Business intelligence blog

    Five quick steps to closing a sale


    Natural born sales people have something that many people don’t have—charisma. They’re positive, motivating, networking masters and bursting with energy. But having these traits doesn’t mean that they can close. Here's a simple how-to guide to closing a sale.

    Nor does it mean that because others don’t have theses traits that they can’t generate the skills necessary to be successful.  Sometimes closing the sale simply takes strategic planning and hard work. Whether it’s natural or something you have to work at, these five quick and easy sales hacks can improve close rates and surpass sales goals.

    Know your prospects

    It’s one thing to know your general audience.  It’s another to know individuals.  A sales person can be so busy selling their product that they forget to listen.  Listening allows you to engage with the customer and generates opportunities to ask about their business needs.  By listening, you can discover the triggers that will convert them with less effort. 

    You can also get to know your prospects through online sales intelligence. Think about the types of content your prospect downloaded on your website, the pages they visited on your website and the length of time between site visits. What are their interests? What problem are they trying to solve? By knowing your prospects, you can immediately create a connection with your potential buyer which will make the sales experience more targeted, personalized and in all likelihood, successful.

    Shorten meetings

    Many sales people believe that as long as the customer is on the phone, they still have a chance to make a sale, but you may be more successful if you set this mindset aside.  Instead of taking the entire hour allotted for a meeting, cut the meeting short by fifteen minutes. Use the remaining time to debrief and prepare an email that points out how your product can add value to their business.

    Use social media to your advantage

    Instead of passively building social media accounts waiting for your following to increase, take a proactive approach and search out the right followers using advanced search features.  For example, LinkedIn’s advanced search allows you to search by industry, location, or keyword.  With this, a sales person targeting customers in the automotive industry can search out automotive decision makers, make connections, and strengthen their impact on social media because they are connected with individuals who have a need for their product.

    Optimize email practices

    If you are like many, you delete emails based on subject titles alone.  This wastes both the sender’s and receiver’s time.  Get your emails read by creating intriguing headlines that create a sense of mystery (5 reasons financial reporting software is impossible to ignore)  or urgency (10 ways to drive Q4 sales revenue). 

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    Optimize headlines for mobile devices since this is where much of the deleting occurs. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, you should limit your subject line to 4-7 words.  Remember that your customer is as busy as you are, so get them to your call to action quickly by making emails short and simple using bullet points to highlight the information you want them to see. And of course, never forget the call to action with a link to facilitate them in moving forward.

    Use data to increase sales

    Having customer data at your fingertips gives you leverage to increase sales. Phocas is a tool that can help with that. For example, on a Phocas dashboard, you can easily see what’s not happening, so if you have a customer who typically buys a product but doesn’t buy the product that normally accompanies it or a customer who has simply stopped buying, you can contact that customer to determine why and propose a solution that both benefits the customer and increases your sales.

    Charisma doesn’t have to be the factor that determines whether or not your sales team succeeds.  In fact, it alone does little more than grab attention, but with the right strategy, anyone can increase their close rate and sales.

    Written by Mike Grant
    Mike works with Sales, Finance, IT and Business Leaders who are keen to optimize their business intelligence and data analytics capabilities. He has helped many businesses drive sales and find opportunities within their data.
    Mike works with Sales, Finance, IT and Business Leaders who are keen to optimize their business intelligence and data analytics capabilities. He has helped many businesses drive sales and find opportunities within their data.
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