Contrary to what many people think, selling well is not an extraordinary gift, but the result of acquired skills, experience, technical knowledge and planning. But sometimes, even veteran salespeople hustle and try to close their deals without going through all the necessary stages.
With that in mind, we explain everything you need to know in order to sell more with 7 sales steps: a fundamental way for the customer to realize the value of the product or service you are offering them. Interested? Keep following the post!
What are the advantages of a structured sales process?
In any area of activity, professionals who follow good work processes tend to be more successful – and the sales segment is no different.
Have method turbines the results of any salesperson. Knowing and respecting the 7 sales steps makes you organize your routine, know which page is with each customer and avoid getting hit when closing your deals.
Another advantage is the opportunity to create a trust relationship with prospects and customers. When the time comes to hit the hammer, the negotiation flows more naturally and does not seem forced, since there was all the planning up to that moment.
This makes the conversion rate, that is, the number of closed deals is greater. After all, you approached each customer in a personalized way and sought to know and meet their needs, essential factors to conduct successful negotiations, whatever the type of sale practiced.
>> Do you want to go deeper into the world of sales? Check out this other blog post: What is sales seasonality? Learn how to calculate <
What are the 7 steps of the sales process?
The 7 sales stages are a way for the customer to know the value and benefits of the product offered before the final negotiation. Are they:
- first offer;
- follow up;
- after sales.
Next, find out more details about each of these steps.
The prospecting stage consists of drawing up a list of possible stakeholders in your product or service, whether made for other companies or for the final consumer.
These potential customers are called leads, which must be worked through the 7 sales steps to become effectively consumers.
To do this, you need to design the customer profile that your company wants to achieve. If your audience is companies, define the industry, size, number of employees and the billing of your possible buyers, among other characteristics.
If your targets are natural persons, the profile is divided into two groups:
- demographic profile: data such as age, gender, profession and marital status;
- behavioral profile: values, beliefs, personal tastes, day-to-day activities, etc.
With all of this mapped, it is possible to create one or more personas that represent the profile of their buyers, facilitating the search for potential customers.
There are several ways to raise contacts to build a good list, such as surveys, searches on social networks, government statistics and even triggering your own network of relationships.
An increasingly used strategy for generating leads is the content marketing. In a nutshell, this practice consists of offering valuable and free content for people who fit the desired profile, asking in return only for the email address.
This is the gateway to start connecting with these leads and guiding them through the sales funnel, until the time comes to offer the product and close the deal.
The second of the 7 sales steps is the lead qualification. In a list of prospects, not everyone will really be willing to hear more about what you have to say. As much as your research has been well done, only by contacting the person will it be possible to find out whether or not they are a potential customer.
At this stage, it is time to make a first poll, with no intention of selling. In an empathetic way, check if the person would have the interest, financial conditions and decision-making power to close a purchase with you. It is a way to filter your lead list and focus only on the most promising opportunities.
It all comes down to asking the right questions. For this, a good tip is to use the SPIN technique:
- Situation: open-ended questions that reveal the client's context and the general situation he seeks to resolve;
- Problem: more detailed questions, which reveal specific problems that must be resolved by the buyer;
- Implication: discover the cause and consequence relationship: what will happen if that person does not solve the problem;
- Necessity: what does the customer need to resolve the situation? How does your solution meet this need?
If you manage to evolve that first conversation within that spectrum, the lead in question will actually be a potential customer. But be calm: it’s not yet time to make a business proposal. There are some important steps to take before that.
3. First offer
In this stage, the first contact with sales intention. Now that you've discovered the customer's pains and how your solution can help them, show them the benefits of the product.
But, for now, avoid talking about price or going into details about the offer, giving priority to showing how it can bring value to the person.
Depending on the type of product and the customer's need, it may be that he is interested and already wants to close the purchase at this moment, but that must come from him. If he is not yet inclined to buy, do not force the bar. After all, this is only the third of the 7 sales steps.
4. Follow up
The follow up is perhaps the biggest challenge among the 7 sales stages, as many salespeople sin in this part. This job consists of maintaining continuous contact after the first offer, whether by phone, e-mail or personal visits. But how to do this without being boring?
Firstly, never make excessive contacts. Respect a calendar, do not pack the person's mailbox and give them room to breathe. Otherwise, her interest in your solution may disappear, becoming a nuisance.
It is also essential always have something important to say in the follow up, so that the contact is not empty. A good tip is to provide valuable content via email, such as articles, e-books and other rich materials that can help the customer solve their problems and learn more about your product.
Now that the customer is aware of their own problems and how their solution can help them, it's time to negotiate.
At this stage, their interest in closing a deal is already explicit, giving space for a conversation about conditions, prices, terms and other details.
To be successful, the salesperson must create a favorable climate. Be friendly and helpful to answer questions, without adopting an aggressive or challenging tone, which could make a bad impression.
Before the chat, draw a boundary how far you can lower your conditions. Do not give up the game without a fight, but retreat as far as your goals allow, if necessary. Do not show anxiety and never give anything away without getting something in return.
Try to hear more than talk and show, step by step, with the solution will help the customer and what difficulties he may face if he does not close the purchase.
We arrived at the most anticipated of the 7 sales stages: closing. When the proposal is aligned, with good conditions for both sides, it is time to prepare the signature of the contract.
Summarize everything that has been agreed slowly, so that there is no doubt, and write a document in writing, ensuring legal certainty for all involved.
Gold tip: if at that stage the person still shows indecision, have reserved a final concession, which is not very relevant to you. Thus, it will be possible to add this detail to what has already been agreed and make a tempting offer to close the deal.
7. After sales
Despite being neglected by many sellers, the after sales it is just as important as the other 7 sales steps.
After closing the deal, wait a few days and contact us to find out if the customer is satisfied or had a problem with the purchase. If he needs help, be helpful and resolve the situation as soon as possible.
This makes the customer even more satisfied, which counts many points for your image as a salesperson. With that, you builds customer loyalty and leaves the door open for him to make new purchases in the future.
In addition, an efficient after-sales service is the key to winning new customers by referral, further improving the results of your business.
We have reached the end of our guide on how to structure your negotiations. Now, put everything you've learned into practice and sell more with the 7 sales steps! Keep in mind that they are all equally important in closing successful contracts, and that skipping any of these phases can put you at a loss.
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