The Sale Process: What to Offer and What You Will Get

This is the complete guide to working leads through every stage of the sales cycle. Learn what to offer and extract at each phase.


Closing a sale is rarely as simple as making a single pitch and having the customer say "yes" immediately. In most cases, the salesperson and potential buyer go through an entire journey before getting to that final closed-won deal. This journey is known as the sales cycle.

Understanding and following a structured sales cycle provides a proven roadmap for efficiently guiding prospects through the buying process, from initial contact to signing on the dotted line.

This guide details the typical stages of a sales cycle. It covers what sales specialists should aim to accomplish and provide at each step and what information they should gather from the prospective buyer.

What’s a Sales Cycle?

The Sale Process: What to Offer and What You Will Get, What’s a Sales Cycle?

A sales cycle outlines all the stages a seller goes through while converting a prospect into a paying customer. It maps out the journey, defining what needs to happen at each step to move the sale forward.

The sales cycle gives structure to the selling process. It helps salespeople understand where they are, what they've accomplished, and what needs to be done next to advance the opportunity.

Having a well-defined sales cycle provides clarity for both the seller and buyer. It sets expectations and allows for better opportunity management and forecasting of sales.

What to Expect at Every CRM Stage of the Sales Cycle

While every company's sales process differs, they all follow a similar cycle with defined stages. Understanding what should happen at each step allows you to effectively guide prospects through the full journey to making a purchase.

Here, we'll break down the typical stages in order, explaining each purpose, what the salesperson should provide to the prospect, and what information they should aim to gather from the potential buyer at that point.

1. Meeting Set

The meeting set is the very first stage, where you've made initial contact with a new lead and scheduled an introductory call or meeting. The purpose is simply to book that first appointment.

What to Offer

At this stage, you'll want to provide:

Invite - The actual calendar invite for the call with date/time

Call Agenda - A basic outline of what will be covered so they know what to expect

Giving a brief agenda allows the prospect to mentally prepare and adjust their own expectations for how the meeting will unfold. It displays transparency and competence on your part.

What to Get from the Client

Here's what you should aim to gather from the prospect when setting the meeting:

  • Why They Took the Call - Their interest level and reason for agreeing to meet
  • Objectives - What they hope to get out of the initial conversation
  • Attendees - Who from their side will be on the call

Understanding their initial motivations and level of interest tells you how to approach the meeting to present effectively.

Knowing upfront what the prospect hopes to get out of the conversation allows you to tailor the discussion to deliver on those priorities and provide more value.

Clarifying who will be present from their side lets you plan accordingly based on roles. You can adapt your messaging for any decision-makers joining.

2. Initial Pitch Demo

The Sale Process: What to Offer and What You Will Get, Initial Pitch Demo

Now, you'll have your first real conversation with the prospect to introduce your product or service. The purpose is to pique their interest by showcasing what you offer and how it can benefit them.

This initial pitch sets the foundation. You want to make a strong first impression while also gathering more detailed information about their situation and requirements.

What to Offer

For the pitch demo, you'll want to provide:

  • One Sheet - A high-level overview document or pamphlet describing your product/service features and value proposition. This gives them an at-a-glance understanding.
  • Testimonial - Including a quote or video testimonial from an existing happy customer lends credibility to your claims.
  • Case Study: Sharing a real-world success story about how you solved a similar problem or use case makes the value concrete.

The primary goal of the initial pitch demo is to effectively introduce and position your product/service in a way that piques the prospect's interest and desire to learn more. This first conversation sets the tone and lays the foundation for advancing the sales process.

What to Get from the Client

At this pitch stage, you should aim to uncover:

  • Decision Makers - These are the people who ultimately make the buying decision and any other influential stakeholders involved.
  • Buying Process - Understanding their typical process, criteria, and hoops to jump through illuminates the path ahead.
  • Core Needs - Diving deeper into their primary goals, challenges, and "pain points" shapes how you can continue positioning your solution

The initial demo is about making a positive first impression while extracting critical details about their unique situation and buying journey. This lets you personalize and refine your sales approach for them moving forward.

3. Reaching all Decision Makers

At this stage, you've made your initial pitch and need to expand your conversations to any other influential people involved in the buying decision. The goal is to get your full sales story and value proposition from all the crucial stakeholders.

What to Offer

  • Buying Guide - A downloadable guide that walks prospects through the buying process for your solution and what to expect. This helps manage expectations.
  • Demo Recording/Assessment - Providing a recording of the demo you initially gave or doing another live walkthrough. This ensures everyone is on the same page.
  • Objection Handling - Being prepared to address any objections or concerns from other stakeholders seeing your pitch for the first time.

You want to standardize the experience across all decision-makers. The buying guide keeps everyone aligned on the process. Sharing demo materials gets everyone equal exposure to your core pitch. Proactively addressing objections prevents rear momentum.

What to Get from the Client

  • Timeline - Discuss their targeted timeline or deadline for deciding to gauge urgency.
  • Buying Interest - Get a Temperature check on their level of interest and where you stand among competing options.

Understanding their timeline lets you plan your next steps and sales cadence accordingly. Gauging buyer interest identifies any potential stalls you need to overcome.

The core purpose of this stage is to ensure you've raised your full awareness and pitched your value to all decision-makers involved. Anticipating needs and gathering key insights keeps your opportunity on track.

4. Proposal Presented

The Sale Process: What to Offer and What You Will Get, Proposal Presented

You've had substantive conversations with all the crucial players and stakeholders by now. This stage is for you to present your formal proposal and pricing structure for their opportunity.

What to Offer

While presenting, you should give your clients:

  • Proposal - The comprehensive document outlining your recommended solution, implementation details, pricing, and commercial terms.
  • ROI Calculator - A tool or model that estimates and quantifies the potential return on investment or cost savings for the client if they proceed.

The proposal package is your official pitch, clarifying exactly what's being offered and at what cost. It's a concrete next step toward advancing the deal.

The ROI calculator helps justify the expenditure by illustrating the tangible business benefits and value your solution would deliver.

What to Get from the Client

By this time, you should have:

  • Pricing and Budget Feedback: Get their thoughts, reactions, and any objections to the proposed pricing and solution costs.

This reveals if your pricing fits their budget expectations or if price objections may need to be overcome through further value selling or negotiation.

Proposing formal pricing and deal terms is a major milestone that indicates the sales process is progressing toward a closed deal. Substantiating the ROI lends financial justification while pricing feedback identifies remaining hurdles to clear.

5. Assessment

At the assessment stage, the prospect actively evaluates your proposed solution against their requirements and alternative options. The purpose is to provide additional resources to aid their assessment while gaining insight into their evaluations.

What to Offer

  • Guides - Supplemental guides or documentation that provides deeper insights into using your solution's specific features or capabilities.
  • Best Practices - Shareable advice, tips, and recommendations around optimally utilizing and getting the most value from your product/service.
  • FAQs - A list of frequently asked questions and answers that address common queries, concerns, or uncertainties.

Guides give the prospect a more comprehensive technical understanding to facilitate their assessment. Providing best practice guidance helps them envision effectively implementing and adopting your solution for maximum impact.

An FAQ ensures you've proactively addressed likely questions that could emerge during their assessment process.

What to Get from the Client

As the prospect evaluates your solution, find out:

  • Other Tools Being Considered - Inquire what other vendor options or tools they are evaluating as potential alternatives.

Understanding your primary competition allows you to directly compare and contrast your differing strengths and value propositions.

You now want to comprehensively equip the prospect with resources and expertise that showcase your solution's capabilities and advantages. At the same time, you gain critical intelligence about their assessment criteria and barriers.

6. Negotiation

The Sale Process: What to Offer and What You Will Get, Negotiation

After the prospect fully assesses your proposed solution, pricing, terms, and contractual details will be negotiated. The purpose is to arrive at a final agreement that works for both parties.

What to Offer

To help you negotiate, offer clients:

  • ROI Calculator: Revisit the ROI/value justification model you initially provided, updating it with any new information or scenarios discussed.

As pricing objections arise, you can reload the ROI calculator to reframe the investment costs against the substantiated benefits and returns.

What to Get from the Client

During negotiations, you primarily aim to gather and understand:

  • Their specific pricing concerns, objections, and areas needing flexibility
  • Which terms or clauses may need revising to align with their requirements
  • If any compromises or concessions on either side can create a win-win

Giving and taking are expected throughout these discussions. Having the ROI calculator allows you to reframe costs against quantified value. Getting their issues on the table upfront allows you to work towards a mutually agreeable solution.

7. Contract Sent

Once negotiations are complete, you'll send the finalized legal contract or agreement for the prospect's signature. The goal is to transition into the final closed-won stage.

What to Offer

This time, give them:

  • MSA and SOW or T&Cs - The all-encompassing Master Services Agreement, Statement of Work, and/or legal Terms & Conditions documents that codify the deal's specifics.

These official legal and contractual components memorialize and formalize the commercial agreement you've negotiated.

What to Get from the Client

You should now find out the:

  • Procurement Process and Timeframe — Understand their process for receiving, reviewing, and approving the legal paperwork. Get a reasonable estimate for turnaround time.

Managing expectations around the contract cycle avoids surprises or miscommunications about potential delays in the final signature.

After intense negotiations, sending the official legal contracts is the pivotal moment of truth. Having transparent dialogue about the remaining process and timing paves the way for a smooth transition to a closed deal.

8. Closed Won

The Sale Process: What to Offer and What You Will Get, Closed Won

This is the final celebratory stage, where the prospect officially becomes a customer by signing the contract! The purpose is to kick them off smoothly and transition them to using your solution.

What to Offer

As you finally close the deal, you should offer:

  • Customer Kick-Off Survey or Log-in to Account with Training Materials - Provide all the necessary resources, credentials, and training content to get them onboarded and started as a new customer.

You want their experience to be seamless from the closed deal into adopting your product/service.

Your main objective is to enable a friction-free handoff so the new customer can immediately extract value from their purchased solution. Giving them access to training, support resources, and any provisioning requirements sets them up for success.

Skilled sales professionals relentlessly focus on creating a positive experience from the closed-won finish line and beyond. Thoughtful delivery of onboarding materials reinforces their decision and starts the customer's lifetime journey off on the right foot.

What to Get from the Client

At this point, you've secured all the critical commitments. The closed-won stage is about delivering on the promised value that led to their purchase decision.

By expertly guiding opportunities through each progressive sales cycle stage and providing resources while proactively gathering insights, you maximize your chances of closed-won victories. 

Mastering the Sales Cycle

A structured sales cycle provides the framework and process for consistently advancing opportunities from initial interest to closed deals.

At each stage, specific objectives must be accomplished—from making an impactful first impression to substantiating ROI to negotiating win-win agreements. 

By understanding the purpose and deliverables for both the seller and buyer at every step, you can maximize your chances of successfully guiding prospects through to signed contracts.

This blueprint will help you efficiently manage opportunities throughout your entire sales process. Leverage it as your guide, customizing your unique product and buyer journeys. Consistently working the full cycle will lead to more closed-won victories.

Learn More About Sales with Lunas

Ready to surpass your sales goals and join the ranks of elite closers? Follow the proven sales cycle blueprint while continuing to sharpen your skills with guidance from Lunas’s expert resources, which dive deeper into mastering every aspect of the selling process.

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