Sales cycle management requires an understanding of the steps it takes to convert someone with interest into someone who buys in. A sales cycle can describe this process and show your relationship with your customers through a systematic approach to sales management. Let us introduce you to the sales cycle and describe how you can improve your sales cycle today.
What is a Sales Cycle?
A collection of steps that salespeople take to convert a lead into a customer is called the sales cycle. Your sales cycle can be simple or complex, varied or uniform, and even non-linear, but in every case, the sales cycle describes where your customer is with respect to buying your product. Every deal (and potential deal) should be represented in the sales cycle somewhere.
Stages of the Sales Cycle
To further explore how a sales cycle functions in your business, we turn to the elements or stages of a typical sales cycle and describe how they work. Each of these elements or stages should give a concrete understanding of where your customer is, and you should be able to use them to navigate the sales process.
- Prospecting. Prospecting is the process by which you gain contacts and leads to become potential customers. Here you are merely searching for and identifying potential buyers to be pushed through the cycle.
- Researching. When you research in the sales cycle, you are describing your leads in a manner that allows you to approach them systematically and with thought so that you can turn them into buyers.
- Initiating contact. Once contact is established with a potential buyer, then the lead moves in the sales cycle into the contact stage. They will wait here until they present a new activity and movement.
- Presenting. You might find the presenting stage in the sales cycle describing the situations and occasions on which you show the customer the benefit and rewards of engaging in a sale to be followed by handling their objections.
- Objections. When you handle a buyer’s objections, you will use concrete and specific evidence to limit the amount of doubt and concern that your buyers express about engaging in the sale and product.
- Closing. Closing is the essential stage in which your buyer has decided to engage in the sale and is ready to be onboarded as a client. You will certainly have steps to complete in getting their formal agreement and collecting payment.
- Delivering. In the delivery phase of the sales cycle, you give the user the product or service that you described in your sales proposal and ensure that there is satisfaction with the outcome.
- Asking for referrals. Finally, in the sales cycle process, there is a time when it is appropriate and necessary to ask for recommendations and referrals for new buyers to begin the sales cycle all over again.
Reasons you need a Sales Cycle
There are many ways that a sales cycle proves itself necessary in the modern world of sales and customer contact. In an effort to show you just how essential a sales cycle can be, we can list at least six primary reasons for engaging in a formal sales cycle to describe your contact with customers.
Reason #1. A sales cycle reduces the risk of repeatability.
Reducing the risk of repetition in your sales process is necessary if you wish to avoid unnecessary complications in the process of making a sale with new customers without interruption.
Reason #2. It increases transparency.
A transparent process is a good process as far as sales are concerned because it gives teams the ability to stay on top of their sales with clarity and allows them to take on certain cases and handoff customers.
Reason #3. It maintains consistency.
You want to remain consistent if you are going to meet your sales goals and make sure that every potential sale receives the same essential treatment toward becoming a loyal and happy customer.
Reason #4. It helps with prioritization.
You may not know just how much priorities come into play when talking about sales and the sales process, but with a sales cycle, you will notice that it is easier to prioritize accounts and get action where and when it’s needed.
Reason #5. It increases sales.
One of the most obvious and important reasons for engaging in a formal sales cycle is that it will increase your sales over time by making the process of selling more akin to a science than art that varies person to person.
Reason #6. It helps avoid missing follow-ups.
A primary and unfortunate reason that many sales teams are missing the numbers and goals that they are after in the sales process is that they are missing opportunities to follow up with their customers.
Improving Your Sales Cycle
If you have observed the main reasons for establishing a solid and powerful sales cycle, then you are ready to either begin implementing or improving. We have a few ideas on this front so that you can make the most of your sales process and begin increasing your numbers as you meet further and further goals. Here is our simple and practical advice:
- Engage in lead generation.
- Collect as much data as possible.
- Analyze your data with the help of sales tools.
- Deeply observe your contacts for addressing their objections concretely.
- Prioritize your prospects in order to serve them the most personal experience.
- Maintaining all-in-one communication with your internal team.
- Use automation when appropriate.
- Prepare documentation.
We have covered an introduction to the sales cycle and proposed some ways that you can improve your current process. Once you start using a sales cycle, you won’t wonder why we dispense this advice and why we are such strong supporters of a solid, systematic sales process.
Our suggestions often demand a CRM tool like Agile CRM to control and serve contacts. Using Agile CRM, you can stay on top of your sales cycle, track deals, and schedule appointments. Try Agile CRM today to get started with our powerful sales and marketing features.