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Help Your Sales Team Close More Deals

People are always saying, "We need closers" on the sales team. Yes, salespeople need to ask for the deal, and sadly, many don’t. But closing should be the easiest part of the sale if you've done your work on the front end well. Unfortunately, that is what most people don't get. Here's how you can help your sales team close more deals.

Know Your Ideal Client

In any business, you must know who your ideal client is — failing to understand who your perfect customer is can cause misinterpretations.

According to HubSpot and LinkedIn's Sales Enablement Report, "at least 50% of your prospects aren't a good fit for what you sell. Furthermore, 71.4% of respondents said that 50% or fewer of their initial prospects turn out to be a good fit." That can be horrible for your sales retention rate.

Rather than chasing every shiny new opportunity that comes your way, take some time to analyze the people and companies with whom you currently conduct business. Look at their size, industry, location, business model, and culture. This can quickly provide a good overview of who your ideal client may be.

Knowing your ideal client allows your team to build your entire business, message, products, services, support, and sales process to attract and serve this narrowly defined group.

Identify the Right Decision-makers

During discovery calls, you'll want to ensure that your salespeople determine who the right decision-makers are, as there can be several.

Good discovery happens when a salesperson uncovers the customers' needs. Great discovery occurs when salespeople introduce conditions that the potential customer might not have thought about and tie those needs to a business impact.

Great discovery starts with asking questions and identifying all the people who have a role in decision-making.

More expensive items tend to have several decision-makers. According to WB Research, "In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions." In addition to a final decision maker at an executive level, there may be others such as a technical person, an operations person, or even someone who uses the product who influences the buying decision.

Ask all the Questions

Every sales leader knows that asking questions and listening is the key to closing more deals. Discovery calls should be a two-way street. Both parties should feel free to speak up and ask questions.

The goal of the discovery call is to learn as much as you can about a prospect's business and the challenges they are facing. That way, you can determine if you offer the right solutions for them.

In the best discovery calls, prospects speak more than the salesperson. According to MindTickle, "On average, top reps limit their talk time to 45% of the discovery call, allowing the prospect to speak the remainder of the time." Listen for keywords to determine the prospect's challenges.

Practice Value Selling

After your salesperson has learned all relevant information on the prospect, they need to sell the value and build trust with them.

Value-based selling is an approach that focuses on benefitting the customer throughout the sales process. Focus on taking a consultative approach to provide value to the customer so the sales decision is made based on the value the product or service can provide.

This includes how your solution will help the individual stakeholders and the customer's company. Throughout the sales process, be intentional about the value you bring to each touchpoint and meeting. Use your expertise as a value add and to demonstrate what your product or service provides.

Adjust your Approach

Sales leaders know that sales have changed over the years. You no longer go door-to-door or assume there is a one-size-fits-all solution approach. Instead, customers are seeking you out and interacting with your sales team virtually, leading you to change your approach to selling.

The Xactly State of Global Enterprise Sales Performance report found that today, "50 percent of companies are still operating fully remotely, with 19 percent planning to return to the office when possible." The transition to remote selling was especially challenging for outside salespeople. But the good news is, virtual environments haven't negatively impacted sales engagements.

Customers seem to have adapted to the virtual world. As Forrester reports, "33% of customers have contacted a company using Facebook and similar social channels." Virtual selling environments are challenging, but they offer the opportunity to create strong relationships, as the salesperson can connect with their customer where they are comfortable.

In the End

If you want your sales team to close more deals, they need to put the work in. This starts with them knowing their ideal customers and not pursuing the wrong customers. You want their discovery calls to lead them to the correct decision-makers and identify any challenges the customers face. You'll also want your sales team to know the value of their product or service and be able to adjust their approach to meet customers where they are at. If they do this well, closing basically becomes automatic.

About Gary Braun

Gary is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors. He has worked for 20+ years as a salesperson and sales leader. Gary has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Vistage, Allied Executives, CEO Roundtable, Sales Management Association, and more. If you want to find out more about Gary check out his profile here.
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