The sales cycle involves following up on every prospect: if you drop the ball at any stage, you are far more likely to lose the deal. Using CRM to manage the sales cycle can make your team into an efficient selling machine.
1. Prospecting Leads
The prospecting process involves finding potential customers. A good starting point is to target people likely to become customers: for example, if you are selling cameras and filming equipment, you will want to target production companies, photographers and videographers. You can use social networks, such as LinkedIn and Facebook groups to find people who meet your target market. Also, remember to contact people who your site and leave their contact details.
You can organize your leads in your CRM, by using a list view of all potential customers. You can apply filters to view specific leads – for example, leads with tasks attached that are due for that day, leads with no tasks attached to them, and leads in a specific category such as their location and business type.
2. Initial Contact
Once you have a list of sales leads, you need to get in touch with them – this is usually in the form of a sales call or an email. At this stage, you need to educate them about the benefits of your product or service, rather than simply describing its features. Make sure to show your awareness of the needs of the market: for example, Breezz provides services to small businesses, and we know that many small businesses need to speed up and increase their sales. Make sure to give prospects the opportunity to ask questions, and offer support and guidance.
At this point you need to work out if this lead has the possibility to lead to a sale. Qualified leads have sufficient funds and authority to make the purchase, and show a need for and interest in the product or service – you can find out the best way to qualify a lead in the article How to Qualify Leads: BANT and Beyond.
4. Present an Offer
The sales presentation is crucial: when you make an offer to a lead, you need to emphasize just how you can solve their problems and fulfill their needs. In this way, you can use the information about the lead that you gathered during the qualification stage. The most important thing to present is your company’s value proposition, and what differentiates you from the rest: let the lead know what you can do for them. Here at Breezz, we emphasize how our platform is the key to a productive and efficient sales process.
Your CRM will guide you through the sales cycle. When you progress a stage, track your progress by moving the deal up the sales pipeline, and create a task for the next stage.
5. Address Objections
If you’re lucky, the lead will accept your proposal without objection, however usually there is some negotiation involved in the sales process. If you work out in advance what a lead may object to – such as the price – and plan how to justify it, you can better manage the objections.
6. Close Deal
Having presented the reasons why the lead should make a purchase and answered their questions and objections, it’s time to go in for the sale. There are different selling techniques to employ at this stage but the most important thing to do is to be confident, convincing, and sufficiently direct – check out 5 tips for closing a deal.
7. Ask for Referrals
Ask people who have made purchases to refer you to someone or a company they know who could also benefit from your business. This is a great way to find prospects that are likely to qualify.