Sales cycle – What is sales cycle – Sales process – Selling process


Sales cycle consist of 9 steps which are roughly followed in every sale you make no matter what are you selling. This sells process need to be mastered to thrive in sales function. Some of the sales cycle steps might not be followed as they might overlap each other. Following are the 9 steps in what is knows as Sales Cycle

sales cycle

sales cycle

  • Prospects: Sales prospects consist of
    • Referrals
    • Existing customers
    • Leads
    • Orphans

You as sales person should know what your products or services exactly are to know your prospects better.

  • Pre Approach
    • Determine call objectives (e.g To educate customer, to replace supplier, to promote etc)
      • B2B: 1st time purchase, educate customer, replace supplier
      • Dealer: Discuss margins, technical
      • B2C: Display product or service, push, promote
    • Prepare customer information records
    • Determine customer benefits
      • Prepare Feature – Advantage – Benefit (FAB table)
      • Prepare market plan for dealers
      • Develop business proposals
      • Suggested PO
    • Develop sales presentations
  • Approach
    • Introductory approach: Must in B2B
    • Product approach: To be done if value addition in product
    • Curiosity approach: Story telling (e.g in Insurance, Medical)
    • Need Satisfaction approach: Based on experience with previous customers
    • SPIN selling: ASK questions about (Situation, Problem, Interest and Need)
  • Presentation
    • Persuasive communication : Listen, question, Suggest, logical reasoning
    • Visual aids : Graphical, Videos
    • Proof: Customer satisfaction letters, 3rd party certifications (e.g ISO, CMMI etc), warranty, guarantee
    • Participation: Interactive session
    • Dramatization: For insurance, charity and donation
    • Demo: Display functionality of product (e.g. Aqua-guard, Vacuum cleaner)
  • Trial Close
    • Find if customer is interested in the buying the product (e.g by asking questions like which color is preferred)
  • Objection handling
    • Real : Related to features
    • Psychological: Related to mind
    • Principals of handling objections
      • Clarify question
      • Classify question (e.g Price, Time, product)
      • Do not argue or loose temper
      • Capitalize on objection
    • Techniques for objection handling
      • Product comparison, Warranty, Guarantee
      • Demo, Case history
      • “Yes, But” technique
      • Hear with sympathy
      • Making boomerang
      • Asking question (why?)
  • Trial close : To find if customer has any more objections, if no go for close.
  • Close
    • Principals:
      • Whole sales cycle should be done by same person
      • sales person should take initiative to close
      • Do not be afraid of loosing customer is closed
      • Choose timing or style according to customer
    • Techniques:
      • Direct close: If decision is based on rationalization
      • Summarization close: make a summary and then close
      • Balance sheet close ( T a/c closing: Favor vs Against)
      • Qualifying close: Closing by giving demo of product
      • Order now !! benefit close: Promotional offers
      • New vs old close: Exchange offer
      • Trial order close: in B2B initial small order is given to test
  • Ask for referrals : This step is generally missed by many sales reps but you might get lucky to get your new prospect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *