What is a closing ratio? Your closing ratio is the number of sales you’ve made over the number of presentations you gave. To calculate a closing ratio, divide your number of closed deals out of your total sales presentations. If you presented to 10 prospects and eight purchased, your closing ratio is 80%.
Would you like to double your closing ratio? Umm. Yes, please!
So how do you accomplish this feat? Ask fifty different sales professionals, and the chances are you’ll get fifty different answers on how to close a sale.
There are many subjective factors involved in closing the deal, like the prospect’s personality and current situation. Your goal is to convince the decision maker to buy your product or service, and you may have to deal with defending against a competitor’s offer, indecisiveness on the part of the contact, or other internal issues related to the account’s buying process.Your goal is to convince the decision maker to buy your product or service, and you may have to deal with defending against a competitor’s offer, indecisiveness on the part of the contact, or other internal issues related to the… Click To Tweet
When it comes to closing those sales qualified leads, you can employ a variety of techniques. Your sales manager and colleagues all have their preferred approaches, but maybe you’re new to selling or still trying to find what works best. While closing techniques vary, some practices remain true. The following tips for inside sales reps can help you catapult your closing ratio.
1. Earn the Right to Ask for the Sale
Salespeople should always be moving in the direction of closing a sale, but you need to earn the right to ask for the sale. How do you do that? Here are twelve questions from Sandler Sales Training to help you determine if you’ve earned the right to ask for the sale.
- Do you have a complete understanding of your prospect’s problem or pain points?
- Does the prospect understand the ramifications that come with not addressing the problem?
- Do you think the prospect felt you understand his or her business?
- Did you get the impression that the prospect sees you as an expert in your field?
- Do you and the prospect have a good rapport or comfort level between you?
- Can you tell if the prospect has confidence in you?
- Does the prospect need the solution you are selling?
- Have you helped the prospect understand how your solution will improve his or her business?
- Can the prospect afford what I sell?
- Do you have a handle on the decision making process and who the key stakeholders are?
- Assuming you spoke to the primary decision maker, does he or she have enough information to make a buying decision?
- Do you think the prospect is willing and able to invest in your solution?
If you feel uncertain about the answer to any of these questions, you may have a little more work to do before asking for the sale.
If a prospect shows interest but does not buy right away, schedule an aggressive follow-up plan to help you eventually close the deal.If a prospect shows interest but does not buy right away, 🗓 schedule an aggressive follow-up plan to help you eventually close the deal. #SalesStrategy Click To Tweet
Maintain a Follow-Up Plan
Successful inside sales reps develop and maintain a persistent follow-up plan to help them close more sales. The unsuccessful ones often give up before they should. According to the Telfer School of Business, it takes 5.7 attempts for B2B companies and 5.9 for B2C companies to get a positive outcome with a lead.
To make that sales persistence a little easier, use multiple touch points and messages in your follow-up sales cadence with prospects. Prospects don’t always want to hear a sales pitch, so sometimes you can send informational and educational posts or news items about their industry, so they see you as a trusted advisor.
Implement a Sales Engagement Platform for Efficiency and Productivity
Sales organizations should implement a sales engagement solution to streamline and automate sales follow up. Think about it. During the period of time between first contact and the goodbye voicemail/email with a single prospect, new leads — possibly a great number of leads — have also entered the sales reps list of people to contact.
With a queue-based sales engagement solution, sales calls and other forms of follow up stay on track and no lead falls through the cracks. A predetermined workflow schedule automatically reminds sales reps when it’s time to call a new contact or get back in touch with an existing prospect. Sales engagement software helps inside sales teams convert more follow-ups into sales.
Resist Chasing Rainbows
Far too often, sales reps chase leads that they have little hope of converting into a deal. After you follow up with a prospect, either make an appointment or move on to the next qualified lead.
When setting an appointment, make sure that it is a definite appointment and not the “call-me-next-week” scenario. An appointment with an exact time shows commitment from the prospect and interest in your product or service.
Recognize Buying Signals
As your moving a lead through the sales cycle, you need to be able to recognize and react quickly to buying signals to close the deal. Here are some buying signals that will signal that the prospect is interested:
- Probing questions – asking detailed questions about the product
- Mental possession – talking about the product as if they own it
- Asking for opinions – including another person in the meeting for feedback
- Comprehensive evaluation – Investing a lot of time looking at your product
- Constant agreement – saying yes to the sales rep often and showing enthusiasm
Answer Buying Questions with a Closing Question
Once your prospect begins to exhibit buying signals, ask for the sale. How do you do that? Go forward with a “closing question.”Once your prospect begins to exhibit buying signals 🚦, ask for the sale. #SalesStrategy #SalesSuccess Click To Tweet
For example, if a prospect asks you how soon she can get your product, ask her when she needs it? Don’t give a specific delivery time. When you ask a question, you give the customer a little more control. Even if you can’t meet the requested delivery date, you can negotiate a reasonable timeline that works for the customer. She feels good because she played a role in that process.
The Power of the Pause
After asking for the sale, remember to pause. Wait for the prospect to answer. The first person who talks loses. Some sales reps get caught up in the excitement of the sale and the possible thrill of victory; they forget to listen. They may even talk themselves out of the deal by continuing to pitch. Resist this temptation and wait for the prospect to speak first.
Ready to Close More Sales?
These are just a few tried-and-true inside sales tips that we like. What are your favorites? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.