A process can be defined as “a series of actions or phases useful to make or achieve something”. It implies progress towards a desired final goal. Every phase of the process is equally important and consequently if one of them is carried out improperly or neglected, the final result will be unsatisfactory.
Sales people who apply a sales process, increase their chances of success by being more effective in three vital areas:
- first, they have a stronger impact on clients that means they are able to find more (possible) qualified clients and they know how to influence them more to convince them to buy;
- second, they have greater skills which is reflected in a higher rate of sales closure;
- third, they have developed personal management techniques that allow them to increase their prime selling time.
Without the support of a process a seller can have difficulty managing the various elements of the sale. Here are some useful questions to verify the effectiveness of your sales process.
- Is equal attention given to each phase of the process or does over focusing on one phase in particular lead to the exclusion of others?
- Is there sufficient and adequate market research to find and reach potential clients?
- Is enough and correct follow-up activity carried out after sending a quote?
- Are clients’ files updated regularly and continually during the negotiation progress after each appointment with a client?
If a seller analyzes their activities as sellers, they will be able to identify the behaviour and abilities that favour the obtaining of an order. In particular:
- the quality of the relationship established with the client;
- the ability to ask the client the right questions to discover their needs regarding the products sold;
- the ability to influence the client in “seeing” the benefits of the product presented;
- the level of efficiency when using the telephone to obtain an appointment;
- the way of conducting the sales interview, including the ability to listen and be silent so as not to fall into a monologue.
The sale is also influenced by the beliefs of the seller and by the trust they place in their talents, abilities and knowledge, strengthened by the style they have developed when dealing with clients. All of this, without forgetting the motivation, the capacity to give the necessary energy to carry out the functional “tasks” to obtain the sale.
Adopting a sales process goes against the myth of the seller’s freedom and creativity and clashes with the cliché that “every sale is different” and the consequent presumption “anyway, I’ll find a solution”. The first advantage that a seller has from the adoption of a sales process is an increase in sales, as having a process makes it possible to monitor the individual phases, identify any errors made, correct wrong behaviour and to strengthen weak aspects.
At this point, someone is probably asking themselves, is there an ideal sales process? What is the most effective sales process? If you look up the expression “sales process” on the web, you will find many definitions ranging from five to seven phases. One of the most popular sales processes is the following:
- Meeting and qualification of the client (identification of needs and implications)
- Demonstration of the product (presentation of the solution)
- Management of objections
- Negotiation of the conditions of sale
- Request for the order
- Customer management / After sales (for future orders)
In the next part, we will see how to adapt this process to the selling of window and door systems, by analyzing each individual phase.