7 Steps Sales Process to Increase Lead Conversion and Boost Profits

Are you frustrated with your Sales effectiveness to convert leads?

You could be generating a lot of leads, but if your sales team is not converting these leads effectively, your time, effort and money is wasted. Sales is the process of converting leads generated through your marketing activity to paying customers. There are clear, step-by-step actions that can be taken to result in a sale. The core steps in the sales process are the same regardless of the type of business, type of customer and type of product or service that is offered. Each step is important and builds upon the previous steps. Follow the seven-step process below to increase lead conversion rates for your business.

#1 Preparation
Make sure you are well prepared for your sales meeting or call. You have complete control of this part of the sales process, so it is important to do everything you can to set the stage for your success. This involves understanding your product or service thoroughly, preparing all the necessary materials, and organizing them neatly and researching on your potential customer. Good practice is to have a checklist that can be followed to ensure you are well prepared for your meeting.

#2 Build a Relationship
The first few minutes you spend with a potential customer sets the stage for rest of your interaction. Your goal in the second step is to relax the customer and begin to develop a relationship with them. Make a great first impression by shaking hands firmly, making eye contact and introducing yourself. Mirror your prospects speech and behavior. Show interest in them and their place of business. Find a common ground on which you can relate with your prospect. Establishing a real relationship with your customer will create trust.

#3 Discuss Needs + Wants
Once you have spent a few moments getting to know your prospect, start asking open ended questions to discover some of their needs and wants. This is the step where you should spend majority of your time. Listen intently, and repeat back information you are not sure you understand. Ask open ended questions to get them talking. The longer they talk, the more insight they are providing you into their needs and purchase motivations. Ask clarifying questions about their responses till you have a good understanding of their needs and wants.

# 4 Present the Solution
Once you have a solid understanding of what they are looking for, or the issue they are looking to resolve, you can begin to present the solution. Explain how your product or service will solve their problem or meet their needs. Illustrate your points with anecdotes about other happy customers, or awards the product or service has earned. Use hypothetical examples featuring your customer by encouraging them to picture a scenario after their purchase. Begin by describing the benefits of the product, then follow up with features and advantages. Watch your customer’s behavior as you speak, and ask 
further qualifying questions in response to body language and verbal comments. Give customer an opportunity to ask you questions or provide feedback about each product or service after you have described or explained it. Ask closed ended questions to gain agreement.

# 5 Overcome Objections
As you present the product or service, take note of potential objections by asking open ended questions and monitoring body language. Expect that objections will arise and prepare for it. Consider brainstorming a list of all potential objections, and writing down your responses. Repeat the objection back to the customer to ensure you understand them correctly. Empathize with what your customer said, and then provide a response that overcomes the objection. Confirm that the answer you have provided has overcome their objection by repeating yourself.

# 6 Close
This is an important part of the sales process that should be handled delicately. Deciding when to close is a judgment call that must be made in the moment during the sale. Ideally, you have presented a solution to their problem, overcome objections, and have the customer in a place where they are ready to buy. Once you have determined it is time to make the sale, proceed with your well rehearsed closing statement.

#7 Service + Follow-up
Once you have made the sale, your work is not over. You want to ensure that that customer will become a loyal, repeat customer, and that they will refer their friends to your business. 
Ask them to be in your customer database, and keep in touch with regular updates. Follow up with a phone call or drop by to ask how they are enjoying the product or service, and if they have any further questions or needs you can assist them with. This contact opportunity will also allow you to ask for a referral, or up sell. At the very least, it will ensure you are continuing to foster and build a strong relationship with your customer.

To increase your rate of lead conversion, it is important to master each of these steps, instead of solely focusing on closing the sale. Following these core seven steps consistently will increase your lead conversion regardless of your type of business, type of customers and type of product or service. Fine tune these core steps to suit your unique products or services and have a defined process for your business. Happy Selling !!!

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