merit alone.
5) Practice until you sound natural.
It doesn't matter how polished you think you sound if you don't feel comfortable addressing prospective buyers head-on. While you might be tempted to hide behind PowerPoint slides or read from prepared scripts, this is a poor choice for many reasons. First, it prevents you from being authentic when communicating your passion and expertise. Second, relying solely on bullet points and text limits your ability to connect with your audience. Lastly, memorizing sentences word-for-word can cause unnecessary stress since you often end up forgetting crucial facts or phrases midway through your speech. Instead, spend a little extra time practicing your pitches aloud so you can gauge your overall tone and rhythm. Not only will this improve your delivery skills, it will also allow you to spot mistakes before stepping foot inside a potential client's office.
Next up, we'll take a deeper dive into the various stages involved in the 5 steps sales process.
What are the steps in a sales process?
There are three primary phases to every sales cycle: discovery, qualification, and conversion. These are sometimes referred to as the 3 Cs of selling. During the discovery phase, you identify your target market and develop targeted marketing materials such as brochures, flyers, and Web sites. In addition, you establish contact with leads via direct mail, email, phone calls, social media, and networking events. Next, qualified prospects request additional information regarding your company and the relevant products and services you provide. At this point, you might choose to send demos or samples of your merchandise. Your ultimate objective here is to determine if your product offers real value to the prospect.
During the conversion stage, you continue to collect feedback and gather data from your prospect. Based on your findings, you either extend an invitation to enter into a formal agreement or close the deal outright. Either way, you must ensure that your proposals align with your customer's interests and objectives. For example, if you were trying to secure a $10 million contract, you couldn't propose reducing your fee to $7.50 per month unless your terms were acceptable to your customer.
What are the 4 steps of selling?
As mentioned earlier, there are generally four distinct stages within the traditional sales model: awareness, interest, evaluation, decision. Here's a breakdown of what happens during each one:
Awareness - To reach the earliest part of the buying journey, you need to advertise your product effectively. Whether online or offline, you want to position your brand prominently among searchers. Try running ads on Google AdWords, posting billboards near busy intersections, distributing pamphlets at local businesses, or holding special promotions at retail locations. Additionally, you can encourage early adoption by giving existing users access to free trials or beta tests. People are less inclined to buy once they realize they already have a working version of your product.
Interest - Prospects interested in your products and services usually visit your website after researching your niche thoroughly. They browse through blog posts, watch videos, search for answers, and click links leading them to landing pages. Use effective keywords throughout your site content and meta tags associated with images to attract visitors searching for particular topics. Keep your copy concise yet informative. Avoid including lengthy descriptions of every single feature. Remember that brevity matters, particularly when competing against larger brands. If you can tell your story succinctly in fewer than 300 characters, do so. By keeping visitors engaged, you boost chances of converting them into paying subscribers.
Evaluation - As soon as your visitor lands on your page, he begins evaluating your credibility and legitimacy. He checks to see if you're trustworthy, reliable, and knowledgeable. How quickly can you deliver an answer? Do you have a positive track record? What kind of guarantees do you offer? Can I rely on your promises? Using testimonials and endorsements from satisfied customers is helpful here. However, you shouldn't lie or exaggerate. Instead, paint pictures of success using words like "guaranteed," "predictable," and "reliable."
Decision - At this point, your visitor has decided that your product meets his requirements. With nothing left to negotiate, he reaches a conclusion about whether he thinks your offer is fair given his budget constraints. Sometimes, however, he still hasn't made a firm commitment. That's okay -- it simply indicates that he doesn't want to settle on one solution immediately. Perhaps he feels uncomfortable committing to changes at the moment due to internal politics, pending projects, or budgetary limitations. Regardless, now is the perfect opportunity to stay in touch and revisit your original proposition later on.
What are the 6 steps of selling?
While the previous methods involve moving forward incrementally, six-step processes are designed to accelerate your sales efforts. In general, these strategies revolve around identifying a target market, developing compelling marketing collateral, increasing visibility, generating inquiries, qualifying opportunities, and closing deals. Let's take a quick glance at what happens during each stage.
The most common question I get from people who want help with their selling skills is, "what's the best way to sell?" There isn't one answer that works well for everyone. The best approach depends on what you're trying to accomplish and whom you're dealing with. But there are some fundamental techniques every good salesman should know. One of those fundamentals is using a five-point sales process -- or something similar -- so you can be confident when talking with prospects.
In this article, we'll take a look at the 5-Step Sales Process and see exactly where it fits into the bigger picture of successful selling. We'll also learn more about how to use LucidChart to streamline your own sales meetings and make them even more productive. Let's start by looking at the basic structure of the 5-step process.
What are the 5 steps in the sales process?
When selling anything (and especially complex products), there are usually multiple phases involved before closing a sale. Each phase has its own purpose and objective, but they all lead up to making an offer to buy from someone else. Here's why each step matters:
This first stage involves discovering information through discovery calls, emails, surveys, demos, etc., which will ultimately enable us to understand our customers' needs better than anyone else does. This knowledge allows us to present solutions tailored specifically to these needs, resulting in higher chances of success. It also helps ensure that we set realistic expectations with our clients during early discussions.
Once we've discovered as much about our target market as possible, we have to figure out if there really is a need for our product or service. If not, we won't waste time pursuing false leads. In order to do that analysis effectively, however, we mustn't fall victim to confirmation bias, aka seeing only evidence that supports our existing ideas. That means being able to think critically without letting emotions cloud our judgment. For many salespeople, this is easier said than done!
Now it's time to share what we've learned with potential buyers. Our presentation needs to clearly demonstrate the value we can provide, while simultaneously avoiding any mention of price. Since pricing tends to come off as self-serving anyway, avoid presenting prices until after everything else is negotiated successfully. When discussing price, focus instead on benefits rather than features. Features tell the buyer nothing except whether or not he/she wants them. Benefits describe actual results, such as lower operating costs, increased productivity, fewer customer complaints, etc. These benefits should always be presented first, then supported by specific examples of feature savings.
While it seems like closing would follow directly after learning more about prospective buyers, sometimes it doesn't happen this way because prospects don't feel comfortable committing right away. They may still require additional data before deciding to move forward, or maybe they just aren't ready yet. Whatever the case may be, having reached agreement on certain terms, you now enter the close stage. During this last phase, you negotiate details such as delivery dates, warranty periods, billing methods, payment schedules, etc. Once again, it's important to remember that you shouldn't raise prices until all other aspects of the deal have been finalized.
5) Follow Up
After closing, never forget to keep track of future opportunities. Whether you meet regularly over coffee or exchange email updates, sending thank-you notes can go a long way toward building relationships. You could consider setting up a shared Google calendar to stay organized and remind yourself when due diligence letters arrive or project milestones are completed.
With that overview under our belt, let's break down the individual stages further. Read on to discover the 6 steps in the sales process...
What is the sales process steps and example?
To give you a clearer idea of how the 5-step sales process breaks down, here's an example of a typical scenario in each of the different phases. Note that these are fictional names and descriptions. Your company might actually use slightly different terminology. Also note that the sequence of events changes depending on what industry you're in.
Scenario 1: Prospecting & Qualifying
A new client visits your website. He sees several pages of content describing your services, including testimonials, FAQs, blog posts, videos, white papers, brochures, newsletters, press releases, social media profiles, etc. After reading enough relevant material, the prospect decides to contact you via phone. She describes her business objectives and asks questions related to your offerings. You evaluate her situation thoroughly before answering her queries, ensuring she understands your capabilities correctly. Then you ask probing questions regarding her current challenges and pain points. To wrap things up, you agree to schedule a meeting together.
Scenario 2: Meeting Preparations
On the day of the scheduled appointment, you review your agenda with your client and discuss any outstanding items from previous conversations. Next, you prepare for the visit by reviewing documents needed to support the proposals discussed earlier. At the appointed hour, you show up punctually and greet the prospect warmly. Over coffee or tea, you listen closely and respond thoughtfully whenever asked. You respect the rapport you build throughout the conversation and refrain from interruptions unless absolutely necessary. You end the discussion by asking for approval to send a proposal package containing copies of pertinent materials. Upon hearing yes, you quickly gather up your files and exit the premises.
Scenario 3: Proposal Delivery
You sit back in your chair and reread the final version of the proposal document. Your heart sinks upon recognizing mistakes made along the way, both yours and your client's. After revising the proposal based on feedback received, you print out another copy and hand deliver it personally to the prospect, accompanied by a handwritten letter expressing sincere gratitude for her trust. While waiting for her response, you continue working with her team to resolve issues as they arise. Within days, you receive a reply confirming receipt of the proposal and scheduling next steps.
Scenario 4: Negotiating Progress Meetings
Your client agrees to pay $100 per month for two years plus applicable taxes for your consulting services. Based on prior estimates, you expect to earn approximately 10% net profit margin on top of your monthly fee. As the negotiations progress, you check in with your client every week or fortnight to update him/her on your efforts. Later, you request a status report summarizing his/her thoughts on the proposed arrangement. With plenty of time left before completing the contract period, you decide to spend extra time evaluating your options to confirm your original projections. As part of this exercise, you run scenarios involving various assumptions about revenue growth rates, labor expenses, marketing budgets, discounts offered to distributors, etc. By running several variations of the same calculations, you identify areas in which your budget was too optimistic. Now armed with updated figures, you propose reducing the price tag to reflect reality. On agreeing to the revised numbers, you immediately inform your client and begin planning the logistics required to implement the change.
Scenario 5: Post Contract Period
As promised, you submit invoice X within 30 days of signing the contract. Despite your firm belief in paying promptly, your client continues to drag his feet on payments for months afterward. Unhappy with this state of affairs, you reach out to his manager hoping to work out a solution. However, his boss denies responsibility for late invoices since you signed paperwork stating otherwise. Disappointed, you resort to contacting local authorities to file a formal complaint against your client. Meanwhile, your relationship sour grows between you and your client, leading to loss of business.
Hopefully this example gave you a sense of where the 5-step sales process falls in relation to overall goals. Moving forward, let's explore the 6 steps in the sales process.
What are the 6 steps for prospecting and qualifying?
During the initial discovery stage, your goal is to find out as much as possible about the problems facing your target audience. So once you've identified your ideal client, you should proceed with utmost care. Use online resources (e.g. LinkedIn) to connect with professionals in your chosen field. Don't be shy to cold-call senior decision makers, either. Take advantage of referrals from colleagues, former bosses, friends, family members, co-workers, and acquaintances. And don't stop there - search for ways to expand your network further, starting locally and moving outward. Remember that word travels fast among peers and associates. Word-of-mouth endorsements carry weight far beyond your control. Just try to strike a balance between exploring multiple avenues and becoming annoying. Always keep professionalism in mind at all times.
Next, analyze your findings to determine if there truly is a real demand for your product(s). Do thorough research on competitors and suppliers, gathering intel on recent deals executed in your niche. Compare the pros and cons of competing offers. Consider factors such as cost, reliability, quality, flexibility, availability, turnaround time, security, ease-of-use, integration, compatibility, user interface, training requirements, licensing restrictions, and regulatory compliance. Ask lots of questions regarding the strengths and weaknesses of vendors' claims. Make sure you speak with knowledgeable individuals who are familiar with your particular area of specialization.