Think your team has a “closing” problem? Think again. How often have you heard leaders say, “My salespeople can’t close”?
If you’re a sales manager, you’ve probably even said it. But failing to close is never the real problem. Never. That’s just the symptom. The problem is that sales reps neglect important activities during the early stages of the sales process. Unless you address the broken links in your prospecting system, your sales reps will continue to struggle.
Put your finger on the real problem
When you start analyzing what really went wrong with missed sales opportunities, you’ll typically discover that your sales reps didn’t make time to prepare for their meetings. They didn’t plan agendas, do their research, tailor their pitches, or even check the clients’ LinkedIn profiles to identify shared interests, connections, and similarities.
Other common prospecting problems:
The initial prospects were unqualified. They had no idea why they were meeting with the salesperson or why they should be interested.
The salesperson didn’t ask enough discovery questions.
The salesperson left without getting agreement on next steps or scheduling the next call.
Follow-up consisted of a series of emails that promoted products, didn’t address the client’s unique concerns, and had no calls to action.
The salesperson was clueless as to why his emails were greeted with radio silence.
This is not how you wow prospects, build relationships with them, and convert them into clients.
What Your Peers Are Reading
Start at the source
If your team has trouble closing, go back to the beginning — qualifying prospects — and examine your entire sales process for missing links and broken tactics.
Ask these pointed questions:
How are sales reps getting leads?
How are these leads qualified?
Are salespeople asking the right questions to identify prospects’ problems and propose thoughtful solutions?
Do sales reps demonstrate product features, or do they talk ROI?
What is the marketing plan for following up?
Don’t even think about training your sales team on closing techniques. Save your money. Instead, give them a sales process that works.