Are you meeting your sales goals as you want to? Are you seeing the expected & consistent growth in your sales? Building genuine customer relationships?
If you answered “yes” to the above questions, congratulations!
If not, you’re probably not satisfied with your sales results, and this article is everything your sales team would need.
Companies that have a strategic & defined sales process tend to see 18% revenue growth and is the exact reason why you should start working on it.
If I try to simplify the term “Sales cycle” it is no less than the heart of a business. It’s how you gain customers, retain them and build a long-term relationship with them.
What is a Sales Cycle?
The sales cycle is a process that your sales team follows to convert a prospect into a potential customer. This includes everything, lead generation to closing a deal and sometimes even after-sales process to build effective customer relationships.
The steps of the sales cycle may vary from industry to industry or company to company but there may not be a huge difference.
The steps in your sales cycle must include:
- Finding Leads
- Qualifying the leads
- Connecting with the leads
- Making an offer/ Pitching
- Addressing the Objections
- Following Up
- Closing the deal
Not all businesses would need to follow all the steps but these steps are enough for every type of business. We will discuss all the steps in-depth further in this blog.
Why a Sales Cycle is Essential for Your Business?
A sales cycle is a framework that every business should follow and if your sales team does not have an understanding of how sales work then it may get challenging to be successful at sales.
Let’s say your sales team skipped a step from the sales cycle, they skipped the “researching” part of the sales cycle. Now what, you found the lead, qualified them but did not research of what they exactly want from your offerings. It’s important to know the needs of your prospects to get the sale.
So, every step has its own importance and is the exact reason why every business needs a sales cycle.
Let’s discuss each step of the sales cycle in-dept so you could apply them all in an effective way.
1. Finding/ Generating Leads
The very first step is to find people that may be interested in your offerings and someone who has the budget to make a purchase. Do the market research, know your target audience, and identify the people who will be interested in your products/ services.
Generating leads might be challenging but there are several ways you can do it.
- Cold outreach by finding email addresses of your prospects via LinkedIn with Aeroleads and generate genuine leads.
- Ask your website visitors for their email addresses.
- Engage with your audience on social media platforms.
- Drop newsletter along with your blogs posts.
- Ask for referrals from your existing customers.
These are some of the ways you can utilize to generate leads for your sales cycle.
2. Qualifying the Leads
Qualifying leads simply means understanding if both the parties (you and your prospect) can collaborate or not. Is the prospect interested in your offerings? Do they have the budget to make a purchase? Are they willing to make a purchase?
This step will help you understand the needs of your prospect better so you prioritize the prospects accordingly.
Prospects have their own needs & wants and as a brand, it’s your responsibility to research their needs and meet those needs.
But how do I Perform the research?
Check their social media pages and see what they are sharing and talking about. Aeroleads offers more than 15 data points like full name, designation, location, etc of your prospects.
Depending on the size of the deal, the sales reps should focus on spending some time to convince the prospect. But remember, don’t over-research as it’s as bad as not researching at all.
4. Connecting with Leads
Once you have built your prospect list with Aeroleads via LinkedIn, the next step is reaching out to your prospects. Send them an email or reach out to them via a networking site with the details of your product/services.
This process may take some time as your prospect will review your newsletter and then respond. But you can reach out directly by scheduling a free product demo or a free trial of your services.
Make sure you reach out with creativity
5. Making an Offer
If the above steps go well, you’ll need to create an offer for your prospect that includes everything. Pricing, product/ service, etc should be covered and you need to convince your prospect that your product will solve their pain points.
The offer/ proposal should be crystal clear to avoid any future miscommunication. This is the step where you’re actually going to sell your offerings to your prospect so be clear yet creative.
6. Addressing the Objections
Before you close the deal, you’ll have to address the objections of your prospects, and remember, this step is very crucial in closing the deal.
Addressing objections of your prospects is challenging but your sales reps have to be ready to address them. Some of the most common you’ll have to address are:
- “We don’t have the budget right now.”
- “We will get back to you sometime later.”
- “Your offer does not solve our pain points.”
- “Send us more details and we’ll get back to you.”
- “Your product/ service doesn’t have the features we are looking for.”
Told you, they are challenging but as a sales rep, it’s your responsibility to address them positively.
7. Following Up
You have addressed the objections, wait for your prospect to respond (wait for 3-4 working days.) If you haven’t heard from them for 3-4 days, follow up with them by sending them an email.
Following up with your prospect is very essential and not following up might result in losing the prospect and the deal of course.
8. Closing the Deal
Last but not least is closing the deal. The prospect has responded and is interested to buy your product/ service, now it’s the time when you close the deal. Send the contract, get it signed, and bag your new customer.
However, this isn’t as simple as it seems. Closing the deal might take some time as your prospect might sign the contract and then make the purchase. Sometimes, they may ask for further negotiations in the pricing.
It is always beneficial to go for a tool that makes your sales cycle easier and it’s better to seek help whenever required. Aeroleads makes your lead generation process much easier and faster.
However, to run an effective sales cycle, you will have to follow the above steps to get consistent sales in a long run. Remember, closing the deal isn’t the last step, nurture the lead even if they haven’t responded. Keep following up with your prospects for few months or set a reminder to follow up.