A sales process is consultative when the stages and actions align with the customer’s buying experience and are defined in terms of the customer relationship.
It’s only successful when sales leadership and the sales force execute with dedication and competence. That’s why a true consultative sales framework has both a process component and a human component. Let’s dig into each.
Consultative Sales Process
A typical consultative sales process is made up of six stages. Each stage maps out winning behaviours and strategies. The stages should help guide salespeople in qualifying, closing, expanding business, and building relationships.
Each stage should define the objective, best practice activities, tools, models, and customer actions that signal readiness to advance to the next stage (for example, the customer agrees to a meeting in Stage 1, or provides access to the executive buyer in Stage 2).
Here’s an example:
1. Target and Qualify
The customer becomes aware of a business problem. Alternatively, the salesperson creates a pre-stage 1 opportunity by introducing an idea or challenge that is not yet on a customer’s agenda, or raises the visibility of an issue the customer has underestimated.
2. Explore and Assess
Customers assess how much of a priority the issue is, determine their options, and develop decision criteria and decision process. Salespeople can help their prospects by sending them how-to blog posts, offering to run a consultative call, and sending them relevant content resources.
3. Access and Develop Solution
Customers research, compare solutions, narrow down choices, and refine decision criteria. The salesperson must differentiate, focus on business outcomes, and prove value
4. Present Solution and Follow-up
Knowledgeable customers make their selection and negotiate. Skilled salespeople will have already involved Procurement prior to this stage.
5. Negotiate and Close
Customers make the purchase. Salespeople support implementation and follow-up.
6. Implement, Follow Through, Assess Results, and Account Develop
Customers are in an evaluation mode. In the post-purchase stage, customers implement, measure outcomes, and evaluate performance against the sales promise. They decide on the future of the relationship. Salespeople must discuss results, prove value, and build on the rapport they previously created.
For assistance in implementing a consultative sales process, contact ProAptivity today on 028 9099 6388 or @ email@example.com