have you heard of the sales process? You probably have, but do you know all its stages? Do you know what happens in each one of them? We explain it to you in this post.
what is the sales process?
For all those brands that have online businesses, they should be aware of what the sales process is, how it works and what parts we should work on in each of the phases .
The sales process could be defined as the path that a company follows from the moment it begins to capture leads (users) until they finally become customers. It is, therefore, the process that a brand will follow from the moment users come to it in search of information until this user becomes a customer, and therefore, a sale for our online website of one of our products or services.
This process, when we represent it graphically, has the shape of a funnel, since as it progresses, not all potential customers become real buyers. Once we make our sales funnel we will obtain many advantages for our brand, such as:
- We will obtain a highly qualified lead: this means that once we have gone through the whole process of our sales funnel, the final customer we will obtain will be one who is very convinced of our brand and the services and products we can offer, so it will be very easy for us to get a purchase from them.
- The effectiveness of our sales will increase: although you have to have an initial marketing cost that you did not count on when creating the funnel, later it will be easier to get sales, so the costs will be reduced since there will be many more purchases.
- The process of obtaining customers is streamlined: this means that for each sale you will not have to follow up the customer manually, but by creating the funnel marketing (sales funnel) this whole process will be automated and there will be no process of attrition in the sales of our brand.
- What you also get with this type of funnel is that although at the beginning there may be an economic effort to carry it out, from a more global point of view you get to lower costs at the level of customer acquisition. What you end up getting is a constant source of new customers and in a much simpler way.
Phases of the sales process
On the other hand, the phases of the sales process are different depending on the model in which they are organised. There are models that divide the process into three, four, five phases... Depending on the number of phases in which they are grouped, several steps will be unified into one. To explain the sales process we have chosen a model with seven phases, in which each one has a specific follow-up:
- PROSPECTING: The first stage of the sales process is to identify potential customers. To do this, it is essential to do some market research to identify the people who have needs that your company can satisfy and who have the economic conditions to buy. In this way we are selecting our target audience(buyer personas) and we will focus our commercial campaign on them as they are the ones who can help us to achieve an increase in sales. We do not have to target all possible audiences, but those who best suit the style of our business.
- LEADS QUALIFICATION: Once you have finished the prospecting stage and you have a list of leads, it is time to define which ones have more opportunities to become customers. That is, at this point we must design our buyer personas. If you are interested in how to design buyer personas we leave you here our post talking about it.
Once this process is done, you must verify which of these potential customers have more things in common with your buyer personato define to whom you should direct your sales strategy to be effective.
- PREPARATION: Once we have focused on our public and designed our buyer persona, the preparation stage has arrived. In this phase of the sales process we must prepare ourselves to approach our potential customers.You must analyse all the information collected from the leads. For this it is essential to understand their needs, their commercial capacity, decision-making power, the reasons for the purchase, their style, etc.Thus, thanks to this, we will know how to address them and capture their attention towards our brand .
- PRESENTATION: Now that we are ready, it is time to introduce ourselves to our audience. We must address customers with marketing campaigns that are not too intrusive and that make the user feel some sympathy towards us. We can, for example, start by launching an emailing campaign and thus make a sieve to know which users are really interested and who are not.
- ARGUMENTATION: When we have captured the customer's attention, we must present our products and services in the most attractive way. We must argue very well the purpose of our brand so that the audience finally chooses us.
One of the most commonly used tactics to attract the attention of customers and gradually lead them through a process that looks like a funnel is theAIDA method. This refers to the progressive process that a customer goes through to make a purchase decision and the idea is to capture their attention, cause interest and desire to get them to make the purchase. It would be like this:
- Attention: stimulating the customer to learn about the characteristics of the product or service.
- Interest: how the product or service can satisfy the customer's needs.
- Desire: a good argumentation will make the customer feel the desire to have the product or service you are selling.
- Action: buy the product or service.
- CLOSING THE SALE: At this stage of the sales process you have already managed to get the customer interested in your product, so be patient to convince them to end up choosing our product or service. We must, at this stage, take extreme care and attention to our customer, always being ready to resolve their doubts and showing real interest in them .
- AFTER-SALES: After-salesis one of the strategies used by companies to increase customer retention and foster loyalty towards your brand
The idea of after-sales service is to provide customers with all the necessary tools to get the most out of the product or service they have purchased. In addition, good service will increase their level of satisfaction and it will be possible to convert them into repeat buyers. Bear in mind that studies show that increasing customer retention by just 5% increases profits by between 25% and 95%.now you know each and every one of the stages of the sales process. It's time to put them into practice for your e-commerce and see what results you achieve for your brand. Go for it!