Do your salespeople focus on these 3 sales cycle stages with every customer? If not, they may be leaving a lot of money on the table.

In the business world, everything is in constant flux. Markets, industries, technologies, consumer behavior, communication—nothing stops for a moment. Just as your business needs to adjusts, so does your sales strategy. Sales cycle stages change to fit your current model.

Every stage is crucial; they all work together to create a well-oiled system that seeks to extend the “life cycle” of every customer. Don’t make the mistake of not thinking beyond the immediate reward. Pay attention to these three sales cycle stages.

Sales cycle stages you can’t afford to ignore any longer

1. The lost art of canvassing and generating new business

With all the talk these days of inbound marketing, it seems like old-fashioned prospecting has been swept under the table. Getting in front of customers is the focus now, not going after them.

Keep your sales teams sharp. Don’t let them take a back seat when it comes to canvassing new customers. It’s the very foundation good salesmanship.

Sales, at the end of the day, is a person-to-person business. The best lead is the one you earn on your own. Taking a back seat and waiting for leads to come in will make your team lazy.

No matter what business you’re in, you should have an outbound strategy.

  • A fully decked out target audience demographic with personas and profiles
  • A pre-qualifying worksheet to help research the right customers for your products and services
  • A set number of outbound calls and emails to make every week
  • A goal for total number of converted outbound-generated leads per month

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lead-managerLead management is challenging for independent agents. Let us help you simplify your sales process. Schedule a free demo of our lead management software and turn leads into customers with less work!

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2. Correctly qualifying your leads the first time

Qualifying a prospect is a crucial aspect of the sales process. You’re figuring out if the prospect has potential to become an actual customer.

Poor salespeople rush in without thinking. They see a big dollar sign at the end of the tunnel and just push their way through. It’s only after their sales pitch that they realize the lead was a flop from the start.

Design a qualifying process for your leads. Every salesperson should use the same criteria. Break it down into sections of what is necessary, desired, or helpful. If you figure out the blemishes beforehand, you’ll save time and energy.

Start thinking about what you want from your customers—how do they match up with your business needs? Here are some questions to consider (of course, every industry is different):

  • Can the prospect afford the product or service you’re selling?
  • Are you matching up your products/services with her specific needs?
  • Does she live within the local or regional area of your business?
  • Does her business model match up with yours? Can you do good work for her?
  • Can she put down the minimum down payment?

Brainstorm the sales process you go through an ideal client. Work backward from the finalized sale—what led up to this point? What would hinder progress for your salespeople?

3. The sale never ends. Turn your customers into supporters of your business

Regarding the sales cycle stages, this last one is the massively undervalued. It’s difficult for salespeople to continue the sale after the initial purchase. The follow-up happens, and then it’s on to the next person.

Think long-term. Only considering the immediate sale is like living from paycheck to paycheck—you never get ahead. Drill it into your head (and your staff’s) that the sale never ends. It only moves forward.

In other words, your customers should always be on track to become supporters and referrers. Make use of the relationships you’ve built and give them an opportunity to refer your business…and to keep coming back for repeat purchases.

You can’t bank on goodwill, either. Even if you’ve given amazing service and your customers love your company, it’s not guaranteed that they’ll come back or tell their friends. You have to work for that result. Develop a referral strategy and figure out ways to engage recent customers with new offers.

Think of your sales cycle stages as an upward spiral—it keeps growing and it never ends

Let’s re-cap: bad salespeople skip parts of the sales cycle. They pick and choose the easiest ways to make a deal and ignore crucial steps along the way. Following a process won’t hurt you—it will only make you stronger and sharper. Remember to think long-term and graduate your customers to the next level. Repeat business and quality referrals are a cornerstone of business legacies.

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lead-managerLead management is challenging for independent agents. Let us help you simplify your sales process. Schedule a free demo of our lead management software and turn leads into customers with less work!

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Do you have any tips for focusing on particular stages of the sales cycle? Share your thoughts and expertise!