“It’s not about having the right opportunities. It’s about handling the opportunities right.” -Mark Hunter
It’s important to remember that every sales cycle differs, depending on your sales person and the people they are selling to. At its base, a sales cycle is nothing more than a repeatable, series of steps that can be mapped out to track interaction with your prospects. These steps allow you to pinpoint the first interaction with your business all the way through to the close.
There are 5 basic steps to account for in EVERY single sales cycle, regardless of the amount of time a prospect spends in each of them. Drilling into them will help you make sure you don’t lose anyone on their journey to becoming a client.
- Lead Generation. This is one of the easiest steps for your sales person, putting together a list of leads, or as some call it, a prospecting list. They may do this using outbound methods, their own network or inbound marketing. Once you’ve made the list you then have to go through it and decide who meets the criteria you’ve put together. This is where having solid buyer personas come in.
- Qualifying. This is crucial. You don’t want to waste money and time on pursuing an individual who is not ideal for your company. Ask yourself if the company in question has a need for your services. Do they have the budget? If not, move on. If you are unsure, it doesn’t hurt to have a discovery call, but use the call to quickly drill down on whether or not you’d be a good fit.
- Value Sell. Now that you’ve qualified the lead and reached out and they seem interested, it’s time to show off. Show this prospect what your solutions are and how they can assist the prospect in reaching their goals. If you fall down here, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll lose the sale.
- Trusted Advisor to Prospects. You’ve dazzled the prospect with the value your services can add to their company and now you’ve have to dazzle them as they voice their objections and questions. This is where you set the stage for the delivery of the product and the relationship with the client moving forward. You must be able to handle the prospect’s objections and help them to understand why they need you. If you can do this, you will leave with the sale.
- Deliver and Support. You may have made the sale, but the relationship doesn’t end there. You’ve got to make sure you deliver what was promised and make sure that you keep an open line of communication with your new client. Set up a quarterly business review, to check on the progress and open the path to upsell other services.
This is a very basic breakdown of the sales cycle. You can add more steps or break these steps down into even more detail, either way it all depends on you and knowing your sales cycle. As always if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below or, reach out to us at 518-694-4044.