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The Sales Business Cycle - Part 1

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Author: Daryl Cowie

The basic philosophy behind the sales perspective is the more you sell the more money you make. This makes a lot of sense, so let's take a look at business management from the perspective of a sales led organization.

The basic representation of business from a sales perspective consists of four main steps:

1. finding leads
2. converting those leads
3. closing the deal
4. delivering the product or service

The end goal, as always, is to provide a solution that the customer is happy with so you can collect payment.

In small organizations lead finding, conversion and closing may all be handled by the sales staff. In larger organizations these functions start to get split up and assigned to separate teams. The best way to split them up depends on the organization and the dynamics of the market you are selling to.

Lead Generation - Finding People To Help

Lead generation is all about getting potential customers to take a first look at you and your company. The objective is to make initial contact with people and determine if there is the potential for a mutually beneficial business relationship. You may not even have a specific product or service in mind during lead generation. Just an idea of your desired market and the type of people and businesses you want to serve is enough to launch lead generation campaigns.

It is important to recognize that the success of lead generation tactics is measured by the number of qualified leads generated by those tactics, not by the amount of sales. The money comes later. Some common examples of lead generation tactics are: broadcast advertising, direct mail, and networking at trade shows and other events.

Many people (myself included) believe the ideal business scenario is to first define your desired market. Then go get some leads and get to know them and the problems they are having. Only after gaining a deep knowledge of your chosen market's biggest needs and wants are you in the right position to develop suitable solutions. You then get the added benefit of offering your solutions to a market that already knows and trusts you because you didn't come in trying to get their money pushing whatever you happened to have before getting to know them.

Generating leads is where all new businesses start. Without leads you have no one to convince to buy. You can't get any orders, you can't deliver any solutions, and ultimately you can't get paid. Without leads to follow up on no other part of the organization can even begin to function.

In part 2 we'll look at converting those leads into customers.

About the author: Daryl Cowie has shared management tips with 1000s of people in over 30 countries around the world. His mission is to help you and your company turn business opportunities into business realities. Sign up for his free business management home study course at

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