5 Stages of the New Sales Cycle

5 Stages of the New Sales Cycle

By John Jantsch

Generating and converting leads is mostly what marketing is about. Creating happy customers is mostly what generates long-term profit.

koocbor via Flickr

In this pursuit, marketers have long realized there is a definite cycle that must occur in most businesses in order to get a prospect’s interest and then turn that interest into dollars.

Many businesses have differing cycles depending upon the complexity or cost of the purchase being considered. Some have cycles that are triggered by events, such as the birth of a child or start of a business.

The sales cycle, like most every other aspect of marketing, has been impacted dramatically by the Internet, the content and information glut and a prospect’s ability to block uninvited messages.

Today’s sales cycle contains distinct segments and smart marketers understand they must build new touchpoints, content and processes to address the logical progression of prospect to raving fan in order to compete in today’s world.

Below are the 5 stages in the new sales cycle.

Listen – The very first stage of the sales cycle today involves intent listening. Prospects today serve up a buffet of information via social media and we can gain incredible access to their challenges, requests, chain of command and recent changes – basically a selling road map – if we only listen.

Sparkle – Nobody talks about boring businesses. To create awareness these days you must communicate a clear difference, create content people readily choose to share and actively participate in dozens of outposts frequented by your ideal prospects. Getting noticed these days is less about shouting and more about sparkling.

Educate – One awareness is created we must build trust for our products, services, solutions and expertise. Again, content – both in the form of written word and spoken teaching is what sells.

Convert – Lead conversion, or what most small businesses still refer to as selling, is a profoundly changed activity in this model. If the sales cycle has been followed to this point, there is very little selling that remains. The job here is to make sure the prospect can see how they can get the desired results with your solution. This is still an education and content play, but now it’s all about showing proof and forecasting results in your system or process.

Listen – The final stage of the sales process is a return to listening – but now we are listening to a customer. We are listening for what works, what doesn’t, how to get better results, how to measure results, how to engage them further and how to turn a thrilled customer into a highly active referral source.

A happy customer is the most powerful lead generation tool in the new marketer’s tool chest and creates the kind of business building momentum that makes this a pretty simple game.


The true power of referral marketing and how you can use it today to grow your small business fast
Referral marketing, also known as word-of-mouth marketing, is one of the oldest (and still most effective!) marketing strategies out there. It’s basically about people buying your products and services because somebody they trust recommends it to them. Word-of-mouth is a subtle process that is present everywhere in our daily lives. The reason for which a […]
How to Optimize Your Referral Program and Boost Your Sales
Referral marketing looks like the elixir of marketing. You are making your customers refer their friends to your business at no extra cost. Doesn’t that sound great? If you are a business owner, I know it does. But here’s the thing: creating a referral program isn’t hard. With software companies like ReferralCandy and Referral SaaSquatch, it has never […]

Subscribe to the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast

If you know your small business needs marketing, but don’t have the time or resources, look no further. The Duct Tape Marketing podcast covers everything from earning referrals to managing time and being more productive.

Grab 7 Steps To Marketing Success

This eBook has been downloaded and used by thousands of business owners and marketers to use as a blueprint for marketing success. Start building your marketing system today!
x