In this video, we present our sales training webinar on “How to Improve Your Control Over the Sales Process.” Here is a brief summary of what we discussed in this training session.
Sales Process Stages
The first thing that can help you with improving your control over the sales process is to have more clarity around the stages that you need to take the prospect through.
Regardless of how short or long your typical sales cycle is, there are clear steps to take a prospect through. Having more clarity about what these steps are will greatly improve your ability to successfully take prospects through your sales processes.
While every prospect is unique and every product can deserve a different process, there are some main steps that you can take a prospect through in the early part of your discussions:
At the very beginning of the sales process, there is the first interaction. It could be a cold call that you make, an email that you send, or meeting a prospect in person at some sort of event.
We try to think of one main step as an Appointment, and this is the first real conversation with a prospect.
Even though you have a brief conversation in the initial contact, in many cases, it is short, and usually, the only person interested in talking at that point is you. The appointment is where both parties are interested and agree to talk more, and it usually takes the shape of a 20 to 30-minute meeting where both parties can learn a little more about each other.
The third step in the sales process is what we call Presentation. This is where you might demonstrate your product, show a slide deck, or share information in one way or another.
There are some products that don’t really need a demonstration or presentation to be sold, and in those cases, this step might be the step of sharing a proposal or quote.
These stages can take many different shapes in terms of timing and duration. You can go through all three stages in one conversation in 10 to 20 minutes or you could spread these three steps across three separate conversations that span a period of multiple weeks.
Closing the Prospect
Managing sales processes is greatly impacted by your ability to close the prospect. But the key here is to become more aware of what you are closing the prospect on.
We can fall into the trap of only closing the prospect when it is time to close the sale. Or always trying to close the prospect for the sale at every stage of the sales cycle.
The reality is that you should be trying to close the prospect at every stage of the sales process, but the focus should be to close the prospect on moving to the next stage of the sales process.