Selling Stages: Simplify your sales process and close more deals

Selling Stages

Shorten your “selling stages” and simplify your sales workflow.

Many of the leading CRMS will provide you with a wealth of business intelligence to help stay on top of your sales pipeline and give you a deeper perspective into the activities conducted by your sales team. In fact, in some cases it could be too much insight or overkill, having you decipher so much business intelligence your overlooking the basics or the obvious. When you look too closely at the wallpaper you can’t see the pattern.

Don’t get me wrong; the more analytics you can draw from your business, the better decisions you’ll be able to make, assuming your versed in understanding what to look for and your interest in your data is routine so you can record patterns, irregularities, trends and so on. Consistent monitoring of KPIs and reports are instrumental in understanding your data.

Two key criteria that are at the heart of every sales process are the Selling Stage and the Buying Stage, or to be more specific; where the customer is in your selling process and when you are in their buying process. Each company has their own Selling Stages and Buying Stages that are based on a number of factors, such as sales cycle, products and services, manufacturing and distribution lead times and so on. But despite your business and selling process, regardless of how you label these stages in your CRM one thing is consistent- All Selling Stages have a start and end point and all Buying Stages will prioritize which prospects deserve immediate attention.

Selling Stages

As a sales rep, from your first conversation with a lead, it’s your challenge and responsibly to qualify the prospect’s interest and overall needs and them guide them through toward a closed deal. Defining selling stages adds structure to your sales process and creates a common funnel that you can try and steer each prospect through. The better control you have over your selling stages, the more likely you are to close the deal. In fact, as many successful sales reps will share, you should have complete control over your selling process, you need to command the relationship, and always plan the next move for you and the prospect. Using Selling Stages will help you stay the course every time and develop a habitual track that is sure to increase your close ratio, by becoming more organized within your own sales process.

Define your selling stages

Selling stages have activities that include a beginning, middle and an end. When establishing your selling stages, it’s in your best interest to have as few as possible. More stages and more options will confuse and prolong your says process and as they say, “time kills all deals”. It’s also best to share your sells process with your prospect, so they have an idea of what to expect up front. This is another way you will take control of the sale.

1. Qualify.

Not every prospect is an ideal fit. The more you understand about your prospect’s needs, the better you have a chance of closing the business. If you’re not a right match, then it’s in your best interest to avoid the aggravation of dealing with an unhappy customer. The quick question (and hopefully obvious one) is, do you solve the prospects problem? If yes, move to the next round.

2. Presentation

Once you determine you’re a good fit, prove it. Show your prospect you understand their pain points and demonstrate how your product or service can add value by solving their problems and producing added benefits.

3. Draft Proposal

Sometimes pricing is straight forward, but sometimes options need to be considered, especially in consultative selling.  Produce draft pricing, estimates and options and then review them clearly with your prospect. This will give you the opportunity to achieve to very important activities in your selling process. 1) When presenting options you’ll better set expectations, and 2) You’re letting your customer determine their price point and solution, they feel in control in the pricing process, because you are giving them a choice in their purchasing. Just make sure you continue to command the selling process.

4. Final Proposal

Based on the results and decisions finalized in the draft pricing process you now present the prospect with the arrangement they chose and they’re ready to seal the deal with you.

5. Close

Your final selling stage ends with the prospects commitment to buy. They sign the deal and the sales order is initiated.

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