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Consulting sales process

Consulting sales process: A step-by-step guide! 

Key Takeaways
  • Businesses following a dedicated sales process have a 28% higher win rate than those without it.
  • Consulting sales process helps to improve productivity, revenue, and client relationships.
  • The sales process must be consistently updated and experimented with to know what works better or what is not for you.

Consultants usually work 50 to 80 hours weekly to cover their role’s demands. 

However, a structured consulting sales process can help you seamlessly boost the workflow and facilitate sales actions.

According to a study, organizations with a formal sales process had a 28% higher win rate than those without. 

So, a consulting sales process can be a huge win rate for you. So, let’s dive deep in.  

What is a consulting sales process? 

A consulting sales process is a series of steps consultants can follow to identify, qualify, and close opportunities effectively.   

It typically involves several stages, from identifying prospective clients to post-sales follow-up. 

Consulting sales mainly includes identifying prospects, understanding their wants and requirements, putting up a proposal, negotiating best, and then closing.   

But what if you don’t have a consulting sales process? Keep on reading to discover. 

Downsides of not creating a consulting sales process  

Businesses without a consulting sales process face challenges like missing potential money-making opportunities, poor productivity, inconsistent results, and much more. So, let’s learn them in detail. 

Higher chances of losing opportunities 

A sales process provides a structured approach to lead generation, lead qualification, and sales conversion. So, without this, potential opportunities can easily slip through the cracks due to poor nurturing, missing follow, etc.  

Inconsistent results 

No dedicated consulting sales process could result in irregular sales performance and approach, thus giving inconsistent outcomes. Moreover, it hindered your ability to forecast sales revenue and make informed decisions.

Less productivity 

The lack of a defined consulting sales process results in inefficiencies and a waste of resources because reps are unclear about their next steps.   

Weakened differentiation 

Not having a strong sales process will lead to ineffective communication with our prospective clients and thus weaken differentiation. Note that the consulting industry is highly competitive, so you should be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors to sustain.

Decreased client satisfaction   

Loss of revenue and a negative image might result from no or ineffective sales process that does not accurately identify client needs or fulfill promises.   

In all, a well-designed sales process helps you boost your sales, generate more revenue and improve client satisfaction.  

If you don’t know how to build a strong sales process for your consulting business, here’s one for industry experts! 

6 Step gateway – Consulting sales process 

A sales process is crucial for revenue growth as it can help discover quality leads and nurture them to close. Here are six critical steps for closing consultant sales.  

Step 1: Identify your prospective clients 

40% of sales professionals stated that prospecting is one of the most challenging parts of any sales process.  

Sales prospecting is identifying your ideal clients; these are people who can benefit from your services.   

Understandably, not every person looking for consulting is your client.  

It depends on various factors like what kind of consulting you offer, who are the ideal fit customers, what their demographics are, buyer persona, and more.  

Sales prospecting involves researching, networking, and marketing to identify companies or individuals who fit your expertise well.   

There are two ways it works – inbound and outbound prospecting.  

And the basic difference between both is that inbound prospecting is a market-driven approach focused on attracting customers via content, SEO, etc., and creating awareness.   

Whereas outbound prospecting is, a sales-driven approach focused on reaching clients via email campaigns, calling, networking events, etc., and generating leads.  

For consulting business, you can use both types of prospecting depending on the availability of resources (team, budget) and sales goals. 

For better prospecting, implement these 5 best practices:  

  • Conduct detailed prospect research to build an ideal prospect profile.  
  • Identify your USPs that meet your client’s demands and needs.  
  • Analyze data to target with a personalized approach.  
  • Take omnichannel support (sales calls, emails, social media, etc.) to target your customers and boost engagement.  
  • Track your sales activities to optimize your sales prospecting efforts. 

Read in detail: Best tips and techniques for successful sales prospecting! 

Step 2: Discover and qualify the lead 

Once you have a list of potential leads from your prospecting efforts, qualifying them and analyzing their needs is essential.  

Engage in conversations to understand their challenges, goals, and expectations.  

This step helps you determine if there is a good fit between your consulting services and the client’s requirements. 

You can ask qualifying questions to better discover those prospects’ pain points, desires, and buying intent. 

Here are some key qualifying questions consultants can ask to qualify their leads: 

  • What challenges or pain points are you currently experiencing? 
  • What goals or outcomes are you trying to achieve? 
  • Have you considered any solutions or products to address these challenges or accomplish these goals? 
  • Is there any additional information that you need to make a decision? 

If you’re not clear on how, to begin with, you can take support of sales qualification frameworks.  

Considering your qualifying criteria, you can qualify effectively with the most promising qualification framework. 

Moreover, if you generate inbound leads, you can save time and energy in qualification using an automated lead scoring system; learn how! 

So this way, you will discover who are the most interested leads for your consulting business, and you can qualify further with your ideal qualifying questions. 

Discover your promising leads!

Discover your promising leads!

Salesmate Score lets you qualify and prioritize leads on your conditions automatically.

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Step 3: Develop and present a proposal 

A study reveals that 50% of consultants win 60% or less of their consulting service proposals. However, a consulting services proposal can help you win prospective clients if it is tailored to them. 

When presenting your consultancy proposals, highlight your value delivery, present tailored solutions based on past conversations, and quote the best pricing. 

Also, you must provide these in the proposal: 

  • Scope of work: Based on the client’s details gathered from past interactions, precisely present what you will do, what deliverables you will provide, and what can be the expected outcomes. 
  • Highlight your expertise: Clearly state your relevant experience and expertise in your proposal. This will help build credibility and trust with the client. 
  • Provide a clear timeline: Your timeline must outline the key milestones and deliverables. This will help your client understand what to expect and in what timeframe. 
  • Include a pricing and payment plan: Provide a tailored pricing plan that clearly outlines the cost of your services. You should also include a payment plan, including when and how they need to pay for the services. 
  • Present a customized proposal: You must tailor your proposal to the client’s needs and preferences. Also, highlight their challenges and goals, and show how your services will help them achieve their objectives. 

Most importantly, you must highlight how you differ from others in their industry and the one-of-a-kind solutions you provide for their business. 

Step 4: Dedicated follow-up  

Once you’re done with your initial interactions, meetings, and proposals sending, now is the time to conduct sales follow-ups. 

As per a study, 80% of sales are achieved between the 5th and 9th contact with your prospective customer. 

This is why follow-ups play a crucial role in any sales process.  

Timely follow-ups can get you a deal, whereas inconsistent or poor follow-ups will result in losing the prospect nurtured so far. 

Well, a sound sales follow-up strategy will be helpful in such a case.

Here are key things to keep in mind when following ups: 

  • Always try to provide value through your follow-ups 
  • Ensure your follow-up email, text, or sales pitch content is relevant 
  • Decide the ideal frequency for conducting sales follow-ups 
  • Ensure to personalize your follow-ups to boost responses
  • Decide the ideal follow-up timing  

Related read: How often to follow up on sales leads?

Follow-ups can increase customer retention, improve performance and boost sales; how about automating them? 

Automate your follow up to win more deals!

Automate your follow up to win more deals!

Set a follow up sequence to warm your communication until the deal closes.

Explore Sales Sequences

Step 5: Negotiate best 

Expecting deal closure without any negotiation? Well, it is only in dreams or some exceptions. 

Your clients are always looking for opportunities to negotiate to save their pennies. 

And you’re in a position to never lose a deal at this stage. So, better prepare yourself for the negotiation fairly and get the deal done. 

Here are some tips for effective negotiation:  

  • Be confident: Prepare well for the negotiation by presenting the value to the price quote. 
  • Fairly focus on value over price: Emphasize the value your consulting will be bringing to the table.  
  • Express yourself as the best in the market: Highlight your expertise and experience, and discuss the successful case studies they can relate to. 
  • Must prepare for an alternative solution: If the negotiation hits a deadlock or the client has objections, you must have options. This shows that you are flexible and willing to find mutually beneficial solutions. 
  • Be open to compromise to a fair extent: You should be willing to make concessions and find common ground. 

Negotiation should be fairly done, and neither should the consultant nor the clients lose. 

Step 6: Deal closing and paperwork 

Now that your client has agreed to your offer and you’ve come to a fair conclusion in terms of pricing and benefits, you can set for closing the deal.

However, closing a deal isn’t so easy, but with a few precautions, you can increase your probability of winning the opportunity as the client.

Here are some best tips to close the deal faster:  

5 quick tips for faster closing a deal

The paperwork and onboarding are an unsaid part of closing sales.

Therefore, you should include all the terms and conditions in your deal document, ensuring mutual understanding.

To grow your business, you must closely keep track of your sales efforts, deal responses, and progress. So, to achieve success in consistency, ensure you have your data intact to help you in decision-making.

Track your sales efforts effortlessly!

Track your sales efforts effortlessly!

Salesmate offers custom reports that give you deep insights into your sales success and bottlenecks. Want to improve your decision making?

Explore Sales Intelligence

Difference between consulting sales process, consulting sales pipeline, and consulting sales funnel 

To help you understand the core difference and importance of the above terminologies, we’ve created the following detailed table:

Details  Consulting sales process  Consulting sales pipeline  Consulting sales funnel  
Definition Salespeople move a prospect from a lead to a concluded deal by using a systematic approach termed the sales process. A deal’s stages, from the first contact to closure, are referred to as the sales pipeline.  The sales funnel represents the processes prospects go through before purchasing.  
Focus It focuses on improving sales reps’ actions and interactions with the prospect. It focuses on the prospects or opportunities currently under negotiation and the likelihood of closing each deal.  It focuses on the journey of the prospect and their progress through the stages of the buying process.  
Stages Stages include lead generation, qualification, presentation, resolving objections, follow-ups, and closing. Stages include sales prospecting, qualifying, meetings, proposing, follow-ups, and closing. Stages include awareness, interest, consideration, choice, and action. 
Use The sales process is often utilized to standardize and enhance the effectiveness of the actions taken by the sales team. The sales pipeline is frequently used to monitor progress, identify bottlenecks, and predict sales. The sales funnel is frequently utilized to comprehend the progress of prospects through their buying journey and to pinpoint development opportunities. 
Apply to   It typically applies to each sale effort made. It applies to the entire sales process of the business The sales funnel applies to a company’s whole marketing and sales procedure. 

Conclusion 

A well-structured sales process is the strength of any sales organization, as it is helpful for sales reps/consultants to win more sales opportunities consistently.

A successful consultant follows a consultative selling approach, which makes it effective to better communicate with clients, and it is helpful for your sales force (consultants here) to better deal with your prospective clients.

So, with a consultative sales process, you can take your potential clients on a journey that provides a positive sales experience and opens doors for more sales opportunities.

Sonali Negi

Sonali is a writer born out of her utmost passion for writing. She is working with a passionate team of content creators at Salesmate. She enjoys learning about new ideas in marketing and sales. She is an optimistic girl and endeavors to bring the best out of every situation. In her free time, she loves to introspect and observe people.

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