Leads and prospects make their way to your business’ doorstep in all sorts of different ways. But once they get there, what happens?

Your sales and consultation process is the process by which you guide a person through their consideration for whether or not to become a paying customer for your product or service. The best companies take a consultative approach to their sales process.

It all starts with the entry-point: It many cases that’s a “request consultation” form that a new lead fills out on your website. Sometimes it’s a signup form for a new trial of your software, or perhaps it is an information request like a contact form or a phone call.

Your goal in making your sales process smarter, more predictable, and more scalable is this:

Funnel all of those inquiries and inbound interest toward a single point of entry, then methodically educate and nurture those prospects through every stage of your sales process.

In this Sales Consultation Process Guide, you’ll find:

Let’s dive in!

Get your sales and consultation process template kit

Our sales and consultation process template kit for ProcessKit includes our tried-and-true step-by-step checklist, plus our pre-configured custom project type for tracking sales leads through your funnel, and a set of custom fields to use when saving all the details on the deals running through your pipeline.

Haven’t sign up for ProcessKit yet? That’s OK. You can begin a free trial today and put this process into action as your first line of business.

Get the Sales & Consultation Process Template Kit

Key stages in your sales process

The way prospects convert into customers follows a different style and system from one business to the next. That’s why this guide exists—to point your way to your own version of a sales process that works for your company.

That being said, you’ll want to focus on a few key stages. Each has it’s own goals to move a prospect to the next stage, and requires careful work on your process to get right consistently (and being consistent and predictable is what it’s all about, right?).

Beginning your sales process

Your prospect enters your sales funnel through some kind of entry-point. For most B2B service-based businesses, as well as many product businesses, we recommend some kind of a consultation request form.

This is the form that a person fills out when they want to move from doing their own research into the next step: Talking to someone about becoming a customer.

This form should gather key information like name, email and contact info. It should also gather some key info about their business, like their company website, what they do, and what their current need(s) are.

Using the info that is gathered in this early stage, the rest of the steps in your sales process can take form.

Nurturing and educating a sales lead

The middle-stage of your sales process is where the “consultation” part comes into play. This often begins with a consultation call or meeting (some companies call this a “sales demo”). But it continuous through follow-up and further educational touch-points as the prospect gets closer to making their buying decision.

This is where two things need to be happening simultaneously:

From the prospect’s view, they should be hearing from you at just the right time, multiple times, as they go through their own personal journey toward making their buying decision. It begins with that consultation call or demo (or in cases a live chat conversation), but continuous through email follow ups and perhaps social media touch points.

This stage may involve preparing and delivering a proposal to the prospect. You’ll want this to be detailed (and ideally, template-ized) in your sales process workflow.

Internally, you’ll need to be tracking progress on how each sales prospect is doing in your pipeline.

For one thing, this is to help keep you sane! Otherwise you’ll be left with sticky notes all over the place and missed follow-up opportunities galore.

But more importantly, tracking progress helps you identify where the bottlenecks are and a clear sense of which parts of your sales process need optimizing or improvement. It also allows you to look at your sales pipeline from a birds-eye-view to see how things are going this month compared to last month, etc.

Whichever system you use to manage your sales pipeline should support those objectives. ProcessKit has automatic follow up reminders, email templates, and custom fields built-in to help with this. But it also has a robust Zapier integration so that it can sync up with any CRM software you might be using.

Closing the sale: The final stage in your sales process

How fast or slow a person takes to make their buying decision can vary, but you’ll want to make sure that you’re personally asking for the sale at every touch point. Give them a clear call-to-action to get started, but also provide an opportunity to ask questions or pose objections (those can be just as valuable!).

Once they do make that purchase or sign on the dotted line, this should immediately kick off your new customer onboarding process. Good news: We have a guide a template kit for that too :)

Hire sales people? Run sales yourself? Who else is involved in the process?

In the early days, the founder (you?) will like handle all parts of the sales process. But that can change quickly as your company grows. You’ll want to hire sales people and specialists to manage each part of the sales process.

These roles might include:

When you’re still a small shop it’s advisable that you or your teammates wear many of these same hats. But as your sales and operation ramp up, putting specialists into each part of your sales process really helps dial in performance.

How to optimize your sales process for your unique needs

How your business sells your product or service likely varies from how the next business handles their sales.

With that in mind, you’ll want to analyze a few key questions as you work on your sales process. Here are some to think through:

Next steps to implement your sales and consultation process

Ready to up your sales game and implement a smarter process for converting more leads to customers?

Start by using our tried-and-true sales and consultation process template kit for ProcessKit. This free kit for ProcessKit users has all of the components to run and implement your sales process:

Get access to our sales and consultation process template kit for ProcessKit

Haven’t started using ProcessKit? Don’t worry, you can open your free trial and get your processes up and running today (starting with your sales and consultation process!).