We can talk about follow up emails, content marketing, social selling , and other sales topics all day, but none of these matter if you aren’t closing deals. All of these other steps drive towards closing the deal. But all this work is thrown away when you make some basic sales mistakes that hurt your close rates. Salesforce reports that only 13% of leads convert to opportunities, and only 6% of opportunities convert to leads. Here are some tips to help improve your close rates:
1. Listen and Learn
Most people find it off putting when a salesperson immediately dives into a pitch. Instead of focusing on highlighting the benefits of your product at the beginning, first ask questions and learn about the challenges the prospect faces. Not only will this make them feel heard and validated, it will also allow you to sell more effectively later in the process.
2. Add value
Now that you fully understand the prospect’s challenges and their company, offer valuable insight and add value with every interaction. Once this relationship has developed and the prospect trusts and respects your opinions, you can begin to pitch how your offering would solve their problems. But make sure the prospect is still doing most of the talking!
3. Ditch prospects that are a bad fit
Oftentimes a sales person will realize early on that a prospect is not a good fit for their product, but will try to force the deal forwards to improve their sales numbers. All this does is waste valuable time that could have been spent with qualified leads who could actually lead to a closed deal. Once you see someone isn’t a good fit, move on and focus on your qualified leads, or what we here at VizQuest called Validated Sales Opportunities (VSOs).
4. Get decision-makers on board
Not including key decision-makers can lead to a deal falling apart in the final stages of the process, making all your hard work meaningless. From the beginning of the process, develop an understanding of the decision-making process at the prospect’s company, and make sure all key decision-makers are onboard. Keep your conversations with all employees at a company consistent so that everyone is on the same page throughout the process.
These tips will help increase your close rates and prevent the loss of sales late in the process. Try them out and let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter @VizQuest!