It’s every sales director’s nightmare: What if your sales team can’t close deals? You’re at your wit’s end, trying to figure out why your team is still generating leads, following up, and getting oh-so-close before the deal falls through.
So, what if your sales team can’t close deals? What can you do? Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies to consider.
1. Focus on Helping
Perhaps the most usual reason sales teams fail to close is because they’re trying too hard to close! It’s especially common with inbound sales leads; team members make the mistake of thinking the deal will be a quick close and push too hard.
Instead of focusing on closing the deal, think about helping the customer. Engaging in a discussion about whether or not it makes good sense for the customer to purchase a product or service from you is key. If the customers don’t want to buy right away, it’s probably because they don’t have enough information. Shifting your focus to their needs will help you close more deals.
2. Qualify Your Leads
This is another particularly common mistake sales people make with inbound leads: They assume each lead will turn into a sale. They don’t pause to qualify or research the lead before reaching out.
Unfortunately, failure to do a little bit more legwork before you send a pitch email is one of the reasons you run into dead ends. Your sales people might be chasing the wrong people—people who don’t have the power to buy or who simply aren’t at the stage in the sales cycle where they’re ready to buy.
3. Personalize the Deal
You’ve probably heard the maxim “it’s all about the customer” a thousand times, but it’s true. The question “what if your sales team can’t close deals” often arises when your team is forgetting this crucial rule. Much like they should be helping customers, they should also be focusing on what the customer needs and wants.
Again, inbound sales data helps your reps: They can track their leads and figure out how to personalize the deal and the pitch. What is it the customers are looking for? Analyze their interactions—what content are they reading? Knowing this information gives you clues as to what they’re interested in.
4. Follow up Correctly
Following up is tricky. There’s a fine line between a friendly check-in and being a pest. Finding the perfect follow-up strategy is difficult, and it can vary from customer to customer. Some customers might be concerned if you don’t follow up enough, while others might be annoyed if they think you’re following up too much.
Your follow-up messages should be frequent enough to let the leads know you’re still available, especially if they have questions, but not so frequent they begin to dread seeing yet another email from you. You should also think about usefulness: Does the message deliver something the customer might find useful, or is it just a way of asking if they want to buy your stuff?
5. Create Relationships
This is a two-fold process. If the question is still “what if your sales team can’t close deals,” ask your reps how they think of the leads they’re interacting with. Are these people they have a relationship with, or are they just numbers on their way to a sales target?
Your team shouldn’t be ignoring those leads who won’t necessarily turn into quick sales. Instead, take a page from your inbound marketing strategies and focus on building trust and relationships. You don’t want to put all your time and effort into customers who are going to turn into dead ends, but consider what you can do to help different prospects as they move through the different stages of the sales cycle.