The definition of a sales cycle is the series of predictable phases required to sell a product or a service. Sales cycles can vary greatly among organizations, products and services, and no one sale will be exactly the same.

However, identifying the key steps and stages improves sales efficiency, helps salespeople sell more, and speeds up the process of on-boarding new sales hires.

Finding new prospects to fill the hopper is a vital first step. A good start to prospecting is to define what a good prospect is like for your business, and to get you thinking about how you could approach such a prospect. Different approaches work better for different industries. Often times, the first contact is either a phone call, an email, or even snail mail. Offering help, support, and information is likely to be more successful than a hard sell. You can only determine whether your solution is a good fit if you truly understand your prospect’s needs. Equip yourself and your sales reps with the questions and resources they need to uncover the right information.

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