Small Business Strategies: Closing the Sales Loop

In most businesses, the sales and marketing teams work closely together to market a product or service and sell the product or service. This loop is often heavily focused on the marketing efforts, leaving the sales strategy flapping in the wind. If your budget permits, spending the time and energy to create a strong sales plan can increase your chances of sales success and bridging the gap between initiating a sale and closing those same deals.

Here are our tips for how to close deals regularly and quickly this next time and every time after that.

Identify and face prospect obstacles directly.
Prospects have and will give you every excuse in the book for not wanting to close a deal. The issue is not in whether the prospect is telling you the truth…instead, it is the why behind the excuse. The prospect could be overwhelmed with work, dealing with something in their personal life, not able to track down their manager for approval, etc. Spend the time necessary to get to know your prospect. There is always a way to work around any of these interferences. But it’s about how much effort you are putting into developing a solid report with the prospect and their business.

Give yourself time to grow!
Good salespeople spend years perfecting their strategies, finding their footing, and developing their sales voice. This is done through being rejected repeatedly, addressing failed strategies, techniques, deals, and facing your fears (e.g. rejection, failure, unfamiliarity with the process, etc.). Use your personal experience from working in a similar environment or industry to start cultivating a relationship with the prospect. You can draw on your experiences to keep the momentum of the deal moving toward close status.

Use platform and system data to your advantage.
In the instance, you are selling for an organization built around a software platform, use existing customer data to your advantage. Data is a great way to show what sets your product apart from others on the market today. The software platform is likely filled with valuable nuggets of information that are waiting to be used in a sales proposal. It is all about how you frame your information and incorporate the available details from the software. Confer with IT or developers to better understand how you can use the data to sway your prospect toward the final steps of the sales loop.

Focus on benefits over features.
Every salesperson is selling a product. That product can be something tangible (like a product) or something intangible (like a service). When pitching your sale, don’t spend so much time focusing on the features of the product/service that the benefits fall to the wayside. Instead, start a dialogue about the benefits of the product. Help the prospect understand the why behind the way the product or service was built and how they will directly benefit. Redirecting the focus on the benefits will help create an emotional connection to you and the product/service, thus associating a (hopefully) positive emotional response with a successful sale close.

Whether you are new to sales, just establishing your bearings in the industry, or a seasoned professional, it is important to remember to make all deals easy for the prospect to take action and approve. Focus on being flexible in your technique and delivery, address problems head-on, and give yourself time to develop at your own pace.

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