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Identify Your Sales Process Stages

Every business will have slightly different sales process stages and it can be very helpful to identify what those main stages are when trying to improve your control and consistency with managing sales cycles.  Here are some main stages for sales cycles that could be considered as part of your ideal sales process.


1. Lead Generated

The very first sales process stage is that a lead is generated. For many sales professionals, this first stage is a cold call that the salesperson makes to the prospect. This would likely look like a phone call that is between 2 to 5 minutes where the salesperson qualifies, builds some interest, and gets the prospect to agree to move on to the next step in the sales cycle.

There are many other scenarios where this stage does not involve a cold call and those could include an inbound lead from a website or through the phone, or this could involve a referral from one of an existing client or through professional networking.


2. First Conversation

One of the other main early sales process stages is the first conversation. Not to be confused with a cold call as this may not be the first time that we talk with the prospect, but it is the first time that we are having a real conversation where both parties are interest in the discussion. During a cold call, only the salesperson has interest and once the prospect becomes interested, you have progressed to the first conversation stage.


3. Discovery

At some point, we will need to learn about the current state and desired direction for the prospect. And we need to do this before we talk about our products and services. Why would we spend valuable time talking about all of the great things we can do if we have not determined if the prospects needs what we have to offer.


4. Presentation

Most sales process stages will include some form of a presentation. This could be showing some slides, giving a speech, showing a demonstration, etc.


5. Direction Decision

After a presentation has been delivered, the next sales cycle stage is a discussion and decision around the direction forward. This is not a purchase decision as this is stage is before pricing has been presented. This is more a decision around what direction the prospect wants to go so that the salesperson can put together the scope and pricing.

 


6. Proposal

Once we have identified what the prospect wants to purchase, we need to pull together all of the details around what they are buying from a feature, benefit, and pricing standpoint and we communicate that through some type of proposal.


7. Presentation of Executables

A proposal may not be enough to formally process the transaction. Once the prospect agrees to the proposal, there may need to be some sort of formal agreements that need to be executed.


8. Negotiations

Unfortunately, there may be a sales process stage that involves negotiations around either the pricing or the terms of the agreements.


9. Agreement Reached

Once negotiations are completed, the next and last of the sales process stages is that the agreement is reached.

 

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Launch Pad Solutions provides sales consulting helping businesses to identify there sales process stages.

 

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This article was published on Saturday 24 March, 2012.

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