What is a Sales Cycle?
A sales cycle is the process that sales engineers venture throughout when selling a product to a customer. It comprises all activities related to closing a sale. Companies often modify the sales cycle to address their specific customer’s needs.
How is the Sales Cycle different for Sales Engineers?
Sales Engineers often sell products that are expensive or considered capital expenditures. It is common to spend a considerable amount of time in each stage of the sales cycle as a Sales Engineer. This can be different from sales cycles of less expensive products or services where the sales cycle may be traversed more quickly.
Why does the Sales Cycle matter?
Familiarizing yourself with the sales cycle and how to navigate it will increase your productivity, your customer's experience, and your likelihood of winning.
What is the Engineering Sales Cycle?
The infographic below outlines the eight stages of the modern sales cycle for sales engineers. The height of each column represents the amount of time or effort a customer is likely to spend in a given stage. Customers and sales engineers both experience the cycle, but the strategies and thought processes are different for each group.
Engineering Sales Cycle
How do I strategically navigate the Engineering Sales Cycle?
As you can see, customers spend a considerable amount of time in the early stages of the sales cycle versus the middle phases. With that said, it is highly advantageous to engage with customers as early on in the cycle as possible.
Use the Sales Cycle to your advantage!
Potential outcomes of using the engineering sales cycle to your advantage include being designed into the solution from the beginning, as well as being seen as a value added partner by your customers. This will help drive repeat business.
Don’t wait to engage your customers
If you wait until the customer is in the middle stages of the cycle, you will likely be seen as a vendor and may end up spending your time objection handling and comparing low level specifications instead of the benefits of your solution.
The modern engineering sales cycle is experienced by both customers and sales engineers, however, the thought processes differ. Engage your customers as early as possible to increase your chances of being selected as the solution. Pay attention to where your customers are in the cycle as this will alter your strategy
To collaborate with fellow professional sales engineers, visit the discussion boards.