10 Steps To Sales Success

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Do you want to turn hot leads into paying customers? Of course you do. Take a look at these 10 tips every company should keep in mind when aiming for massive sales success.

I recently gave two presentations to MBA and BBA students at the Schulich School of Business in Toronto on the topics of Sales and Entrepreneurship. I shared with them the sales process that I find most effective when converting prospects into paying customers, and the feedback I received was tremendous. After the presentations, students came up to me one by one asking if I could elaborate on each milestone of the process.

Here’s the link to the slide show presentation on SlideShare going into details about each step: The 10-Step Sales Process

Organizations spend a ton of money on driving qualified traffic to their websites and on converting them into inbound leads. It’s methodical to the point that almost every pixel on their website, and every keyword they advertise, plays a specific role in generating more and more quality leads. The same attention to detail is often times missing when it comes to the follow-up process once a lead is sent to a sales person. This is often done ad hoc, without planning, and it’s time to take the same methodical approach on the sales side of things and start generating more revenue for your business.

So today I’m going to share with you the 10-Step Sales Process that I follow in which the completion of each step brings you closer to closing the deal. These 10 steps will be broken down into more detail in my upcoming book, inspired by all of the professionals who I’ve trained and managed, and by the business students at Schulich and Richard Ivey.

1. Prospecting Stage

Determine who your target demographic is, how to target them, and what are the buying centers you need to reach out to. Here’s my post exploring the Prospecting Stage: 5 Tips to Help You Prospect

2. Qualifying Stage

Confirm ability to make decisions, determine budget constraints, explore the need and understand their timeline. Here’s my post discussing the Qualification Stage: 5 Things You Need to Know When Pre-Qualifying Leads – N.U.B.I.T.

3. Initial Meeting & Needs Discovery Stage

Build trust, outline your agenda, share valuable industry insights, bring value to the customer, and tailor the presentation to your customer’s needs. Here is my post about the Intro Call: Using Storytelling to Make a Compelling Presentation

4. Needs Analysis

Discuss the company’s background and current situation, explore challenges, discuss negative implications of not overcoming challenges, discover positive outcomes of solving challenges today. Here is my posts outlining the Needs Discovery Stage: B-CHUBS: The 6 Questions to Ask When Performing a Needs Discovery

5. Presentation/Product or Service Demo

Demonstrate the features, explain the benefits relating to the customer, and discuss the improvements that could occur to their overall business and career if they use your solution to address their challenges. Here is my post sharing tips on the Presenting Your Solution Stage: How to “WOW” Your Prospects When Presenting Your Solution

6. Proposal/Quotation Presentation

Double-check all spelling, grammar, and calculations. Include all promises made and review with your prospect before sending to the final version. Here is an article I wrote to help you put together a stellar sales proposal: 6 Key Elements to Writing Winning Proposals

7. Influencer Approves

Get feedback from your prospect and work through any issues, objections, or stalls that may arise. Determine the timeline for procurement and suggest that you present to the final decision maker or committee if their approval is still required.

8. Key Decision Maker Or Committee Approves

Understand the key elements decisions are based on, how to approach committees and decision makers and how to handle objections.

Don’t celebrate yet; it may not be a done deal. Learn what can go wrong and how to address it.

9. Purchasing Approves

Purchasing might still have final veto power. If purchasing gets in the way, try to set up a meeting with them to take them through an expedited sales process to get them on the same page as your influencer or key decision maker/committee.

10. Product/Service Delivered & Payment Received

First, payment is collected, and the work begins. The sales are considered closed at this time.
10 steps really aren’t much when you consider the fact that several of those steps are usually grouped together. For example, an inbound lead takes care of the prospecting step. Then all you need to do is call the lead back to qualify them and book a meeting. During the presentation stage, depending on the nature of your product or service, you could combine steps 3 (Initial Meeting & Needs Analysis Stage) and 4 (Proposal/Quotation Presentation), in most cases and in shorter more transactional sales cycles you can even throw in milestones 5 through 8.



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