The sales workflow, which sales veterans often call the sales checklist, is a checklist broken into six stages. Each stage has several jobs that must be completed before the stage is complete. Nearly all products or services go through the sales workflow from beginning to end. While the process may be slightly different from business to business, it remains relatively untouched from the prospect stage to the closed stage.
The sales stage workflow begins with the prospect stage. This is when a new prospect is found in the company’s target market. Once the potential opportunity is found, meetings are scheduled to see if the prospect is real and to meet with people who will produce the product if this sales workflow gets that far.
In the qualified stage of the workflow, the business has found that the potential opportunity is real. This means agendas are written up and the company gets down to making decisions about how the product will be created. Follow-up meetings with the prospect are also scheduled.
During the discovery stage of the sales workflow, the business discovers all issues regarding the new product. The company looks into any buying issues and everything is prioritized and priced. The project also receives funding at this stage so it can be created later in the sales workflow. Any allies, enemies and neutral companies that might affect the process are discovered.
The developed stage starts after a plan for the product is developed. This part of the sales workflow is when the prospect visits customers to ensure the customer is really interested in the product. Management approves the pricing and the return on investment (ROI) is analyzed and approved. Resources for the product are also assessed to see if the company has the resources needed to make the product.
The fifth stage, the proposed stage, is when the final proposals occur. The prospect that initiated the sales workflow is spoken with to ensure he or she approves any contracts and that any changes to the creation, marketing or implementation of the product are agreed on. The contracts are sent to the proposal’s legal department, and the product is ready for creation.
In the last stage, the closed stage, everything is finished. The product is created and implemented, all contracts are agreed on and signed, the revenue is credited, and all orders are complete. In addition, at this stage in the sales workflow, customer satisfaction is tracked to see if the product was a success or failure.