The sales process is the method a sales professional, or sales organization, uses to find, sell to and retain customers, according to the Small Business Notes website. The sales process acts as the bridge between the client and the company. To create an effective sales process, you need to understand the objectives of using and creating a sales method.
The initial phases of a good sales process involve generating and qualifying quality leads. Lead generation can be done by randomly contacting prospects fitting the company's target audience, by putting out marketing that draws the target audience to the company through Internet email lists and phone numbers prospects can call for more information. The leads are then qualified by matching them up with prospect criteria set by the marketing group, and then through direct phone calls to the prospect. The objective of this is to add a constant flow of qualified leads that sales people can call on to increase revenue.
The sales process is geared towards solving the customer's problem with your company's products or services. The objective of this customer service oriented approach is to create an ongoing business relationship with the client that results in recurring revenues. Repeat business is the basis for the growth of any company. The use of the sales process to instill confidence in the client helps to generate a positive feeling towards your company and results in recurring revenue.
A good sales process is designed to sustain itself through client referrals. When you take the time to listen to the customer's needs and craft a solution that makes the client happy, you can then move to one of the final stages of the sales process which is asking for referrals. It can be something as direct as asking for the names of five people or companies you can call on that the customer feels would benefit from your product, or it can be an ongoing process where you supply your clients with your business cards and ask the clients to give the cards out.
To retain a client, there needs to be a focus on customer service. An effective sales process collects the information necessary to create a strong customer service profile for each client. As you sell into an account, you begin to learn the features that a client considers important and the business aspects that customers feel strongest about. For example, in the course of continuing the sales process with a client you will find out that the client values maintaining present equipment over upgrading. That information is valuable when equipment breaks down and a customer service representative has to choose between offering a repair to the client or a replacement model.
- sales manager checking the sales image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com