Managing the Sales Cycle

What is a Sales Cycle ?

Sales cycle refers to the various processes which help the products reach the end users. Customers go through a sequence of activities before the product finally reaches them. Such activities are a part of the sales cycle.

A sales cycle has the following steps:

  1. Identifying Prospects

    • The first step in the sales cycle is to make a list of potential customers.

    • Try to gather as much data as you can. Ask your team members to visit markets, shopping malls, restaurants to map potential customers and collect information about them.

    • Placing canopies at strategic locations also invite potential customers.

    • A sales professional should ideally spend his maximum time outside office meeting people. Interact with as many individuals as you can.

    • Distribute questionnaires amongst the potential customers to know them better.

  2. Setting Appointments

    • The next step is to make the people aware of your product and its offerings.

    • Try to get in touch with the people. Call them and seek an appointment.

    • Don’t arrange meetings at your convenience.

    • Take his address and courier relevant information brochures beforehand for him to know more about your product and its benefits.

    • Marketers also depend on cold calls to inform the customers about their products and services. Don’t be after the individual’s life to fix an appointment.

    • Do take care of your pitch while speaking over the phone. Make your speech interesting. Don’t drag conversations.

  3. Know Your Customer Well

    • It really helps if you know something about your client before meeting him.

    • Try to gain some information about him from social networking sites like facebook, orkut, linked in, twitter and so on. These networking sites do give some information about the client which definitely helps in preparing the sales pitch.

    • Understand the customer’s needs and expectations from the product. Check whether the customer has the potential to purchase a particular product or not. There is no point selling an air-conditioner to someone whose monthly income is Rs 10000/-. Find out more about the background of the customer.

  4. Determine Client’s Solution

    • Suggest the right option for the customers. A sales representative must never lie to the customers. Say what your product actually offers.

    • It is unprofessional to make false commitments. Sit with the customer and help him with the best solutions. Don’t always think about your own targets and incentives. Think from the customer’s perspective as well. Don’t prompt him to buy something which you yourself feel is not right for him.

  5. Written Proposal/Document

    • Once the customer decides on the product, present a proposal to him with the proposed rates and other necessary terms and conditions.

  6. Negotiation Round

    • There should always be room for negotiation in deals. Don’t be too rigid. Negotiate with an open mind.

    • The customers should be aware of even the minutest details. For higher customer satisfaction, give him the best deal.

    • A sales professional should always aim to close the deal as soon as both the parties accept the terms and conditions.

  7. After Sales Service

    • Make sure customers are satisfied with your service.

    • Find out whether all his demands are fulfilled or not.

    • Be in touch with him even after the deal is over.

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