What Are The 7 Step Of Sales Process And 7 Phases Of Sales Funnel?

Written by Ralph Chua
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The sales process is the movement of a customer from awareness to purchase.

It’s not just about advertising and marketing, it’s also about understanding your audience and providing them with what they need.

The rise in online marketers has made the sales process more complicated than it once was, but don’t be discouraged!

If you can understand how people buy things online, you’ll be able to sell successfully every time.

The 7 Step of Sales Process

  • Prospecting
  • Qualifying
  • Presenting Solutions or Proposals
  • Contract or Negotiation
  • Installation
  • Sales & Maintenance
  • Post Sales Fulfillment

Why is the sales process important?

The sales process is important because it represents the framework for all customer interactions during the life span of their relationship with your company.

The sales process provides a series of activities, a set of steps by which potential customers become actual buyers.

Identifying the right audience

The sales process provides a series of activities, a set of steps by which potential customers become actual buyers.

This ensures quick and accurate closure rates, while minimizing the number of prospects who represent time consuming sales cycles.

Ability to Scale

A well written and implemented sales process will pave the way for any company’s growth aspirations.

It removes most barriers to your organization’s ability to sell anything and reduces customer frustrations that stem from false promises or poor service delivery practices.

Priority

A sales process will create an environment of accountability and it gives the ability to prioritize activities in accordance with their value.

The 7 Steps of Sales Process

The 7 phases of sales funnel are prospecting, qualifying, presenting solution or “proposal”, contract/negotiation phase, installation and maintenance phase, post-sales fulfillment phase.

Prospecting Phase:

It’s the first step of the sales process where you are trying to generate interest in what you have to offer.

It is an opportunity for you to determine if your project is a fit with the customer’s needs.

Qualifying Phase:

This is the second step of the sales process where you are trying to disqualify prospects who are not qualified or do not have enough resources to build their project.

You’ll make decisions on whether or not you want to pursue this prospect any further by looking at their ability to do business with you.

Presenting solution or “proposal”

This is the third step of sales process where you are trying to sell your product or service with compelling presentations that convey value propositions and answer needs, wants, and objections of customers.

The presentation will contain information about offering, pricing, features & benefits of the solution.

Contract/Negotiation Phase:

By now you should have a qualified prospect willing to enter into a contract with you.

Negotiating the contract is usually the fourth step of sales process where all parties make concessions and come to an agreement.

Installation & Sales Maintenance Phases:

Once your product or service has been delivered, you’ll need to install it.

This is the fifth step of the sales process where you are responsible for ensuring that there is a smooth transition from your end-to-end delivery system.

You’ll also need to provide support after the product has been installed by providing updates for software, hardware, data bases etc.

Post Sales Fulfillment Phase:

You are now ready to begin the sixth step of sales process where you’ll need to provide customer support.

You may be needed to answer questions about product features, technical difficulties or billing issues.

This will also be an opportunity for you explore additional sales opportunities by finding out what makes your customers happy or unhappy so you can improve future products and services.

A well written and implemented sales process will pave the way for any company’s growth aspirations.

It removes most barriers to your organization’s ability to sell anything and reduces customer frustrations that stem from false promises or poor service delivery practices.

There are seven phases of sales funnel which can be categorized as prospecting phase, qualifying phase, presentation solution or “proposal”, contract/negotiation phase, installation and sales maintenance phase, post sales fulfillment.

Each of these phases have their own unique challenges and opportunities which you must understand before moving onto the next step.

Focus on making a positive impression in each stage so that your prospects will want to do business with you.

What are the 7 Phases of Sales Funnel

The Sales funnel stages is a buyer’s journey map.

The buyer’s story is the path that your potential customer take from first hearing about you to making a purchase.

Many companies forget that customers take a multi-step process to move from awareness and interest to commitment and satisfaction.

Top Of The Funnel

Awareness & Interest: Your job is to attract attention at the very beginning of the buyer’s journey.

You want to create interest and understanding so your prospects can start considering you as their solution.

Middle Of The Funnel

Engagement: Now that they’re interested, it’s time to engage them by providing additional information and delivering value upfront.

This way, if there are any challenges to the sale, you’ll have a chance to overcome them before making a commitment.

Decision: Once your prospects are engaged, it’s time to make a decision.

Your buyer may be ready for a demo or they may need more information from you before they can proceed.

Either way, this is where you move them from considering to deciding.

Bottom Of The Funnel

Next Steps: If your customer decides they want to purchase, then what?

This is the phase where you’ll need to make sure that your product or service can be delivered and support is in place after the sale.

In Russell Brunson’s Dotcom Secrets, the stages of sales funnel is breakdown into 7 steps:

1. Traffic Temperature (Attracting)

2. The Pre-Frame Bridge (Engaging)

3. Qualify Leads (Decision Making)

4. Qualify Buyers (Choosing)

5. Identify Hyperactive Buyers (Next Step: Purchase)

6. Age and Ascend The Relationship (Post Sale Fulfillment)

7. Change The Selling Environment (Long Term Engagement)

1.Traffic Temperature: Understanding the hot, warm or cold traffic

In the first stage of a sale funnel, you want to understand how warm your prospects are to your offer.

There are different ways that you can measure this like measuring the time on site or responses to ad campaigns.

Marketers use these metrics to understand which campaigns will work best for each type of prospect.

If your target market is business owners, you’ll need to know if they’re in an early stage (hot) or later stage (warm) because different marketing strategies may be needed for each one.

Types of traffic

Cold Traffic: Cold traffic is a lead that has never seen your company’s marketing before.

It can be hard to get them to buy something because they don’t know it.

Warm Traffic: Warm traffic is a term used to describe leads who have been exposed to your marketing efforts and are showing potential signs of interest.

These leads are more likely to buy from you because they know about your company and what it offers.

The warmer the traffic, the more likely they are to buy your product or service.

Hot Traffic: Hot traffic is a term used to describe leads who have been exposed to your marketing efforts.

These leads are more likely to buy from you because they know about your company and what it offers. 

These people are ready to buy from you!

2. The Pre-Frame Bridge: Letting your prospects know you exist

In next funnel stage, the sales reps builds a bridge from an advertisement or any other way they let their targets know that they offer a solution to what the target market is looking for.

The pre-frame should always include a statement of how it solves a problem and the benefits that come with it.

3. Qualify Leads: Making sure if your prospects are the right fit

In this sales funnel stage of a sales process, you need to qualify whether your prospects are serious buyers or not.

Marketing automation software can be used to do this by matching the lead’s information against your email marketing list.

For example, if they’ve already downloaded a white paper or filled out a form on your website, you can let them know that you’ll be sending them relevant content to download.

4. Qualify Buyers: Making sure they are the right fit for your product or service

The next step in the sales funnel is to qualify buyers by understanding what their needs are and how they meet your criteria.

Here, you’ll review what value they get from your product or service and how it would fit with their business.

For example, if you sell webinars, you need to know if the buyer needs training for themselves or wants to use it as a learning tool for their team; Or whether they need basic or advanced webinars.

5. Identify Hyperactive Buyers: Understanding your prospects buying habits and patterns

The goal of the hyperactive buyers stage is to identify which group your buyer falls into – those who buy quickly, those who need a lot of information before making a decision and those who will eventually buy but not right now.

Whichever group they fall into, you need to know how quickly your product or service needs to be sold in order for them to become a customer.

6. Age and Ascend The Relationship: Understanding the evolution of the sale process

If your prospects are ready to buy, then what?

You’ll need to understand if they’re interested in your basic offering or want you to offer more so it can be customized.

If they need a lot of information, what is the ideal number of touchpoints for them?

At this stage, you’ll learn how your prospects prefer to engage with your business including timing and frequency.

7. Change The Selling Environment: Understanding what comes after selling

Once customers become customers, this is where they’ll decide to stay or leave.

If they stay, you need to understand how loyal they are and if the current process meets their needs.

There isn’t a single strategy that works for all customer types, but it’s important to set them up for success before launching into your sales process.

You can then turn your existing customers into brand ambassadors by asking them to recommend your business to other similar prospects.

A sales funnel is a process that helps you identify your potential customers and pitch them with relevant information based on their behavior.

When a customer becomes a lead, they’ll move through different stages for qualification and then become a buyer.

A successful sales funnel will keep moving these prospects from one stage to the next until eventually shifting them from being a prospect to a customer.

Conclusion

So now that you know the 7 steps of sales process and 7 phases of sales funnel, what are your next steps?

Well, I’d recommend taking a moment to consider how well your existing marketing strategy is serving these stages.

If it’s not doing so well in some areas or if you don’t have an overarching digital marketing plan at all, now may be time for you to take action!

The good news is there are many free resources online where experts can help walk you through creating an effective SEO or CRM campaign.

One place to start would be our blog post on understanding customer journey maps since this ties into both buying processes and lead funnels.

You’ll find other blogs posts like this one under “Sales Funnel” in our site.

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Article By:

Ralph Chua

I'm a husband and a father. I'm also an entrepreneur who's on a mission to find sales funnel mastery. I love watching football, but not as much as my wife loves it. She is the best quarterback in our family!