The 7 step sales process: Learn it and be successful

The 7 step sales process is divided into 7 actions that must be followed to achieve the best results:

  1. Prospecting: Creating a list of potential customers.
  2. Qualification: The first contact
  3. First offer.
  4. Follow-up: Continuous contact.
  5. Negotiation: conditions, deadlines, prices.
  6. Closing.
  7. Post sales and loyalty.

This process model is widely used by several companies as it guarantees effective prospecting, such as selecting the best opportunities and increasing sales and customer loyalty, among others.

Here’s how to deal with each part of the 7 step sales process.

How to employ the 7 step sales process

Sales steps, also called a sales pipeline, can vary in the number of steps, depending on the model you use, but usually range from 5 to 7 steps.

In this sales process model, we have decided to use the most complete option, which contains the 7 traditional steps, including prospecting and after sales support.

You can check out, for free, many other ready to use business processes in our process flow library.

1- Prospecting

The first step in the sales process is to create a list of potential clients, the so-called prospects.

For this, it’s necessary to define a profile of the ideal companies or consumers of your products and services and define their characteristics.

The profile of a company can include its field of activity, its size, employee numbers, turnover, geographic area, shareholding composition and much more.

For final consumers, the profile is divided into 2 parts:

  • Demographic profile: With data such as age, sex, profession, marital status, etc.
  • Behavioral profile: The values and beliefs of these people, who they are inspired by, what they like to do etc.

With this, it is possible to create a fictional character representing the characteristics of this consumer, their so-called persona. It is also possible to create a persona of the buyer or the decision maker of the companies in your profile.

With this in mind, you need to find the companies and people that meet these characteristics, using surveys, the internet, social media, open data and government statistics, your personal contact networks, and so on.

2- Qualification

Qualification is the first contact, with no intention of selling, that is done with the contacts on your list to see if they are potential customers or not.

It is necessary to verify if they have financial conditions, interest, and decision authority to close the purchase.

It’s a way of sorting through your sales funnel and focusing on the most promising opportunities.

3- First offer

The first offer is a presentation in which you must show the benefits of your product and how they can solve ‘your client’s pain’, the problem that they want to solve.

Avoid talking about price and product or service features, instead, show them how it can have value, fulfill a desire, or be the solution to a problem.

4- Follow-up

After the first offer, you should keep in continuous contact with your customer without being inopportune, or try to press them forward in the sales stages.

This contact can be by phone, email, personal visits, sending of materials, gifts and other means. Eventually, you’ll need to decide if that customer is even a realistic opportunity and pull them off your prospect list, or consider a much longer follow-up time, give them time.

5- Negotiation

If your follow-up was successful, you would arrive at the sales negotiation stage, where conditions, prices, deadlines and other details are defined.

Before you start negotiating, it’s important, to set limits under which you must not exceed or break, to make rapport as soon as you arrive (create a conducive climate), to listen more than to speak and to try to show, step by step, how your solution can help the client and how, if no action is taken, things can get worse.

During a negotiation, never give something without getting something in return.

6- Closing

As soon as both negotiators realize that a proposal is outlined, it is up to the seller to summarize this clearly so that there can be no doubt about what has been agreed upon, then preferably, create documentation if possible.

One tip: Put aside a final concession, something not very important to you, and if the buyer is still undecided, use this to make a tempting final offer to close the deal.

7- After Sales

It’s one of the sales steps sometimes neglected by salespeople; it’s crucial to retain customers and keep in touch with them for a long time, if possible, in search of new sales.

Once the sale is complete, wait a few days and get in touch to find out if everything went as planned, whether they are satisfied with the product or service and whether they need any clarification or help.

See more: How the Churn Rate calculation can help your business

Developing and tracking the 7 step sales process effectively can be made much easier with the help of process modeling tools such as HEFLO. There is no cost and it’s accessible in the cloud, HEFLO can help your business to adopt best practices to achieve excellent operating and sales results.


Also read: How to Remove Doubt and Uncertainty from the Sales Process

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