The most successful companies don’t have just good lead generation and lead nurturing systems, they also make sure that their salespeople never leave money on the table.
Here is what superstar sales reps do differently.
Always be closing
Remember Alec Baldwin’s advice in Glenngarry Glen Ross? “Always be closing!” Now, that doesn’t mean that you should be selling like it’s 1992.
Anthony Iannarino explains in The Lost Art of Closing that “closing” doesn’t necessarily mean signing prospects on the spot. Closing means getting your prospect to agree to a series of mini commitments that move the deal forward.
Sales experts leave nothing to chance; they always know what they want the prospect to do next.
Just follow up
You’ve seen this statistic a zillion times: 50% of leads are qualified but aren’t immediately ready to buy something from you (source: Gleanster Research). The money is in the follow-up. And yet, about 44% of salespeople give up after only ONE follow-up. Click To Tweet
High-performing salespeople not only know this, they actually count on it. While 90% of all salespeople give up after their fourth attempt (source: The Dartnell Institute), they would more likely close the deal with one more follow-up.
How many times should you follow up? It depends. Chris Smith, author of The Conversion Code, recommends at least six call attempts to make initial contact. But Chet Holmes said it was fairly standard for him to follow up 15 times to get the sale.
Add value to each interaction
Here is the caveat, though. Don’t just call to ask “So, have you made a decision yet?” Great sales reps strive to add value to each interaction.
What a buyer truly values can be difficult to pin down. There are apparently no fewer than 30 elements of value. Top performers master active listening, including keeping an ear out for things that were left unsaid.
They’re also mindful of where the buyer stands in the customer journey. If they’re meeting her at the beginning of the customer journey, they’ll try to influence the buying vision. If the buyer is at the bottom of the funnel, they’ll develop a context that creates a sense of urgency.
For more ideas from people who have mastered the sales game, check out Expert Advice from 7 Top B2B Sales Pros.
Overachievers not only follow up intelligently, they do it in record time, especially when they attempt to contact Internet leads.
How fast exactly? Ideally within 5 minutes. Wait just 30 minutes and you’ve decreased your odds to qualify an online lead by a factor of 100 (source: The Lead Response Management Study).
So if the marketing department is scheduling an email campaign on a Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m., growth-minded salespeople typically block their calendar at the same time for follow-up calls.
Make it easy to buy
In a world of chatbots and marketing automation software, we’ve grown accustomed to relying on technology to bombard prospects with more and more content. But what if less was actually more?
Buyers are already overwhelmed by too much information. What they crave is “decision simplicity” (source: Corporate Executive Board).
So what do top salespeople do instead? They guide their prospects through the sales funnel. Sometimes, it’s as easy as saying “Here is what happens next.”
Ask for a referral
The best time to ask for a referral is at the beginning of the relationship, when the client expresses how happy she is with the solution you offered.
For A players, this is like second nature. They keep a list handy of prospects they’d like their client to introduce them to.
Putting it all together
Nobody likes the idea of leaving some money on the table. And yet, if your entire sales team doesn’t systematically work as outlined above, chances are you’re not making the most of every sale.
Now it’s your turn. Bring this article to your next sales meeting and candidly ask your team which of these ideas will help them crush their sales goals.
Go ahead, create a checklist, develop a process or a procedure, but make sure you aim for above-average performance. The results may surprise you.
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