Selling process as the name suggests, deals with the planning and control of sales. The process aims to collect data from the sales, production and marketing process. After analyzing this information, the task is to prepare the sales budget and control its implementation. In the meantime, statistics are being prepared and kept. Then, after the preparation, all these data are transmitted in the form of a report to the Management Board.
Selling process is a series of steps that lead through:
- planning sales,
- finding prospecting customers,
- pre-approach - gathering information about customers,
- approach - meeting with the customer,
- presentation of the product,
- handling objections,
The process differs depending on the method of selling, however base steps are the same - only methods are replaced. Selling process as the name suggests, deals with the planning and control of sales. The process aims to collect data from the sales, production and marketing process. After analyzing this information, the task is to prepare the sales budget and control its implementation. In the meantime, statistics are being prepared and kept. Then, after the preparation, all these data are transmitted in the form of a report to the Management Board.
Sales is the process of convincing the customer by the seller to purchase a specific good, service or product. The seller has to find their need in the customer. Every company have some goals. Sales departments have a selling plan. They use the marketing mix to reach the goal and sell the right amount of products or services.
The selling process
- Prospecting – It is the process of identifying customer needs and preferences. Good salesperson should spot these elements while speaking with customer by asking the right questions.
- Pre-approach – It depends on the first contact with customer and making good relationship. Salesperson should establish communication via 3 categories: by phone, by letter and personal visit. This person must make good impression.
- Approach – Is based on a closer exploration of the customer's needs. Making sure the customer is aware that they need our product.
- Presentation – Is a process when we try to show potential customer the benefits of purchases. “Body language” is a very important aspect in this step.
- First trial close – Subsequent to the presentation we aim to sell our product directly, before facing any objections, which customer may have.
- Objections – Providing the customer has objections - we immediately make effort to eliminate them via answering very quickly to questions and showing many advantages of the product.
- Meet objections – When the customer has objections we must listen and understand the customer hence we can try to explain and handle them.
- Final trial close – In this step we can recognize via special techniques are used by salesperson, how close is the customer from making a decision (buying the product).
- Close – is the most important step in whole process. The customer confirms buying. It is main goal of the salesperson.
- Follow-up – Subsequent to the sale, salesperson should contact with customer, make sure everything is correct. It is quite helpful to form a favorable relationship with the customer, for it can lead to new sales of a new product to the same customer in the future.
In selling process a very important element is sales techniques. Every potential client is unique and salesperson must use a few methods to negotiate during the selling process. We can distinguish as:
- Persuasion – Good salesperson should be able to change the mind of potential customer into purchase, influence the decision even if the customer initially doesn't agree buy our product.
- Commercial argument – Salesperson must give really good argument to convince the customer to purchase. He must give specific examples (benefits, facts) that the customer will get after the purchase.
- The auction refers – Initially offered price should be medium - not too high and not too low. Because customers very often tend to ask about discount. We must have space to negotiate with the customer and give some lower price than what we offered in the beginning.
- The use of time – Providing we have time to make a decision it is a better situation for the both sides. Salesperson can pass more information and customer in the same time can think and understood that if they really need this product.
- Manipulations – Sometimes salesperson hide important information in negotiations. Otherwise there is a chance that client may give up buying
Selling is the main part of marketing. During selling process, a salesperson should:
- Find new customers,
- Increase sell to current customers,
- Build long-term relationships with customer,
- Help finding solutions to problems
Role of selling in Marketing
The goal of each company is to increase selling performance and profit. They use numerous tools during forming relationship with customers. The most popular strategy in marketing is 4 Ps:
- Product – Branding is a very important part in the market. Company must develop a strong and famous brand - it can help building loyalty between company and the customer.
- Price – It should be suitable for the customer, competitive and favorable value for money.
- Place – Company should introduce product in the best place where client have bigger chance to bought it
- Promotion – This is the most important part of marketing (promotion strategy); company make advertise and try increase
Examples of Selling process
- Developing a Sales Plan: A sales plan is a document that outlines the strategy and tactics needed to meet the company's sales objectives. It includes the sales targets, budget, resources needed and the activities that must be carried out in order to reach the targets. The sales plan is the basis for the sales process and provides a framework from which to manage the sales process.
- Setting Goals and Objectives: Goals and objectives provide the direction for the sales process. They provide clarity of purpose and a focus for the sales team. Goals should be measurable and achievable, and objectives should be specific and time-bound.
- Defining the Sales Process: The sales process is the sequence of steps and activities that must be completed in order to move a customer from initial contact to closed sale. It includes customer identification, needs assessment and qualification, product presentation and demonstration, negotiation and closing.
- Developing and Implementing Sales Tactics: Sales tactics are the specific strategies and activities used to implement the sales process. These tactics include customer prospecting, customer relationship management, customer profiling, lead generation, cold-calling, telemarketing, appointment setting, and customer follow-up.
- Monitoring and Evaluating Sales Performance: Sales performance must be monitored and evaluated in order to ensure that the sales process is functioning effectively. Performance metrics such as customer satisfaction, close rate, sales cycle time, cost per sale, and sales conversion rate should be monitored and evaluated in order to identify areas of improvement.
Advantages of Selling process
The selling process has several advantages that make it an important part of the sales process. These include:
- Increased sales efficiency: By analysing data from the sales process and implementing strategies accordingly, the selling process helps to boost sales. It helps to identify potential sales opportunities and helps to identify customer needs and create strategies to meet them.
- Improved customer relationships: The selling process helps to build customer relationships by understanding customer needs and providing solutions that meet their needs. This helps to create a positive customer experience.
- Increased market share: The selling process helps to increase the company’s market share by creating strategies to compete in the market. This helps to increase customer loyalty and maximize profits.
- Enhanced customer service: The selling process helps to provide enhanced customer service by understanding customer needs and providing solutions that meet their needs. This helps to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Limitations of Selling process
The Selling process can be limited by several factors:
- Lack of accurate data and insights into market conditions: Without accurate data, it’s difficult to plan properly and make the best decisions for your sales budget.
- Unrealistic goals and expectations: Setting unrealistic goals can lead to lower sales and a failure to meet targets.
- Poor execution of the sales process: Poor execution of the sales process can lead to missed opportunities, ineffective strategies and reduced sales.
- Poor customer service: Poor customer service can lead to customers feeling dissatisfied and not returning to your business.
- Inadequate training and resources: Without proper training and resources, sales teams can struggle to reach their goals.
- Poor communication: Poor communication between sales, marketing and other departments can lead to a lack of alignment and a decrease in sales.
In addition to the process of planning and controlling sales, there are other approaches related to Selling process. These include:
- Target Market Identification – Identifying and choosing the target customer segment that is most likely to purchase the product or service.
- Pricing Strategy – Establishing the right price for the product or service.
- Promotion Strategy – Selecting the most effective promotional techniques to increase the visibility of the product or service.
- Distribution Strategy – Developing a distribution network to ensure the product or service is available to the target market.
- Customer Relationship Management – Building and maintaining relationships with customers.
In conclusion, Selling process involves several other approaches in order to ensure the success of sales. Target market identification, pricing strategy, promotion strategy, distribution strategy, and customer relationship management are some of the approaches related to the process.
- Belohlavek P., (2008) Market Cybernetics: Unicist Marketing Mix, The Unicist Research Institute, Blue Eagle Group
- Brooks W. T., Brooks B. (2004) Sales Techniques, McGraw-Hill Education
- Cant M.C., Heerden CH van (2005). Personal Selling, Juta Academic
- Long M. M., Tellefsen, T., & Lichtenthal, J. D. (2007). Internet integration into the industrial selling process: A step-by-step approach. Industrial Marketing Management, 36(5), 676-689
Author: Anna Klisiewicz