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How to close more sales with your sales team

Module 6: Knowledge framework for growth

Sales people are optimists. If they weren’t optimists, they’d internalise rejection, crawl into a hole, and stop selling! But as a CEO, it’s sometimes difficult to tell whether sales reports reflect facts or fantasies. The absence of accurate sales projections makes predicting revenue – by month, quarter, or year – extremely difficult. If your products aren’t selling, you need to know whether it’s because the team needs to improve their sales skills, the product needs to be modified to make it more saleable, or the sales team hasn’t figured out the right market-product fit.

Here are four tips that can help you close more sales:

1. Identify what your prospects value

Make sure you have identified what your prospects need and want – but also try to figure out what they value and are willing to pay extra for. They may say they need a car, but the decision-making behind buying a car can be multifaceted and very personal – you can’t just assume they want the least expensive car. Ask them questions to identify what criteria they will use to make their purchase decision, then present your product’s features and benefits in ways that show the alignment with what they value. For example, how a Tesla vehicle may align with their interests in the environment, technology and innovation.

Your sales team needs to differentiate between ‘influencers’ and the ‘ultimate decision makers’ and adjust their strategy accordingly

2. Create a priority list of prospects

List all your prospects, then prioritise the list based on when you think the sale will close. Focus on getting sales across the line. It's important to ask questions about the decision-making process. Will a single person make the decision, or will a committee make a recommendation to someone? Will that someone then need to justify the recommendation to the CFO? Your sales team needs to differentiate between ‘influencers’ and the ‘ultimate decision makers’ and adjust their strategy accordingly.

3. Make sure your product is the best one for that prospect

Your team is never selling in a vacuum. There are always other companies who are selling similar products or services, and it’s essential that you know your competition. Make sure the solution your product or service provides is actually the best solution for your prospect. It's no good having your salespeople sell a solution that requires so much custom programming that you end up with no profit margin. And if it looks like it’s going to take many months to close the sale, consider the impact on your ROISTE (Return On Investment Of Sales Time and Effort). Sometimes you may need to consider all that investment of time and effort a ‘sunk cost’, and go find a new prospect, rather than sinking more time and effort into a ‘dry hole’.

A sales team must know what ‘need’ is driving a sale, and figure out the value this sale will provide for the company and that customer

 

Ultimately, a sales team must know what ‘need’ is driving a sale, and figure out the value this sale will provide for the company and that customer. CEOs can sharpen a sales team’s skills in this regard by simply asking the right questions; for example, do they know whether the sale will go to the company with the lowest bid, the highest quality, the best service, or quickest delivery? Closing sales will give you and your sales team confidence to close even more sales.

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