While you never know how a conversation will go with a prospect, there are still some things you can do to build out an inside sales process that your sales reps can use and try to take a prospect through.
In this short video, we outline three key steps to an inside sales process and this is part of a longer sales training webinar that we hosted on “How to Structure Your Inside Sales Process”.
Three Sales Process Stages
We believe there are three sales process stages that your reps can take a prospect through.
1. Initial Contact
The first stage is Initial Contact. This is the first time that the inside salesperson and prospect speak or interact. This may be a cold call in a lot of cases, but it could also be an email exchange.
In this first interaction, the amount of time to work with is very brief. It could be two to five minutes if speaking over the phone. If this is an email exchange, the prospect’s attention is limited so you may only have a couple of sentences to work with.
What is said in the initial contact is a whole other subject. But from an inside sales process, the key thing here is that the goal of this stage is not to sell the product – it is to close the prospect on moving to the next step in the sales process.
The next step in the inside sales process is Appointment and this is where the sales rep and prospect will have more time and attention allowing them to talk in a little more detail.
The appointment could either take place on a phone call or in an in-person meeting. In most cases, the appointment will get scheduled in the initial contact and take place at a different time, but it could work out that the appointment sales process stage actually takes place at the same time as an initial contact interaction.
There are some benefits to scheduling the appointment for another day as it will usually provide the salesperson more time and attention. But there are also some situations where it might make sense to just try to get to the appointment stage at the same time as connecting with a prospect on a cold call.
Similar to the Initial Contact stage, the goal of the Appointment stage is to get the prospect to agree to move to the next stage in the sales process.
The next stage in the sales process is Presentation. In a lot of situations, this is where you present how you can help the prospect (your product or solution). That could be a demonstration or a showing a slide deck.
In some cases, a salesperson might sell a very simple product and there is not a lot to present or show. In that case, this step in the inside sales process may be more of a presentation of a quote or proposal.