Sales professionals are always encouraged to adhere to the fundamentals of selling by remembering well-known guidelines such as ABC, which is short for “always be closing.”
If you’re a sales or marketing practitioner, you probably already know that “always be closing” is much easier said than done. Converting a prospect into an actual paying customer can sometimes turn out to be a long, drawn-out process, filled with plenty of back and forth negotiations between yourself and the potential client.
Truth be told, the first customer contact is usually just the beginning of a sales journey, and it doesn’t necessarily guarantee a sale. We all want the journey to end in a successful conversion, but that’s not always the case.
The general rule of thumb is that you need to try, at least, five to twelve times before a client will finally agree to a sale.
5 Proven Ways to Increase Your Closing Rates
Given those odds, how can you improve your chances of closing a sale? Here are five tips you can implement to tilt the odds in your favor:
1. Find a CRM Solution That Works for You
Not all CRM systems are created equal, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to end your sales woes. However, finding the right one for your organization can mean the difference between a marked increase in customer retention (about 27%) and a single sales interaction that doesn’t progress beyond the initial purchase.
Everyone knows that encouraging loyalty makes business sense. Loyalty increases a single customer’s lifetime value and ensures a steady revenue stream for your business.
The right CRM software can aid you in keeping your loyal customers by helping you to manage the sales funnel, effectively qualify leads, track customer touch points, and provide data for analysis. It’s an investment that results in an ROI of $5.60 for every dollar spent on the CRM software.
2. Personalize Your Approach
Optimize the wealth of customer information you’ve acquired. Use big data and social media platforms to customize your sales presentations whenever possible. Don’t rely on generic marketing materials and cookie-cutter sales pitches to get the job done.
There’s nothing like a personalized presentation to increase the chances of sealing a deal. For example, don’t just send out the same email message to prospects. Instead, include personal touches that let them know you value them as people, not just numbers or sales opportunities.
Adding a personal touch can increase your click through rate by as much as 14%, and boost your chances of converting by 10% (research by HubSpot).
3. Exude Confidence
Before convincing someone to buy something from you, you have to convince yourself first, which in turn helps you exude a feeling of confidence in the product you’re offering.
Know the ins and outs of your product, and do your research about a prospect to help tailor your approach. If you’re not feeling particularly confident and still feel the jitters, it’s still possible to come off as confident.
Ever heard the adage “fake it ’til you make it’? You can “fake” confidence through the way you carry yourself. Start by making direct eye contact. Practice communicating clearly. Use phrases that inspire confidence such as the assumptive close: “When can we start with the implementation phase?”
4. Avoid Over-Closing
Coming on too strong might work in some cases, especially for qualified leads who don’t need much convincing on your part. But not all prospects respond positively to an aggressive approach that uses techniques like the assumptive close.
The best salespeople are excellent listeners. Be sensitive to your prospects’ emotional state. Don’t just listen to what is being said but to the implications behind the words as well.
If there’s an air of negativity and you insist on barreling through with a strong approach, you’re more than likely to be met with resistance and strong objections. Be careful not to anger your prospects, as they might get turned off and simply move on.
5. Don’t Hesitate to Follow Up
Persistence pays off in the long run. Don’t allow a lead to go cold and always keep in touch with a prospect. There’s a high chance that many of your leads won’t be ready to make a purchase, you have to allow them to reach the buying stage themselves for best results.
Give them time to think through your offer, and use this time to find answers to any possible objections that might be raised at your next meeting. Continue negotiating your terms and be flexible according to what your prospects need.
Things to Keep in Mind
It can be said that sales is a lot like a romantic courtship: come on too strong and you might get a cold shoulder, but being a tad too subtle might cause both parties to miss the signs.
It’s a balancing act that requires a great deal of delicacy. Having said that, the chances of closing a sale increases depending on the quality of your leads. A well-qualified lead will definitely make the job of converting much easier for sales teams because it reduces the amount of convincing they need to do in order to convert the lead into a paying customer.
Having an effective B2B lead generation strategy will ensure that you’re getting qualified leads, increasing sales conversion rates and customer profitability in general.
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