Sales Process

Commerce is now all about selling for sustainability over the long term. Every stage of life involves at least some sales for either monetary gain or some other value. College graduates might have to market their personality or their ability to get through an interview. 

Sales Process Sales Process

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Table of contents

    Every product or service may rely on sales at some point in order to gain profit. With the high level of competition and ever-changing market and demands, sellers may face difficulties. So how can one really get through the process of selling and crack the deal? Let's look at the sales process in greater detail in this explanation.

    Sales process definition

    Before looking at sales processes, let us first try to grasp the meaning of sales.

    Sales include any transaction where there are two parties, buyer and seller, who are involved in the exchange of goods and services in exchange for money or any other set value.

    The sales process is a sequence of activities that are predefined to convert a potential customer into a buying customer. This process defines the journey of a potential customer, from buying decisions, to approaching the customer, to closing the deal.

    Most organisations that sell a product or service have a similar set of sales processes, which we'll discuss later. However, the process may be altered to a certain extent as per the requirements of the organisation.

    Some benefits of having a sales process include:

    1. Smooth flow of work at the initial stage

    2. Training new staff made easier

    3. Better understanding and clarity among the team

    4. Easier reporting

    5. Easier filtering of leads on the basis of respective stages.

    Sales process flowchart

    A sales process flow chart is a series of activities an organisation may follow, starting with lead identification up to closing the deal.

    The sales process flowchart looks similar in most organisations. However, a few steps may be added or removed as part of the process. The basic sales process flowchart is shown below in Figure 1.

    Sales Process, Sales process flowchart, StudySmarterFigure 1. Sales Process Flowchart - StudySmarter

    As you can see in the above flowchart, the sales process involves identifying quality leads and assessing whether they are worth approaching. The next stage is to qualify them and prepare for the approach tactic.

    The salesperson then approaches the target customer and discusses their needs, offering an option that may suit the requirements of the customer. All of the customer's questions and concerns are answered.

    Eventually, if the customer makes the decision to buy, the deal is closed. If the customer is not satisfied, the salesperson may try another way out to close the deal.

    Sales process steps

    The sales process is not about only buying and selling. It involves a few steps which can help to close the deal easily rather than just focusing on the day-to-day running of the business. Figure 2 below shows the steps of the sales process. The steps involved in the sales process are:

    1. Prospecting: This is the first and foremost step in the sales process, in which the organisation tries to define prospective customers and closely match who may buy their product or service.

    1. Preparation: In this stage, the organisation or salesperson prepares for the first contact with the customer, researching and understanding their needs, reasons for buying, logic, and ability to afford the desired products or services.

    1. Approach: This is the first time the organisation/salesperson interacts with the prospective customer. The interaction may take place in person or virtually.

    1. Presentation: This stage is about demonstrating the product or presenting the service to the customers. This can also involve understanding customer needs and problem-solving.

    1. Handling objections: The customer may delay a decision or have queries, concerns, or objections before purchasing. At this stage of the process, the seller can help the customer make an informed decision, handle their queries and concerns, or find solutions.

    1. Closing and following up on the sales: This is when the customer has made a purchase decision or is about to make a purchase. Closing may involve offering substitutions, additional discounts, and so on, to crack the deal if the customer was not convinced thoroughly before this stage. After closing a sale, it is important to follow up with the customer to retain a professional relationship and ensure repeat purchases.

    Sales process management

    By implementing a sales process management system, an organisation can develop and implement a process that will enable them to achieve and surpass their sales targets. Sales process management includes identifying leads; qualifying the good leads and filtering away the bad ones; targeting the right leads with opportunities; forecasting sales; and reporting and managing these leads. Sales process management may involve setting up a sales team. This sales team, along with the sales manager, works on the multiple aspects of sales, as mentioned below:

    • Setting up the sales goals for the team

    • Deciding on the sales process strategies to achieve sales goal

    • Implementing sales strategies with the help of the sales team

    • Evaluating sales strategies and reporting on the results.

    Sales process management may include techniques like training the sales team, setting sales targets, creating feedback, and forecasting and tracking sales activity. This type of management may help the organisation to understand where they are standing in terms of targets, who is performing better, who may need more re-skilling, and how leads can be further refined.

    Sales process management is made possible by sales management tools, which may include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools or social media marketing tools.

    Examples of sales process

    Let's take the example of Fossil Watches.

    The customer entering the watch section of the mall and checking the watches is already a prospective target for the organisation.

    The Fossil salesperson, who may have prepared a kind of sales speech, may approach a customer and assess their requirements. The salesperson gauges all the necessary information and makes a decision as to whether the customer could be a prospective buyer or not.

    Accordingly, they present various options for Fossil watches to the customer, matching their requirements, budget, and style.

    At this stage, the customer tries to choose, but is confused and is not able to make a decision. The salesperson helps the customer to resolve all his concerns about warranties and address reservations about the price.

    The customer is still not able to finalize the purchase, hence the salesperson offers a closing deal of 10% discount on the immediate purchase and three months extended warranty at the same price.

    This excites the customer, who purchases the Fossil watch. The customer's details are collected to retain a long-term relationship and send future offers.

    The sales process is fundamental to almost every organisation, as it eventually leads to profit. It is a series of activities that allows the seller to sell the goods/services in exchange for monetary value and convert the prospective buyer into buying customer.

    Sales process management helps the organisation work out the best possible options for them to convert leads, and also work out any failures during all the stages of the process. Even though the basic structure of the sales process remains similar across organisations, it can be altered according to organisational need.

    Sales process - Key takeaways

    • Sales include any transaction where there are two parties, buyers and sellers, who are involved in the exchange of goods and services in exchange for money or any other set value.
    • The sales process is a sequence of pre-defined activities to convert the potential customer into a buying customer. It defines the journey of potential customers, including the intial approach, buying decisions, and closing the deal.
    • Some benefits of having a sales process:
      1. Smooth flow of work at the initial stage

      2. Training the new staff becomes easier if the sales process is in place

      3. Better understanding and clarity among the team

      4. Easy reporting

      5. Easy filtering of leads on the basis of respective stages.

    • A sales process flow chart is a series of activities an organisation may follow, from the lead identification to closing the deal. Typically, the sales process flowchart may more or less look similar in all organisations, but steps may be added or removed as part of the process.

    • Sales process management includes identifying the leads, qualifying good leads and filtering away bad ones, targeting the right leads with opportunities, forecasting sales, and reporting and managing leads.

    • The following are the steps that are involved in the sales process.

      1. Prospecting

      2. Preparing

      3. Approach

      4. Presentation

      5. Handling objections

      6. Closing and follow-up.

    Sales Process Sales Process
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    Frequently Asked Questions about Sales Process

    What is sales process definition?

    Sales include any transaction where there are two parties, buyer and seller, who are involved in the exchange of goods and services in exchange for money or any other set value. 

    what is an example of sales process? 

    A customer visits a footwear brand outlet and looks at the available options. The salesman gets the customer's approval for the demo and informs him further about the product. Once the decision is made, the salesman closes the sale. 

    What is sales process flow chart?

    A sales process flow chart is a series of activities an organisation may follow, starting with lead identification up to closing the deal.  

    What is sales process management 

    Through a sales process management system, an organisation can develop and implement a process that will enable them to achieve and surpass their sales targets. Sales process management includes identifying leads; qualifying the good leads and filtering away the bad ones; targeting the right leads with opportunities; forecasting sales; and reporting and managing these leads.

    What are the stages in sales process?

    The stages in the sales process are:

    Prospecting, preparation, approach, presentation, handling objections, closing, and following up on the sales. 

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    Approach is the first time when the organisation/salesperson comes face-to-face with the customers

    Follow-up stage in sales process stages is not at all important

    The sales process cannot be altered as per the organisation's need and should follow a pre-defined process

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