From the first customer contact to the completion of the purchase and beyond, the sale is the critical process in sales. Here, it is a question of the proper communication with the customer and timing and a structured approach. Read how the structured sales process works.
The Phases In The Sales Process
Selling starts with getting the customer’s attention. This is where marketing usually begins with its advertising measures. In sales, this can be done using what is known as cold calling. The actual sales process starts when the customer signals interest and says: Yes, there is a need.
In retail, the customer and seller then conduct a sales talk – or the customer conducts an internal dialogue with himself based on the information that he finds in the product of his interest, for example, in the store or the online shop. In direct sales, the sales representative and the customers involved, the buying center members, have to speak to one another to coordinate demand and offer.
This can be done by phone, but the sales representative usually visits the customer. Then you have to go through the following phases in the sales process:
- Prepare for a visit
- to advise customers
- Follow up and document the conversation
- Create offer
- Plan a follow-up appointment and, if necessary, involve specialists
- Negotiate services in detail and price
- Complete purchase
- Documenting successes (reporting / controlling)
- deliver promised services
- Start the after-sales process
- Retaining customers, increasing customer value
Not all prospects and potential customers can be guided through the entire process. Some postpone the need. Others opt for the competition or other solutions. The loss of customers is shown as a sales funnel. In every single phase, a proportion of the potential customers is lost. If sales want to achieve an inevitable turnover, i.e., if they’re going to reach at least phase 7, they have to consider this in the sales process.
A sales funnel is used to optimize the sales processes, the quotation rate, and the deals. It is a model for acquiring new customers and for maintaining existing customers (repeat buyers). For this purpose, all sales process steps between the first contact and the conclusion are considered, and an attempt is made to describe them in the form of a critical figure. The sales funnel symbolizes that a percentage of potential customers are lost in every phase of the sales process.
Distribute Tasks In The Sales Process
There are many and varied tasks involved in this sales process. They are mainly distributed between the field service and the office service. Key account management can also look after particular, significant, and high-turnover customers (key accounts). Technical sales are involved for special technical questions or advice.
The following tasks are usually assigned to the field service and technical sales:
- Address customers, find out if they are interested, and have the first and, if necessary, further sales talks
- Record exact customer requirements and put together the proper range of services (product configuration)
- Introduce new products or additional services
- Write and follow offers
- negotiate prices and discounts with customers
- Answer questions from the customer
- take orders
- ensure that these are carried out in the company (quality, deadline)
- Deliver products
- take back defective products
- Offer services such as advice, maintenance, or training on the products
The tasks in the office are:
- Qualify addresses topicality, contact person, quality, and probability of success
- Telephone address to inquire about requirements and make an appointment
- Support in the preparation of offers; Check availability, determine delivery times, calculate prices, clarify contractual conditions, etc.
- Keeping lists of offers and keeping in contact with customers
- Evaluate successes and compile and maintain sales key figures
- Take follow-up orders and arrange for delivery.
- Record customer complaints
- Offer services such as advice, maintenance, or training on the products
- Put together, reference customers.
The back office is often the interface into the company. He communicates with product development, production, logistics, and shipping. In large corporations, it is customer teams who perform the various tasks for a customer under the leadership of a key account manager. Due to the importance of the different sales channels, so-called channel management is used in some companies.
To ensure sales, turnover, and profit for your company, you must confirm in sales that your customers buy from you regularly. Existing customers must be guided through the sales process to repurchase, and a sufficient number of new customers must be shown to initial purchases. The process starts with the first sales pitch. Prepare this with the following template:
Prepare Sales Pitch
In sales, prepare yourself for any conversation with prospects. This is not only appreciated by the customers; In doing so, you ensure that you achieve your goals. In this template, we have put together all aspects that can be relevant in a sales pitch as a basis for a discussion plan.
Represent The Number Of Customers In The Sales Process With The Customer Loyalty Ladder
With this Excel template, you can record how many customers are in a stage of the acquisition process, sales process, and customer development process. You map this in the form of a ladder – the so-called customer loyalty ladder. In the template, you also record sales and profits with the respective customers.
Most of the time, the sales funnel doesn’t fill up on its own. You have to use sales and marketing campaigns to ensure that you find potential new customers, that you motivate existing customers to buy again, that you lead prospects through the buying process faster, and that you close sales. Other sales and marketing campaigns are necessary for this. In the following Excel templates, you can record which actions and activities you are planning, which tasks are associated with them, and which sales you expect.
Sales Planning: Activity Plan And Sales Forecast
With this Excel template, you can plan the sales and marketing activities directly aimed at boosting sales and turnover of products and services. You record the movements and subtasks that you are planning and use them to derive the sales you expect from them. You can subdivide this turnover into different service categories and calculate it separately according to quantity and price.
Sales Planning: Activities And Sales Forecast For Each Quarter
With this Excel template, you can plan the sales and marketing activities directly aimed at boosting sales and turnover of products and services. You record the movements and subtasks you are planning and use them to derive the deals you expect to generate in the next four quarters. You can subdivide this turnover into different service categories.
Plan Customer Review Process For Qualification And Disqualification
To screen your customers and qualify or disqualify them for the sales process, you have to evaluate numerous characteristics and the buying situation. To do this, you need data and information. This table develops a work plan and schedule (bar chart) to go through this customer review process.
Offer Tracking And Reporting Of The Success Of Offers
Present the key figures of your offer preparation clearly in a bar chart.
Determine Key Performance Indicators For Offers And Orders
Those who submit offers want to know how successful they are with them. With this Excel template for offer controlling and order controlling, you can count how many requests you submit and how many orders you will receive with them. You can track the order backlog in the units “Quantity” and “Euro.” In addition, key figures have been calculated that show how successful you are with your offers and how high the incoming orders are. Actual values are compared with planned values and targets.
The Active Quota For Controlling Sales Activity
With this template, you will keep track of the number of customers served, the sales you generate with them, the number of active customers, and the average sales per customer. You can use these key figures to control sales activities in a targeted manner.
Development Of The Number Of Buyers
With this template, you can determine the cumulative number of buyers over time and thus recognize when there are “good” and “bad” times.
Analyze Customer Purchases Per Item
Which product is bought and how often each year? With this analysis, you determine your top-selling outcomes. You can then derive targeted measures to increase the overall average and improve or eliminate slow-moving goods.
Monitor Order Control Numbers
With this Excel template, you can monitor and check the success of your offers. You put together how many requests were submitted, how many became orders, and how successful you are with the number of customers.
Compare Sales Performance And Profits Of Sales Channels
In multi-channel marketing, you use several sales or sales channels to sell your products. You can use this template to compare the performance of the sales channels in terms of sales, profit, and return on sales. The key figures are displayed in a diagram.
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