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The Sales Cycle 101

Regardless of what you are selling, every sale follows almost the same pattern.  Each sale includes most—if not all—of these steps. Salespeople do not treat each step as different from one another; but in fact, they are all viewed as one and are all necessary to progress the sales processes

Mastering each stage is imperative, since we aim to succeed in every sale. If you are weak in any of these stages, you may survive as a sales representative, but you will not thrive. So, make sure to master the sales cycle and work on improving your bottom line.

  1. Prospecting

Looking for a prospective client is a vital first step to making a sale. One way to start is to define your target market. If you are working for someone, the company may do the work for you and give you a list of lead to work with. If not, you will have to look for prospects on your own.

  1. Initiating a Contact

Plan your approach, because different approaches work better on different industries. Usually, the first contact happens over the phone, through an email or even through conventional mail. Offering support and information is more likely to be successful than hard selling. Take advantage of your CRM software’s marketing features. The software’s ability to detect potential clients and automate emails are beneficial to your sales cycle.

  1. Qualifying the Prospect

The qualification process takes place on the first meeting, though you may also do qualification over the phone. The idea here is to find out that the prospect is able and willing to purchase your product or service before you start spending time pursuing him or her.

  1. Presenting Your Product

This is the critical part of selling as your presentation can make or break the deal. This is the part of the sales cycle you want to invest most of your time preparing. Tailor your project proposal according to the needs of the prospect. Also, remember that you are selling not just the product, but also yourself as a trustworthy person. You are the representative of the company, so make the whole package count.

  1. Addressing Objections

Here is where you will have to address your prospect’s concerns. But no need to fret as objections can be a good sign that the customer is considering of purchasing your product or he would not even try to work out potential problems. Handling your prospect’s queries appropriately can increase your win rate and even speed up the sales process.

  1. Closing the Deal

After you have presented your offer and answered your prospect’s queries, it is time to move the deal to a close, and get your client to sign on the dotted line.

  1. Asking for Referrals

Sadly, this is the most neglected part of the sales cycle. Most salespeople are too excited for closing a deal that they hurriedly exit from a meeting for the fear the client may change his mind. Instead of cutting it abruptly, wind it down gradually by handing a business card and asking the client if he or she knows anyone else who might be interested or in need of the services or products you offer.

Important Tips to Improve Sales Cycle

  • Observe some of the most consistent salespersons you know, and see how they do close their deals. Learn from their processes and replicate their success.
  • Make a simpler sales cycle for your business. For every stage, create templates, questions and checklists that your salespeople can use.
  • Set targets for how long a deal can stay at a cycle stage. If you notice that a deal is stagnant for longer than your set period, make a follow up right away to avoid losing the deal.
  • Use a CRM software to help you handle your sales cycle. From automation of your schedule to finding prospect clients, CRM software can free up significant amount of time and resources. We know it’s not easy to juggle all of these things together, but with the right CRM software, you’ll be able to manage your sales cycle easily and close deals faster than you’ve expected.

Making sales and closing deals is pretty challenging, especially when you have to compete with thousands of the same product in the same industry. But if you have mastered the sales cycle, working on a deal should be less daunting experience for any salesperson in the world of business.

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