Unlock the secrets of a high-converting sales process

In this fourth instalment of our marketing and sales process series, we dive deeper into the heart of the funnel: prospecting, qualifying, presenting, and closing deals.

Parts One, Two and Three Reminders

In the previous parts of this series, we discussed the importance of creating a strong business foundation, collecting valuable marketing data, and developing a compelling brand that aligns with your company and industry. In part three we delved into the start of taking your products or services to market.

Starting Prospecting

The first step in the sales process is prospecting. That is finding potential customers who may be interested in your product or service. Prospects can come from different sources, including referrals, cold calls, social media, and networking events. The key is to gather as many leads as possible by casting a wide net. Once you have a list of potential leads, the next step is to qualify them.


After you have compiled a list of potential leads, the next crucial step is to qualify them. This process entails assessing whether a prospect is a suitable match for your product or service and whether they possess the budget and authority to make a purchase. To achieve the desired outcomes, it is essential to ensure that you are always communicating with the appropriate individual.


When presenting your product or service to a qualified prospect with a genuine need, highlight how it can solve their specific problems and meet their needs.

Tailor your presentation to each prospect based on their unique pain points and requirements. Highlight the features and benefits of your product or service that directly address their concerns. Use real-world examples and case studies to illustrate your solution’s effectiveness.

Now you have your products and services, branding, market data, targets, PR, and sales teams in place and briefed. The planned strategy is now starting to take shape with all the important elements needed. To help your sales teams you must also have the right sales tools to help them present successfully.

The definition of sales tools covers many subjects which we will cover in more detail in a later article, but these include, presentations, examples, references, sales brochures, and subjective proposals.

Handle objections

During the presentation, actively listen and empathise with any objections and concerns the prospect may have. Provide clear and persuasive responses to build trust.

Having the ability to address objections is a crucial skill in sales. Objections aren’t necessarily barriers, instead, they are opportunities to clarify doubts and move the sales process forward.

Make sure you fully comprehend the customer’s objection before offering a solution or an alternative that highlights how your product or service can overcome it. Use persuasive language and real-world examples from your sales materials to reinforce your argument. Throughout the process, aim for a two-way conversation and confirm that your presentation is being understood.

Closing the deal

Closing a deal is the ultimate goal of any sales process. It’s the point where the potential customer agrees to make a purchase. Although there are different techniques to achieve this, the aim is always the same – to get the customer to commit. If you have multiple meetings with the customer, it’s important to ensure that at the end of each meeting, you schedule the next one. This gives the customer a positive impression and a clear direction of where the conversation is headed.

Various closing methods can be employed in sales, such as assumptive close, fear close, trial close, negotiation close, and consulting close. In my opinion, the consulting close is more effective. Consulting sales techniques are highly influential, and I will elaborate more on this topic in the subsequent article.


It’s important to remember that the sales process doesn’t end when the prospect signs the contract or makes a payment. Effective follow-up is crucial for building long-term customer relationships and generating repeat business. Building relationships is critical, so it’s important to ensure that your existing customer base is kept close and that you continue to range sell.

Ensure customer success by offering ongoing support. Address concerns promptly and try to obtain positive reviews and referrals.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

The most cost-effective and proactive way to manage all sales activities is by using a comprehensive CRM system, which will hold your customer and potential customer database and much more.

Managing customer relationships is vital to the success of any business. CRM software solutions integrate and manage data, allowing businesses to track and store information related to current and potential customers in a centralised system. This helps business teams gain valuable insights and optimise sales operating processes, ultimately leading to increased revenue and growth opportunities. Without CRM support, businesses may miss out on potential revenue and fail to maximise customer relationships and sales leads.

An effective CRM system will also guide you through the sales process, from the first contact or meetings to a successful result. If you have a CRM system that does not steer your sales in a positive direction, then this is not a true CRM. As a side note, many companies have CRMs that they only use as a database, while others have bespoke systems which can be expensive but provide the functions they need. SMEs can use one of the many standard systems available, which are normally cloud-based but do provide some excellent functionality at affordable investment levels. You are welcome to contact me if you would like a recommendation that matches your needs.


Mastering the steps of a sales process is crucial for any sales professional who wants to increase revenue and build long-term customer relationships. By following an uncomplicated guide, you can streamline your sales efforts, improve your closing rates, and achieve greater success in the highly competitive world of sales.

In part five we will take a look at consultative selling methods whereby the prospect starts to look at you as a partner to his business and not just a supplier.

About the author

Steve Pegram

Stephen J Pegram Consulting

Steve is the managing director of Stephen J Pegram Consulting, specialist advisors in sales and marketing, business development, sales training, and leadership. He has a wealth of experience garnered over the years and his ventures across industries such as engineering, machine tools, and automation have honed his skills in devising and executing successful business approaches. These strategies have not only elevated sales figures but also fueled remarkable growth and amplified company value.

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