Converting leads into customers is impossible with a chaotic sales strategy. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding and competition is getting higher. That's why you shall build a sales process – a detailed guide that outlines how to close a successful deal.
According to statistics, 83% of sales reps don't meet their quota. Additionally, data shows that 81% of sales and marketing teams don't update their sales processes due to time constraints. Coincidence? Unlikely.
In this article, let's understand the 7 sales process steps that will help you convert early-stage leads into customers.
Among the key steps are:
- Make Contact
- Qualify Compatibility
- Analyze Needs
- Deliver Proposal
At Redtag, we assist businesses in increasing the level of successful deals by guiding them to choose the best Salesforce options at every step.
So, let's explore how to get more benefits from each step of the sales process.
Step 1. Make Contact: Find the relevant leads and keep them interested
The success of any sales process begins with the crucial first step: making contact with customers.
40% of sales managers believe prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales cycle. Identifying and reaching out to potential clients takes time and effort. Moreover, they always have to deal with rejections, encountering prospects who are not interested, unresponsive, or outright dismissive of your outreach.
Among the most effective platforms for finding new leads, sales professionals name Facebook (67%), LinkedIn (63%), and Instagram (62%). You may also look for them at conferences relevant to your industry. Another effective way to get new contacts is by asking existing loyal clients if they know someone who might be interested in your product.
Before making contact, take the time to research your prospects thoroughly. Understand their needs, pain points, industry, and any recent developments that may be relevant. This information will enable you to tailor your approach and engage in a more meaningful conversation.
Your first interaction should grab your prospect's attention and make them interested in learning more. Craft a concise, compelling introduction that clearly communicates who you are and how your product can benefit them.
Step 2. Qualify Compatibility: Make sure your solution is fit for customer
If a potential customer has expressed curiosity about your offer, focus on engaging him in further interaction with you. At this stage, the sales manager's goal is to determine the needs, budget, timeline, and other factors of cooperation.
To achieve this, use the following questions:
- What challenges does your business face?
- How do you see your ideal outcome of our interaction?
- What metrics do you want to reach and what issues do you want to address?
- Who will be involved in the decision-making process for a solution like this?
Understand the prospect's budget constraints and whether they can afford your solution. It's crucial to align your product or service with their financial capabilities.
Avoid discussing pricing too early in the process; instead, focus on the value and benefits your solution can provide. Once you've established compatibility, you can address pricing more effectively.
Step 3. Analyze Needs: Recognize the prospects' priorities
It is essential for the sales manager to listen to prospects thoroughly, ask clarifying questions, and in no way insist on a purchase. The objective of the third step is to build trust and show by examples how your product solves the challenges the customer faces.
For this purpose, you can ask the questions:
- What services do you currently use and what do you like about them?
- What existing solutions cause difficulties and require improvement?
- What do you pay attention to when choosing a solution for your business?
- What other products are you considering?
- How do you think our product can better address your needs than your current solution?
To collect and analyze data, use Salesforce as a powerful CRM platform. It provides a centralized repository for managing contact and account information. You can keep details like company size, industry, location, and contact history. This data is critical for segmenting your client base, developing marketing campaigns, and personalizing sales outreach.
Identifying the needs of your customers is a fundamental step in the sales process and lays the foundation for delivering a tailored solution. Salesforce's customization and reporting capabilities are invaluable tools in this process. Explore customization features, data segmentation for targeted marketing, advanced reporting, and detailed analytics to build strong customer relationships and drive business growth.
Step 4. Pitch: Showcase your solution
It's time to accumulate all insights from previous interactions and provide a presentation of your solution to a prospect. Yes, it could be the most time-consuming part of the sales process. Additionally, it's the most crucial for the success of the deal.
Analyze all the information you've received so far about the challenges, budget, needs, expectations and provide a solution that meets all the criteria.
Key tips to maximize the impact of your pitch:
- Use storytelling to illustrate the benefits of your product. Implement Salesforce's CRM features for managing and presenting case studies to strengthen the pitch.
- If possible, offer a product demonstration or provide samples. Visual aids can help leads better understand your offering.
- Tailor your pitch to each prospect's unique needs. Avoid using a one-size-fits-all approach. Salesforce provides several features and integrations that can assist in creating personalized sales materials to enhance your sales efforts. By leveraging customer data, segmentation, email templates, document generation, and AI-driven personalization, you can interact with prospects in a highly impactful way.
Step 5. Deliver Proposal: Offer the best option
Depending on the needs of the company, there are different Contact Management Systems (CMS). One of the most popular are traditional CRM and cloud solutions.
Clearly articulate the prospect's pain points and challenges in the proposal. Show a deep understanding of their needs. Describe how your product or service addresses these pain points.
Focus on outcomes rather than features. For instance, instead of saying, "Our software has X features," say, "Our software will save your team Y hours per week, increasing productivity."
At this stage, it's the right time for a sales team to discuss delivery time or product implementation, pricing, onboarding, and other factors related to a successful purchase.
Step 6. Negotiate: Overcome objections and create a win-win deal
Very rarely the negotiation process goes seamlessly and the prospective client has no objections during the sales cycle. The challenge for a sales rep at this stage of the negotiation is to smooth out the edges and provide evidence of why the proposed solution will best meet the prospect's goals.
The client may ask for a discount – do not rush to reduce the price immediately. Statistics indicate that if you agree to lower the price, your chances of closing the deal drop by 17%.
Instead, make sure the prospect realizes your product's significance and benefits for his business. This can include ROI projections, cost savings estimates, or productivity improvements. Offer a clear roadmap or plan for how the customer can implement your solution and achieve his objectives. If appropriate, suggest a proof of concept or a trial period where the prospect can test your product in their own environment. This hands-on experience can demonstrate the value firsthand.
Then, try to negotiate additional services if you can provide them. This could be technical support for a certain period of time, faster delivery, or installment payments.
Step 7. Close the Deal: Collaboration doesn't finish with a successful sale
You've done a remarkable job, and now your lead is getting converted into a customer. However, at this stage he may also have doubts, so if the client asks for time to think - give him this opportunity and avoid pressure.
To encourage a quicker decision, you shall remind prospects that the special offer is valid for a limited amount of time. Also at this stage, again, emphasize the key benefits of the product and why it's not worth delaying your purchase.
It is a mistake to end the interaction with the customer immediately after a successful transaction. Always ask after a while if the product was delivered, how the onboarding went, and offer additional help if needed.
After a few more months, check whether the customer is happy with the solution and what results have already been achieved. Be friendly and sincere, because further upsell and cross-sell opportunities depend on how close your communication is.
Each of the seven steps of the sales process impacts the success of the deal. So focus on personalizing the customer's journey, highlighting the product’s benefits, listening carefully to objections, and working through them.
Discover how Redtag’s team can help you maximize Salesforce’s value, boost sales process, and deliver an outstanding experience for each customer.