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Stages of Prospect Cycles

Stages of Prospect Cycles

In the world of sales, it is important to have a set system in place to know where a prospect falls within the sales cycle. This can help point out how much further nurturing is required in order to make a sale.

 

But what is a prospect cycle and what are all the parts of a prospect cycle?

What is a Prospect Cycle

First things first; what is a prospect cycle and why is it so critical in sales?

 

A prospect cycle is a seven step process that helps identify where a person may be within your sales funnel. This allows your sales team to see how qualified a prospect is and how close they are to a final sale.

 

Having a prospect cycle in place is an absolute must. Without a proper cycle, there is no way to figure out which individuals are the closest to being a confirmed customer or client.This means your sales team will be lost because there is no way to identify who needs nurturing and who needs final communications to make it through the last stage of the prospecting process.

Parts of a Prospect Cycle

A prospect cycle, for most companies, is made up of seven steps from start to finish. This means from initial research to closing the sale there is a seven step funnel to go through to complete the process.

1. Initial Prospecting

Prospecting is the first step within the prospect cycle. In the first step, your sales team and company will identify who to ideal person is that will buy your product or service.

 

This means your should know the location, age, gender, interests and more for the people that will buy the product. In addition to this you need to know which channel will be thwe most successful to reach your ideal client. This may be Google Ads or various social media ads, cold calling, emailing, or direct mail.

2. First Contact

Woo hoo!

 

You figured out who and how to reach your ideal customers. So this means next in the prosecting cycle comes initial contact.

 

First contact comes down to using the ideal method of communication defined in step one to reach out to your prospects. Hopefully this means they will pick up the phone, respond to your ads or respond to your emails in order to lead up to the next step of the prospect cycle…qualification.

3. Qualification

Qualification is the next phase within prospect cycles. This is a critical step to ensuring a contact is a good fit is to qualify them. This means that questions are asked to probe for interest in the product or service along with how well they will potentially mesh with the company.

4. Nurturing

This stage in prospect cycles can be after qualification or done with qualification. Nurturing is the process of working a cold or warm lead into a hot lead. This could be building relationships and ensuring that the person is the best fit possible.

 

In the B2B world, relationships are the key to ensuring that when the sale is finalized, everyone is on solid ground.

5. Offer Presentation

After nurturing, the next phase is offer presentation. Especially with cold leads, you want to be sure that potential buyers are warmed before the initial offer is made. A cold lead does not want to be shown a product or service without having a good reason to. 

 

Once this stage is reached in the prospecting cycle, all the points of the product or service can be shown to the prospect. 

6. Objection Handling

Now, most people will end up having questions about the offer presentation. Most common objects are often:

-How does this benefit me?

-Why should I buy this?

-Why should I switch providers?

-What makes this product or service the best on the market?

 

The sales team will go through each of these objections to help the prospect be more assured in the decision to partner with you as a product or service.

7. Finalizing the Sale

Last but not least, your sales team gets to close the sale. After all of the nurturing, qualification and objection handling- your prospect will finally be able to sign up for the service or make a purchase.

 

Being able to visualize how many people are about to be in this step or are in this step is the key measure for ROI and KPIs for the company. Once a prospect hits this point in the cycle it can count as a successful transaction because the person made it all the way through the sales cycle.

Quick Recap

All in all, it is key to have an established prospect cycle in place to measure the effectiveness of the sales team. Knowing how many people are in each stage is a requirement for a successful CRM system.

The Send Koala team knows there are great complexities to each stage that are unique to each and every business. Send Koala specialises in your initial contact phase of your prospect cycles. Send Koala allows you to send out bulk emails to your prospecting list to help your team get people through the qualification and nurturing process.

About the Author

Lydia is SendKoala’s Head of Content. Outside of SendKoala, you can finder her running, lifting, and hiking.