Worried that by deploying a structured sales environment you’ll be taking away your sales rep’s intuition and creativity when attempting to close a sale? Don’t be. Without a structured sales process, sales reps are required to rely entirely on their own resourcefulness and guesswork.
A structured sales environment provides sales reps with a roadmap and process to maximize sales opportunities. A study by Harvard Business Review shows that high-performing sales organizations employ a well-defined and structured sales process. A structured sales environment establishes proven processes and activities that enable sales reps to be more effective at seizing opportunities and closing sales.
What does a structured sales environment look like? Generally, it provides sales reps with an end-to-end sales process similar to the steps below:
The first step in a sales process is lead generation. Lead generation is the process of identifying the target market for your organization’s products or services. Once key demographics are known, sales reps can generate new leads through methods like cold calling, web or social media connections, current customer referrals, etc.
A qualified lead is a customer who has the desire or ability to buy the product or service the sales organization is providing. A sales rep can qualify a prospect by researching the customer, asking eligibility questions, identifying budget constraints or running a credit check. Qualifying leads enables sales reps to focus their sales efforts on customers who are most likely to buy.
Sales reps perform needs assessments as part of a consultative sales process in order to build a relationship with the customer and identify their requirements. A needs assessment can be completed by asking questions and conducting surveys. The assessment results allow the sales rep to tailor their sales pitch to the specific customer’s needs.
A sales pitch is an attempt by the sales rep to position a solution to the customers’ needs or requirements. The focus of the pitch should be on presenting customer solutions versus providing a product features overview. The sales rep should articulate how the product or service will meet the customer’s needs based on the previously completed assessment.
It’s common for customers to have hesitations or concerns, even after hearing a well-versed sales pitch. Good sales reps find ways to turn customer objections into opportunities. They complete this by asking follow-up questions to further understand and respond to the customer’s needs.
The sale closes once the sales rep and customer agree that the organization’s products or services will meet their needs. Closing the sale generally includes a mutual agreement on the terms of the sale and recording the close of the deal.
Support Post Sales
The sales process doesn’t end with the closing of a deal. Following up with the customer to assure customer satisfaction is key to retaining existing customers and finding new ones. While post-sales support may not be the primary role of a sales rep, it is a part of the overall sales process and a key to sales success.
Interested in a thorough evaluation of your organization's sales process? Need assistance creating a structured sales environment? HireDNA can complete an analysis of your sales environment and identify areas for improving and accelerating sales. Request a consult now and start seeing powerful results.
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