Posts Tagged it sales

The 7 Step Sales Process

The 7 Step Sales Process

The Origin of the Sales Process

While the business of selling goods and services has been around for thousands of years, it is important to note the history of the sales process.

It is thought that the first structured sales process was developed by John Henry Patterson, of National Manufacturing Company (later National Cash Register, or NCR) in Dayton, Ohio. He applied his philosophy on developing “scientific” methods and procedures that led to great efficiency in manufacturing to other aspects of the business such as sales.

By the late 20th century, Patterson had developed a huge sales force motivated by sales quotas and complete with territories. Patterson organized and created the first sales training event in 1884, and established the first sales training school in 1893. He taught a very simple sales philosophy which is still used to this day and is the underlying framework for the Seven Step Sales Process:

  1. Identify the customer’s problems
  2. Develop a specific value proposition
  3. Demonstrate how the solution will fit
  4. Ask for the order

 The 7 Step Process For IT Sales

You can utilize the Seven Step Sales Process to effectively sell IT Solutions to your prospects and customers. The Seven Step Sales process is a step by step methodology to ensure consistency and predictability in selling a product or service. The Seven Steps are:

  1. Preparation
  2. Warm-Up
  3. Qualifying
  4. Presentation
  5. Overcoming Objections
  6. Closing
  7. Follow-Up

Each step in the process is equal in its importance to increasing the odds of earning a prospect’s business.

When the steps are executed out of order or not followed through correctly, the prospect can feel pressured or uncomfortable with making a commitment. For example, a prospect will not buy a product or service (Close) and certainly not continue to buy (Follow-Up) without first knowing how that solution or service will provide value (Objection).

Most objections are simply misunderstandings or a lack of information which may be the result of and improperly conducted customer meeting or demonstration (Presentation). It is very difficult to present value without first understanding and uncovering what pains the customer is facing and whether or not the proposed solution will make sense for them (Qualifying).

It is impossible to get answers to some of the tough questions asked during the needs development or qualifying phase of the process without first developing rapport and credibility (Warm-Up). The most successful first impressions/warm-ups are developed from understanding and forecasting what the prospect might need in advance (Preparation).

A successful sales process for IT Solutions provides the framework for continuous improvement and growth. While simply executing the steps of the sales process will not ensure success, it will allow for more consistent results and the ability to forecast growth and scalability.

The Seven Step Sales Process works more effectively when combined with the consistent practice of sales skills through role-playing each phase of a sales engagement. Sales professionals who practice regularly are more able to navigate a customer from introduction all the way through earning commitment by reducing risk and positioning their value proposition according to prospects’ or customers’ specific needs.


 

Want to learn more marketing and sales techniques to sell on value and increase your profitability during difficult economic times? Get The Best I.T. Sales & Marketing BOOK EVER!

Our sign up to grow your business with a FREE IT Business Builder Training and Resource Center Subscription.

 

Posted in: Sales, Sales & Marketing

Leave a Comment (0) →

MSPU The Sales Engineering Process for IT Solutions

The Sales Engineering Process

The Sales Engineer participates in the service provider’s sales, scoping and proposal creation processes, and works with the provider’s Account Managers, Sales Professionals, Engineers, Project Managers, Manufacturers, Vendors and Distributors to fulfill their role and responsibilities, in addition to interfacing with clients and their Vendors.

The Sales Engineer is the buffer between Sales and Engineering, and is one of the keys to project profitability. A Sales Engineer not only helps educate and train the provider’s Sales staff in setting appropriate expectations regarding the benefits of technology solutions with their prospects and clients, but is also instrumental in working with vendors and partners in order to design appropriate solutions to meet client needs and putting together Scopes of Work and Proposals and assisting in the Project Plan creation process.

The Objective of Sales Engineering

The objective of Sales Engineering is to create effective proposals by understanding client needs, the environmental state of their infrastructure, their Account Manager’s or Sales Professional’s objectives and timelines for Proposal delivery. With the appropriate information, the Sales Engineer can accurately scope the best solution for the client.

The Sales Engineer’s purpose is to accelerate sales velocity, and they should only be introduced into a client engagement when this opportunity exists, otherwise they may actually impede the sales process. When the Sales Engineer is utilized ineffectively, the most common outcome is to add unnecessary cost to the sales engagement.

The five phases of the Sales Engineering Process include Discovery, Design, Proposal Creation, Review and Presentation.

The Discovery Phase

During the Discovery Phase, the Sales Engineer collects all of the information required to design a Scope of Work to meet the client’s needs that takes into consideration factors such as the environmental state of the existing infrastructure, the provider’s sales objectives and the client’s budget and timeline.

The Sales Engineer will review the results of the client’s Business Needs Analysis and Technology Assessment already conducted by the provider’s Sales and Engineering teams, or participate in this information gathering process directly. In addition, they will meet with their Sales and Engineering resources to ask clarifying questions to insure accurate scoping of the solution. Based upon the complexity of the proposed solution or other factors, the Sales Engineer may meet with the prospect or client during a follow-on appointment with their Sales Professional.

Design Phase

Once the Sales Engineer feels that they understand the prospect’s or client’s needs completely, and has all of the information required in order to scope the solution, they can move from the discovery to the design phase of the project. The Sales Engineer will work with the provider’s manufacturers, vendors, distributors and fulfillment partners in order to design the best solution that meets the established criteria and determine the costs and timelines to deliver it.

Proposal Creation Phase

Once the Design Phase is completed, the Sales Engineer can create the formal Proposal for the client.  The most effective Proposals include at a minimum a title page, table of contents, introduction, provider’s company biography, overview of the client’s existing environment and the pains they are experiencing, before and after network drawings as applicable, work scope, summary, specifics/ requirements/ exclusions, investment amount and acceptance signature block.

Review Phase

Once the proposal has been created, the Sales Engineer meets with the Sales Professional and goes over the proposal with them in detail to insure it meets the Sales Professional’s objectives.

Presentation Phase

After the Sales Professional has been briefed on and approves the Proposal; and based upon the complexity of the solution, the Sales Engineer may become involved in the final presentation of the proposed solution to the prospect. Their intimate understanding of all facets of the solution they have designed makes them an invaluable asset in many client presentations.

For more Managed Services Training visit MSP University at http://www.mspu.us.

Posted in: Sales, Sales & Marketing

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 1 of 14 12345...»