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The Story of a Sales Process
Blog / Sales Management / Dec 12, 2012 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 4222 

The Story of a Sales Process

Does your sales process have a story?

Are you wondering how storytelling can help your sales?

The most powerful books are written by the best storytellers. That’s because they understand the power of a great storytelling. As a sales professional I find myself to be an author as well. Do you know why? It’s because when I sell, I tell a story. I say a story of my sales process. Let me explain:

Note that I am writing this post on the basis of my own sales experience. In my professional career I found that every sales professional follows a specific sales process, each of which has its own way of selling i.e. a different way of storytelling. Let me show you how you can build a story for your sales process and what are the do’s and don’ts when telling the story to your customer, the reader. The story itself has three main parts:

  • The Intro
  • The Plot
  • The End

It is important to note that each of these parts have subparts, which are the different steps of your sales process. You need to follow this sales steps in order to sell your product or service. The main difference between these three parts is as follows:

Story of a Sales Process Revealed#1: The Intro = The Lead Qualification

Imagine that you are about to read a new book. The author delivers you his book (a product) and you are his reader (a lead). You check the cover of the book, read a bit about the author and start to read it. Suddenly, you put the book on the table and never look back in it. What has happened?

The lead qualification is and should be the most important part of your sales process. Your goal should be to find a potential customer suitable for your business and make this customer aware of the fact that the products or services you provide will be valuable for him. Never forget: “Do not waste time on wrong leads”.

Write a couple of tasks you need to do in order to find out the most important information about the lead you receive from your marketing department. The intro part of your sales process is all about finding the most important information about the lead. “The lead qualification is not about selling, but about researching.”

Do’s
✔ Research – Find the most useful information about your lead.
✔ Contact – Make an initial contact with your potential lead.
✔ Qualify – Qualify the lead into real sales opportunity.

Don’ts
✖ Pitch – Do not pitch your product or service with your lead.
✖ Number – Do not mention any numbers before the meeting.
✖ Reveal the Plot – Do not reveal the story plot before qualifying.

During the initial contact and lead qualification, you need to fully understand your customer needs. You need to qualify your lead into a real opportunity in order to start pitching your product.

#2: The Plot = The Art of Pitching

After you manage to go-through the first couple of pages in the book, you should be aware of many important facts, such as the name of the characters in the leading roles and the overall plot synopsis. You should now be eager to continue reading to find out more, to dive into the story. How do you compel your customer to continue to work with you? It’s all about the reader:

The reader is the director and the person who does the casting & everything. P. Coelho

The pitching process is similar to the art of arguing. In this stage of the sales process you need to recognize the decision makers and find the problem of the customer that he would like to solve.

Always be an active listener and try to understand the customers needs. This part requires a close cooperation between you and your customer and it could include many sales steps. However, we can say that the most important ones are the following: meeting, proposal and objections. The art of pitching is still not about selling, it’s about understanding:

Do’s
✔ Pitch – Present your product based on the knowledge of a client.
✔ Ask – Always ask your client about the best solutions for them.
✔ Listen – Listen to your client words and make them a reality.

Don’ts
✖ Persuade – Do not persuade your client about the solutions.
✖ Judge Prematurely – Never ever judge your client prematurely.
✖ Reveal the Plot – Do not reveal the story plot before qualifying.

The plot of your sales process should be about understanding your clients buying cycle, understanding your clients roles and about making him feel safe i.e. the investment in your product is a safe investment:

“Swing with safety for your customer, not just desire to win the sale” Tom Searcy and Henry DeVries

Make him conformable with a purchase and you with the closing the sale.

#3: The End = The Closing

The final part of every book should be all about excitement. You might know this feeling well: “This is a great book, I do not want to finish it!” However, every book has its ending and you will for sure finish it in order to find the true value. That’s the job of every sales person. Make your customer feel happy at the end of the sale in order to find the true value!

The closing part of each sale, the last stage of your sales process, should be about helping your customer. You need to take care of the easy implementation and usage of your product or service. In that case he will more likely recommend your product to his friends. “Yes, the closing is not only about selling, but also about helping”

“Help the customer achieve the business result they expect through your products and services” The SMA Sales Management Association

So, are you a good storyteller?

Do you tell your story, your sales process, with ease?

Please bear in mind, the goal of each writer is to have their book recommended. If you build your sales process correctly and you tell your story right, at the end your customer will be excited to work with you and happy to share his experience with his peers.

Using the correct sales process can save you a lot of time! Try to manage your sales process using Pipeliner CRM SoftwareGet your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.

Please let us know what your opinion on the building the sales process.

About Author

A 30-year veteran of the computer industry, Nikolaus has founded and run several software companies. He and his company uptime iTechnology are the developers of World-Check, a risk intelligence platform eventually sold to Thomson Reuters for $520 million. He is currently the founder and CEO of Pipeliner Sales, Inc., developer and publisher of Pipeliner CRM, the first CRM application aimed squarely at actually empowering salespeople. Also a prolific writer, Nikolaus has authored over 100 ebooks, articles and white papers addressing the subjects of sales management, leadership and sales itself.

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