Most sales processes involve the same key steps: conducting target audience research, generating leads, scheduling meetings and submitting proposals. The best sales processes go beyond these basic steps and aim to establish credibility and build trust. According to Bob Musial, a business development coach and facilitator, once these two bases are covered, revenue gets generated.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share insight from Musial on the eight steps that the best sales processes should include.

1. Qualification. This stage involves analyzing research to better understand prospect behavior and buying patterns. Musial says inbound marketing, content marketing and social media can help generate qualified leads, which can reduce cold calling and shorten the sales cycle.

2. Preparation. Musial points out that preparation should be ongoing. Your sales reps should understand the competitive landscape and challenges your prospects may face. This helps your sales team address the prospect’s challenges and show how your products or services meet their needs.

3. Approach. This step in the sales process is when you apply the knowledge you gained in previous steps to start framing more substantial interactions. It’s where you make your first contact after the lead is qualified, says Musial. Whether you meet with the prospect on a video call or in person, the goal is to intrigue them to want a more thorough presentation.

4. Presentation. Reaching this step means that you have successfully completed the steps above. Now, it’s time to show the prospect exactly what you can do for them. While it’s helpful to rehearse key points of your presentation, you don’t want to sound stilted. Presenting is an art form, notes Musial, and it’s also a way to build credibility and establish trust.

5. Realization. Musial says this is the step where your agreed-upon client needs-based analysis and quantified value benefits are clearly laid out and justified. Your sales reps should be able to definitively demonstrate what they can do for the prospect—supported by legitimate figures.

6. Obligation. According to Musial, when you win the business, you are obligated to deliver on what you proposed and what the client agreed to. This step comes down to integrity. Do what you say you are going to do.

7. Communication. Another important step in the sales process involves communicating regularly with both internal and external contacts. Be sure to use your CRM system, Musial says. That’s what it’s for.

8. Continuation. Musial says that this step of the sales process is often overlooked, even though it contains hidden revenue-generating opportunities. By neglecting to reinforce value, organizations miss opportunities to justify the client’s decision, often making them lose out on referrals and upsell business.

It might be worth taking a fresh look at your sales process. If your sales reps generally improvise, having some structure can help them see what is coming next. Start with your prospect in mind and then follow the steps above to design the most successful sales process.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Bob Musial is a business development coach and facilitator.