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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can try an automated email drip interspersed with social messages and phone calls in between those email touches. If your prospect has opted in, mix in some SMS text messages as well.
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.
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.
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:
Once your prospect begins to exhibit buying signals, ask for the sale. How do you do that? Go forward with a “closing question.”
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.
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.
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.