Do you know what a sales cycle is?
All businesses want to sell. You might be one of those businesses. As a salesperson or an entrepreneur, you must want your services or products to sell well. But do you know what the process of sales is? Better known as the sales cycle?
The sales cycle consisted of 7 stages of sales. Go through the stages with us and decide which stage you might be lacking in and need to improve in order for your business to do wonderfully for a long time.
Finding the right people for your product. As an entrepreneur, you want the right people to find your product, for your product to be beneficial, it must be used by the person with the problem your product solved.
There are many ways of prospecting, through phone calls, direct conversations, direct mail and more. Increased contact and follow up is the key to increase your sales.
You are best friends with your phone. Make many phone calls in a day for prospecting, and then do the same amount of follow up calls. Prospecting is the first step to your increased sales.
Original contact is the first impression of your customers towards your product or service. When you promote your product or service, what are their first thoughts when hearing about it, seeing it? Do they like it? Are they surprised? Delighted? Relieved?
This process is important as this is your chance to grab their attention. Your product or service will be visibly and internally judged by the customers. This stage of the cycle also decide whether your customers will be interested or not to buy your product or service.
Next in your sales cycle, you have to find qualifications. You have to find out if your customers are the decision makers or not. Whether their financial situation is great or not. If they’re homemakers how much are they making?
This helps you to find out the best way to promote your product or service to the customers. For instance, a customer with an impressive background might not care much about the price of the product so you don’t have to try so hard to convince them.
But the opposite is also true with customers with less income, who want more benefits without paying more.
How to know which one your product or service needs; a presentation or a demonstration? If it is a tangible product, you should demonstrate its usage. If it’s an intangible product, you can keep it brief with a presentation.
This stage in the sales cycles helps people understands the product or service better and how it can help them improve day-to-day operation by providing solution of existing problems.
Your presentation or demonstration plays a big role in getting a new client and keeping old clients. Brush up on your people’s skill here if this is what you lack when selling your product or service.
You will encounter some hardships in business and these hardships will come in the form of handling objections by customers or potential clients.
Some will question the credibility of your product or service in giving a solution to an existing problem in their lives. How is your product or service worthwhile compared to others? How does your products or service benefit your customer directly and efficiently?
When you know how to counter all these objections with a reasonable approach, you and your product or service will be unstoppable.
Closing is one of the hardest things to do for most people. You have all your prospecting, your first contact, qualification and presentation or demonstration, but there is no guarantee that your customers will close the deal.
Customers are interested and like your product or service, but they will simply not buy it because of financial situations, or they are still considering their options, or that your product has their values that are lacking.
There are many reasons a customer doesn’t close a deal, but when you go through this stage and observe your sales habits, you can discover where you lack in your cycle.
This is the most important stage of your sales cycle in keeping your business afloat; getting referrals. When you are done closing the deal, your work is not done till only there!
Get more out of that one client. Make another 10 clients from your first clients, make sure your customer will refer your product or service to other people. Ensure they will tell their friends about the product they buy or a service they use.
Use the SPR-PDR rules. When you receive a stimulus, which is what your customer said, pause a bit, and respond to them. Then, you should practice your product specifications, drill your sales techniques and rehearse how your conversation with customers will go.
You’ll be sure to get a referral this way!
And then your cycle repeats! Your business is sure to keep afloat as long as you sell benefitting things with great services.
Using this cycle, you can sell anything if you have discipline in mind to keep up all these stages.
We also posted a blog post on why people buy things which is a good read if you want to know what your customers want. You can read more here.