What are the 4 Major Steps in the Purchasing Process?

Sales Cycle

Improvisation can be a lot of fun. It’s exhilarating at times and the audience usually enjoys it, especially since you never know how the story will end. This is the last approach you want to take when you are conducting a sales pitch. “Salespeople often need a defined progression to serve as a reference point — a regimented framework that lets them know what to do next,” says Meg Prater, writing for HubSpot. “That infrastructure is often referred to as a sales cycle.” Is your sales cycle clearly defined? If it isn’t, here are the four major steps in the purchasing process that you need to know and work off of.

You obviously know the importance of researching a prospect before connecting with them and setting up a meeting, So, let’s skip to the other major steps of the purchasing process where you will actually be interacting with the prospect.

4 Major Steps in the Purchasing Process

Presentation

What is your pitch for this particular company? Your pitch should be built around the specific needs you discovered while researching the prospect and their company, as well as the information you dug up during your discovery calls. This major step in the purchasing process revolves around your pitch being personalized for each particular client. You need to talk about their needs and express how you can help fulfill these needs. Make sure you're actively engaging the prospect throughout your entire pitch or their attention may drift elsewhere from being talked at and not conversed with.

Objections

No pitch, no matter how practiced, is going to go perfectly smoothly. Your prospect will have some difficult questions for you, as well as objections. They may ask you a technical question about your product or service that even you didn’t think to research beforehand. Or they could try to haggle the price down past what you're comfortable with, naming your competitor's price as their standard. No matter what the objection is, “listen intently, ask for context, and do what you can to understand their objections before addressing them,” says Prater.

Close

The next of the major steps in the purchasing process is the closing portion. Best case scenario: You have won over the prospect and they agree to the sale. However, if they say no, you need to address the prospect’s objections to the best of your abilities. Sometimes, no matter how well you spotlight and explain your product or service, it may not be enough. If that’s the case, know when to bow out with grace. Your sale may not actually be as dead in the water as you think it is now. But it will be if you try to pressure the prospect into a sale they don’t want right now.

Follow Up

Your clients aren’t just a way to make money. Prove that you value them by following up after the sale closes, arguably the most important of the major steps in the purchasing process. “Do everything in your power to serve your customers as best you can through exemplary customer service and followup,” says Prater. That way, you will keep your new clients happy, loyal, and in your pipeline for future sales.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-​op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.