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7-Step Sales Process

Posted on Monday, Jun 15th 2009

Those of you who attended my Sales Strategy roundtable last week, and asked for the 7-step sales process, here it is:

I like to break down the sales cycle into discrete steps. More broadly, there are two big phases in the sales cycle – a pilot or proof-of-concept phase, and a full-on sales phase, if the pilot is successful.

So, you have to first sell the pilot. For that, you need to first establish that the prospect has the pain to which you have a solution. This is step one.

Step two – you need to get the prospect to agree to test your solution, and set expectations about what he can expect if the trial is successful, and also gain his commitment on what you can expect if the trial is successful. Do not get yourself into an open-ended trial. It’s a great way to qualify a prospect by engaging in this expectation setting dialog.

Step three – presumably you have had a successful trial. Now ensure that the client is happy with the results. If he is, then you can ask for what he promised you.

Step Four – objection handling. Prospects always have objections. You have to tackle them.

Step Five – managing the politics of the account. May be you have a complex sales cycle. Other people in the organization need to be sold. You need to identify who are the influencers in the sales cycle, and make sure they are all on board, in collaboration with your primary champion.

Step Six – financial negotiation.

Step Seven – the close.

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Well said. It’s straight forward and simple, meaning directly to the point. Thank you for sharing this great process.

Andy Telles Monday, June 15, 2009 at 5:53 PM PT

Wow great strategy!

Kannan Monday, June 15, 2009 at 8:44 PM PT

good points .

srinivas Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 5:21 AM PT

good one, we all are aware of this basic things, before starting a sale process if one reads and apply the above fundas, would be very helpful

metric Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 10:11 AM PT

Very informational. Though it appears to be known process, streamlining them is important as mentioned in the article

ravi Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 2:37 AM PT

Care to comment on the 80/20 sales rule? Qualified sales people know the process yet the 80/20 rule still applies:

One of my most hit blogs by the way, it is a real problem, especially for emerging companies.

Daniel Nenni Wednesday, June 17, 2009 at 7:27 AM PT