In order to provide the right marketing resources for every stage of the sales process, it’s necessary to understand (and preferably document) the steps in that process. These will be different for every supplier in every market, so the academic literature on the subject is understandably very generalised. However, it shouldn’t be dismissed.
For example, we might identify seven steps in the process:
- Generate enquiries
- Qualify genuine prospects
- Identify the decision-makers
- Understand the prospect and quantify the opportunity
- Develop a sales strategy
- Make the sales presentation
- Refine the offer and close the deal
There’s nothing new here; patterns like these are what every major sale goes through. But many companies haven’t broken down their own particular processes formally, and the different steps are just day-to-day knowledge in various people’s heads.
When the process steps have been identified though, it becomes much easier to see if each one has suitable plans, resources, training, measurements or whatever else is appropriate.