Increasing sales is the ambition of every company, small, medium or large. Closing a sale, however, is only one step in a strategic process that involves a series of well-defined actions. Doing it right means optimising your time, your resources and, above all, increasing your chances of success.
Let’s take a look at the 6 main stages of the sales pipeline.
- Searching for customers
Finding new potential customers is the first step in the process. This phase, called Lead generation, requires target analysis and the planning of strategies to attract potential customers.
Lead generation can occur in different ways and through different channels. For example, through marketing campaigns on search engines or social networks, through a telephone contact or in person during a fair. There is no right system but the best system for each company.
- Connection and qualification
This is a very important phase because it is used to gather information and to focus the goal on the right target. During the connection, the first contact with the leads takes place to gather as much information as possible.
Qualification, on the other hand, is the phase in which the information collected is filtered to decide which leads are actually suitable for your company.
The connection and qualification phase is, therefore, the first appointment with the leads. You have to be prepared, say interesting things and stimulate interest for the follow-up appointment.
- The beginning of the relationship
At this stage, the goal is to learn as much as you can about the potential customer: understand their needs, discover their desires, know the motivations that drive them towards your product, etc. The more information you have, the more you will be able to customise your offer.
Every relationship provides for a positive exchange. For the company, the advantage is to sell a product, for the customer, the benefit is to buy a solution.
- Objections and listening
Every relationship, even the most solid, has moments of reflection. This is what happens to customers when they express doubts or objections about the product. In this case, listening is essential to reformulate your offer, leveraging, for example, on the testimonials of other customers or on the unique value of your solution.
- Closing the sale
The decisive moment has come, that of success or end of the relationship.
Closing a sale is the result of everything that has come before. Each phase influences the others.
In addition to doing all the above steps well, there are a few things you can take advantage of to promote sales: for example, the lever of urgency and scarcity or the reduction of alternatives to avoid creating confusion.
- Follow up and loyalty
The sale does not mark the end of the relationship. On the contrary, it is the beginning of a relationship based on trust. At this stage it is important to make the customer feel your presence: communications, assistance, exclusive offers. There are so many ways to nurture the relationship. A happy customer will leave positive feedback and be a great source of referrals.