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.