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Sales Process

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Business Studies

Commerce is now all about selling for sustainability over the long term. Every stage of life involves at least some sales for either monetary gain or some other value. College graduates might have to market their personality or their ability to get through an interview.

Every product or service may rely on sales at some point in order to gain profit. With the high level of competition and ever-changing market and demands, sellers may face difficulties. So how can one really get through the process of selling and crack the deal? Let's look at the sales process in greater detail in this explanation.

Sales process definition

Before looking at sales processes, let us first try to grasp the meaning of sales.

Sales include any transaction where there are two parties, buyer and seller, who are involved in the exchange of goods and services in exchange for money or any other set value.

The sales process is a sequence of activities that are predefined to convert a potential customer into a buying customer. This process defines the journey of a potential customer, from buying decisions, to approaching the customer, to closing the deal.

Most organisations that sell a product or service have a similar set of sales processes, which we'll discuss later. However, the process may be altered to a certain extent as per the requirements of the organisation.

Some benefits of having a sales process include:

  1. Smooth flow of work at the initial stage

  2. Training new staff made easier

  3. Better understanding and clarity among the team

  4. Easier reporting

  5. Easier filtering of leads on the basis of respective stages.

Sales process flowchart

A sales process flow chart is a series of activities an organisation may follow, starting with lead identification up to closing the deal.

The sales process flowchart looks similar in most organisations. However, a few steps may be added or removed as part of the process. The basic sales process flowchart is shown below in Figure 1.

Sales Process, Sales process flowchart, StudySmarterFigure 1. Sales Process Flowchart - StudySmarter

As you can see in the above flowchart, the sales process involves identifying quality leads and assessing whether they are worth approaching. The next stage is to qualify them and prepare for the approach tactic.

The salesperson then approaches the target customer and discusses their needs, offering an option that may suit the requirements of the customer. All of the customer's questions and concerns are answered.

Eventually, if the customer makes the decision to buy, the deal is closed. If the customer is not satisfied, the salesperson may try another way out to close the deal.

Sales process steps

The sales process is not about only buying and selling. It involves a few steps which can help to close the deal easily rather than just focusing on the day-to-day running of the business. The steps involved in the sales process are:

  1. Prospecting: This is the first and foremost step in the sales process, in which the organisation tries to define prospective customers and closely match who may buy their product or service.

  1. Preparation: In this stage, the organisation or salesperson prepares for the first contact with the customer, researching and understanding their needs, reasons for buying, logic, and ability to afford the desired products or services.

  1. Approach: This is the first time the organisation/salesperson interacts with the prospective customer. The interaction may take place in person or virtually.

  1. Presentation: This stage is about demonstrating the product or presenting the service to the customers. This can also involve understanding customer needs and problem-solving.

  1. Handling objections: The customer may delay a decision or have queries, concerns, or objections before purchasing. At this stage of the process, the seller can help the customer make an informed decision, handle their queries and concerns, or find solutions.

  1. Closing and following up on the sales: This is when the customer has made a purchase decision or is about to make a purchase. Closing may involve offering substitutions, additional discounts, and so on, to crack the deal if the customer was not convinced thoroughly before this stage. After closing a sale, it is important to follow up with the customer to retain a professional relationship and ensure repeat purchases.

Sales process management

By implementing a sales process management system, an organisation can develop and implement a process that will enable them to achieve and surpass their sales targets. Sales process management includes identifying leads; qualifying the good leads and filtering away the bad ones; targeting the right leads with opportunities; forecasting sales; and reporting and managing these leads. Sales process management may involve setting up a sales team. This sales team, along with the sales manager, works on the multiple aspects of sales, as mentioned below:

  • Setting up the sales goals for the team

  • Deciding on the sales process strategies to achieve sales goal

  • Implementing sales strategies with the help of the sales team

  • Evaluating sales strategies and reporting on the results.

Sales process management may include techniques like training the sales team, setting sales targets, creating feedback, and forecasting and tracking sales activity. This type of management may help the organisation to understand where they are standing in terms of targets, who is performing better, who may need more re-skilling, and how leads can be further refined.

Sales process management is made possible by sales management tools, which may include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools or social media marketing tools.

Examples of sales process

Let's take the example of Fossil Watches.

The customer entering the watch section of the mall and checking the watches is already a prospective target for the organisation.

The Fossil salesperson, who may have prepared a kind of sales speech, may approach a customer and assess their requirements. The salesperson gauges all the necessary information and makes a decision as to whether the customer could be a prospective buyer or not.

Accordingly, they present various options for Fossil watches to the customer, matching their requirements, budget, and style.

At this stage, the customer tries to choose, but is confused and is not able to make a decision. The salesperson helps the customer to resolve all his concerns about warranties and address reservations about the price.

The customer is still not able to finalize the purchase, hence the salesperson offers a closing deal of 10% discount on the immediate purchase and three months extended warranty at the same price.

This excites the customer, who purchases the Fossil watch. The customer's details are collected to retain a long-term relationship and send future offers.

The sales process is fundamental to almost every organisation, as it eventually leads to profit. It is a series of activities that allows the seller to sell the goods/services in exchange for monetary value and convert the prospective buyer into buying customer.

Sales process management helps the organisation work out the best possible options for them to convert leads, and also work out any failures during all the stages of the process. Even though the basic structure of the sales process remains similar across organisations, it can be altered according to organisational need.

Sales process - Key takeaways

  • Sales include any transaction where there are two parties, buyers and sellers, who are involved in the exchange of goods and services in exchange for money or any other set value.
  • The sales process is a sequence of pre-defined activities to convert the potential customer into a buying customer. It defines the journey of potential customers, including the intial approach, buying decisions, and closing the deal.
  • Some benefits of having a sales process:
    1. Smooth flow of work at the initial stage

    2. Training the new staff becomes easier if the sales process is in place

    3. Better understanding and clarity among the team

    4. Easy reporting

    5. Easy filtering of leads on the basis of respective stages.

  • A sales process flow chart is a series of activities an organisation may follow, from the lead identification to closing the deal. Typically, the sales process flowchart may more or less look similar in all organisations, but steps may be added or removed as part of the process.

  • Sales process management includes identifying the leads, qualifying good leads and filtering away bad ones, targeting the right leads with opportunities, forecasting sales, and reporting and managing leads.

  • The following are the steps that are involved in the sales process.

    1. Prospecting

    2. Preparing

    3. Approach

    4. Presentation

    5. Handling objections

    6. Closing and follow-up.

Sales Process

Sales process flow chart is a series of activities an organisation may follow starting from the lead identification to closing the deal. Typically the sales process flowchart may more or less look similar for all organisations however, few steps may be added or removed as part of the process.

Sales process management includes identifying leads, qualifying the good leads and filtering away the bad ones, targeting the right leads with opportunities, forecasting the sales, reporting and managing these leads. Sales process management may involve setting up the sales team. This sales team along with the sales manager works on the multiple aspects of sales as mentioned below:

  • Setting up the sales goals for the team

  • Deciding on the sales process strategies to achieve sales goal

  • Implementing the sales strategies with the help of the sales team. 

  • Evaluating the sales strategies and reporting on the results 

The following are the steps which are involved in the sales process.

  1. Prospecting

  2. Preparing

  3. Approach 

  4. Presentation

  5. Handling objections

  6. Closing and follow-up.

The sales process is a sequence of activities that are predefined to convert a potential customer into a buying customer. It defines the journey of potential customers which may include their buying decisions to approaching them to closing the deal. 

Let's say a customer is in the process of looking for a watch. The customer entering the watch section of the mall and checking the watches is already a Prospective target for the organisation. The Fossil salesperson who may have Prepared a kind of sales speech may Approach a customer to understand his requirements. The salesperson gauges all the necessary information and makes a decision of whether the customer can be a prospective buyer or not. Accordingly, he Presents options of Fossil watches to the customers matching his requirements, budgets and style. 

At this stage, the customer tries to choose, however, is confused and is not able to make any decision. The salesperson as per the process helps the customer to resolve all his concerns about the warranties tied up and Handles his objections for the price. The customer is still not able to finalize the purchase, hence the salesperson offers a Closing deal of 10% discount on immediate purchase and 3 months extended warranty at the same price. This excites the customer and the customer finally buys the Fossil watch over any other brand on the day. The customer's details are collected to retain long term relationships and send the Follow-up exchange offers or any other offers in future. 

Final Sales Process Quiz

Question

What is the definitions of sales?

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Answer

Sales is any transaction where there are two parties,  buyers and sellers and are involved in the exchange of goods and services against the money or any other value. 

Show question

Question

What is the definition of the sales process?

Show answer

Answer

Sales process is a sequence of activities which are predefined to convert the potential customer into the buying customer. It defines the journey of potential customers which may include their buying decisions to approaching them to closing the deals.

Show question

Question

What are the benefits of having sales process?

Show answer

Answer

Some benefits of having a sales process are mentioned below:

  1. Smooth flow of work at the initial stage. 

  2. Training the new staff becomes easier if the sales process is in the place. 

  3. Better understanding and clarity among the team. 

  4. Easy reporting

  5. Easy filtering of leads on the basis of its stage.

Show question

Question

Explain in brief the sales process flowchart?

Show answer

Answer

Sales process flow chart is a series of activities an organisation may follow starting from the lead identification to closing the deal. Typically the sales process flowchart may more or less look similar for all the organisations however, few steps may be added or removed as part of the process.

Show question

Question

What is prospecting?

Show answer

Answer

This is the first and foremost step in the sales process where the organisation tries to find and refine the prospective customers and closely match who may buy their product or service.

Show question

Question

What is preparation stage in the sales process?

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Answer

In this stage, the organisation, or salesperson prepares for the first contact with the customers after researching and understanding the needs of the customers, their reason for buying, their logic, affordability for their products/services etc.

Show question

Question

Approach is the first time when the organisation/salesperson comes face-to-face with the customers

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Answer

True

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Question

Explain Approach stage in brief?

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Answer

This is the first time when the organisation/salesperson makes an interaction with the prospective customer. The interaction may be direct face to face, telephonic or even online.

Show question

Question

What is sales process management?

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Answer

Sales process management includes identifying the leads, qualifying the good leads and filtering away the bad ones, targeting the right leads with opportunities, forecasting the sales, reporting and managing these leads. Sales process management may involve setting up the sales team.

Show question

Question

Follow-up stage in sales process stages is not at all important

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Answer

False

Show question

Question

Describe an example of the sales process?

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Answer

The customer entering the watch section of the mall and checking the watches is already a Prospective target for the organisation. The Fossil salesperson who may have Prepared a kind of sales speech may Approach a customer and understand his requirements. The salesperson gauges all the necessary information and makes a decision if the customer can be a prospective buyer or not. Accordingly he Presents options of Fossil watches to the customers matching his requirements, budgets and style. At this stage, the customer tries to choose however is confused and is not able to  make any decision. The salesperson as per the process helps the customer to resolve all his concerns about the warranties tied up and Handles his objections for the price. The customer is still not able to finalise the purchase, hence the salesperson offers a Closing deal of 10% discount on immediate purchase and 3 months extended warranty at the same price. This excites the customer and the customer finally buys the Fossil watch over any other brand on the day. The customer's details are collected to retain long term relationships and send the Follow-up exchange offers or any other offers in future. 

Show question

Question

What are the aspects of sales process management?’

Show answer

Answer

The multiple aspects of sales process management are mentioned below:

  • Setting up the sales goals for the team

  • Deciding on the sales process strategies to achieve sales goal

  • Implementing the sales strategies with the help of the sales team. 

  • Evaluating the sales strategies and reporting on the results 

Show question

Question

Why is it important to handle objections or the concerns of the customers?


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Answer

It is not that the customer may be able to make an instant decision and they might have some queries, concerns or objections before purchasing. At this stage of the process, the customer may be helped to make an informed decision, or their queries and concerns may be handled and a solution will be offered.

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Question

The sales process cannot be altered as per the organisation's need and should follow a pre-defined process

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Answer

False

Show question

Question

Identifying the quality leads is crucial to the sales process

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Answer

True

Show question

Question

What is sales process?

Show answer

Answer

Sales process is a sequence of activities which are predefined to convert the potential customer into the buying customer. It defines the journey of potential customers which may include their buying decisions to approaching them to closing the deals.

Show question

Question

What is mean by prospecting stage in the sales process?

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Answer

Prospecting is the first and most important step of the sales process. It is more about prospecting the customers which means finding the potential customer and understanding their demands for the product and the services. The Prospecting of sales can be done with the ‘Wh’ questions.

Show question

Question

What happens during the preparation stage of the sales process?

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Answer

In the Preparation stage, the organisation, or salesperson prepares for the first contact with the customers after researching and understanding the needs of the customers, their reason for buying, their logic, affordability for their products/services etc. 

Show question

Question

What stage is it called when the salesperson or organisation comes in contact with the customer for the first time?

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Answer

Approach stage

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Question

What does Presentation stage may involve?

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Answer

Presentation stage may involve demonstrating the products working or may involve the presentation on the machine. Also, sometimes it may be about understanding the needs of the customers and presenting and discussing the possible solutions with the customers. 

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Question

What are 3 different ways of closing the sales?

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Answer

1. Creating urgency close

2. Alternative option close

3.Additional offering close

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Question

What is creating urgency close?

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Answer

Many sales are closed when the urgency for the product or service is created. This means that the salesperson may inform the customer about the limited availability at the given discounted price or create a need in the mind of the customer for the product on an immediate basis. 

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Question

What is Alternative option close?

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Answer

The salesperson may also offer an alternative or substitute which may match the customer needs.

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Question

Explain additional offering close?

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Answer

When customers are offered extra at the same price, the customer may choose to make a purchase. This may involve additional service, warranty, extra product or anything that may add value for the customers.  

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Question

Why is follow-up stage important?

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Answer

 It is very important to follow up with the customers to build a good relationship with the customer. Also as we know, word of mouth helps most sales and if your relationship with customers is good, they will refer you. Also, good follow up and good services helps to retain customers for a long time and can possibly give repeat sales or business opportunities. 

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Question

Explain handling objection stage?

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Answer

The objections may not always be part of the sales process. As there may be a buyer who will have as smooth a sale as butter and some other customers may be in doubt even after making a purchase. Every customer is different in the sales process and it is very important to handle each customer specifically. It is crucial how the salesperson handles the objections of the customers as this may make or break the deal. In this stage, all the concerns, objections and backing of the customers needs to be understood and addressed. The handling of objections and follow up can crack the deal for the salesperson to a greater extent as compared to the salesperson who may give up at this stage if the customer objects on purchase.

Show question

Question

What kind of questions can be asked to understand the prospective customers?

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Answer

The Prospecting of sales can be done with the ‘Wh’ questions. Below are some of the questions a company and/or organisation needs to answer to understand the requirements of customers for the sales of any goods and/or services.

  • What customers need in terms of your product?

  • Where is the customer location?

  • When will they need your product or services?

  • Who will need it?

  • Why will they buy your product or service?

  • How will they make the payment for your product or service?

Show question

Question

Which stage can help to crack a deal or loose it completely in the sales process?

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Answer

The handling of objections and follow up can crack the deal for the salesperson to a greater extent as compared to the salesperson who may give up at this stage if the customer objects on purchase.

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Question

What can help to retain the customers for the long time?

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Answer

Good follow-up can help to retain customers for the long time.

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Question

Which is the best closing the deal method?

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Answer

There is no best and all closing the deal method is equally important. The method will be dependent on the situation and the customer's motivation to make a decsion

Show question

Question

... means finding potential customers and understanding their demands for the product or service. 

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Answer

Prospecting

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Question

After preparing for the first contact with the customers, the salesperson should ...

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Answer

approach prospective customers 

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Question

A salesperson can close the sale by creating urgency close, ..., or additional offering close.

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Answer

Alternative option close

Show question

Question

The closing that involve offering additional service, warranty, extra product or anything that may add value for the customer is called ...

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Answer

Alternative offering close 

Show question

Question

... means that the salesperson may inform the customer about the limited availability at the given discounted price. 

Show answer

Answer

Urgency close

Show question

Question

The last stage of the sales process is closing. 

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Answer

True

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Question

Following up is the final stage of the sales process which is important for building a good relationship with the customer. 

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Answer

True

Show question

Question

The salesperson has no chance to sell the product if the customer initially rejects it. 

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Answer

True

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Question

At which stage of the sales process can the salesperson address the remaining concerns of the customers in order to sell the product?

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Answer

Handling objections

Show question

Question

The presentation of the product should follows right after the preparation stage.

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Answer

True

Show question

Question

What should a business consider during the 'Preparation' stage of the sales process?

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Answer

how to approach a customer 

Show question

Question

A sales process flow chart is a series of activities an organisation may follow starting from the ... to ...

Show answer

Answer

lead identification, closing the deal

Show question

Question

Typically the sales process flowchart may more or less look similar for all the organisations.


Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

What are the benefits of having a sales process?

Show answer

Answer

Smooth flow of work at the initial stage. 

Show question

Question

Sales include any transaction where there are two parties, ... and ..., who are involved in the exchange of goods and services in exchange for money or any other set value. 

Show answer

Answer

buyers, sellers

Show question

Question

The customer entering the watch section of the mall and checking the watches is already a ... target for the organisation. 


Show answer

Answer

Prospective

Show question

Question

The salesperson who has ... a kind of sales speech may ... a customer and understand his requirements.


Show answer

Answer

prepared, approach

Show question

Question

After presenting options of products, the salesperson helps the customer to resolve all his concerns by ...

Show answer

Answer

handling objections

Show question

Question

Follow-up takes place before closing the deal. 

Show answer

Answer

True

Show question

Question

The first and foremost step in the sales process is ...


Show answer

Answer

Prospecting

Show question

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