The heart of a business lies in its sales. Sales decisions are changing owing to the surging growing digital revolution. Social media, cloud, mobility solutions, advanced analytics, Internet of Things & CRM softwares are changing the rules of Sales. Today the customer has to deal with unprecedented noise from marketers and enormous distractions. Winning attention of the buyers and selling has become harder than ever before. The most effective sales persons follow a methodical approach to engage with prospects, identify the opportunities and close more deals. They are not focused on winning deals, but serving customers and presenting them solutions that solve their pain points. A great salesperson has empathy for the buyer, builds long term relationships with them and creates a win-win situation for everyone. Here are some of the ways used by top sales professionals to close deals :
1. Don’t sell products & services:
Top sales professionals are focused on looking at things from buyer’s perspective. They don’t talk about their products & services, but present features for the buyer. They understand and evaluate the needs of the buyer and pitch their products/services as per the needs of the buyer. Mapping the needs of the customer to a product/service is important.
2. Identify the pain points:
No customer wants to buy a product or service. The customer is primarily looking to increase revenue, decrease costs or solve an existing pain point. Most deals start around an existing pain point. A good sales person asks questions to identify client’s pain points. Once the pain points are identified, this helps in justifying the need for a solution.
3. Articulate the Value of their solution for the prospect:
Buyers will rarely buy a product or service if it doesn’t offer them great returns. Articulating the true value of your solution requires you to understand ROI for prospect’s business. The value of the product/service should be known to the buyer in tangible terms. The top sales persons articulate the value of their solution and ensure that buyer agrees with that. They build a consensus on what value the solution brings for the prospect’s business.
4. Solve the problem for the buyer:
Once the key pain points are identified, it is critical to demonstrate how your solution actually solves the problem for your prospect. The best sales persons always ensure that the solution they are selling indeed solves the pain points of the customer. They go out of their way to solve the business problems of their customers. They are sincere and genuine when it comes to helping customers and that helps them to win & close business.
5. Build a long term rapport with your clients:
You don’t sell your solution in the first meeting. It takes time to build rapport with clients and sell your solutions to enterprise customers. The best sales persons take time to build a deep understanding of clients business and their needs. They identify the team involved in making decisions, take time to understand their roles & involvement. They genuinely help the customers and ensure that they benefit from the solution. They treat the deal as a start of a long term relationship. The delighted clients not only present cross selling opportunities, but also references to other customers.
6. Deal with buyer objections:
Seasoned sales persons don’t get bogged down with objections. They are patient and hear out all objections. They have empathy towards the customers. They understand the client’s objections are an opportunity for them to showcase the value of their solution. The objections are concerns that the prospect is bringing to your notice. A good salesperson finds ways to overcome these objections with satisfactory answers. Overcoming sales objections can result in closing business. For e.g. when a client says cloud is not secure, he is probing you to prove to him that your solution is secured on cloud. What security measures you have taken. Why data breach wouldn’t happen. When a client says he can wait for your solution, you need to prove to him that delaying things will be a loss to the customer.
Another interesting way to deal with objections is to tell your prospects experiences & case studies about your existing customers. Acknowledge their objections by telling them that their concern is genuine. You can tell them something like this; some of our previous customers also had these objections. But this is how we solved the issues for them & now they happily recommend us to others.
7. Thorough understanding of the buying process:
The top salesperson always ensures that leads are qualified at the earliest. They understand that not everyone is their customer. When dealing with any prospect, they ascertain the following:
Budget: Does the company have the budget for buying your solution? If not, what is their budget cycle? Is the prospect likely to buy your product in the future?
Authority: Who is the decision maker? Is there a committee or individual person who will take the decision? Are you dealing with the right person whose yes will land you the deal?
Need: Is there a need for your solution? Is this a priority for the prospect?
Timeline: Is the prospect committing a timeline for closing the deal? Is your solution needed urgently?
8. Asking the right questions:
To close a deal you need to have the prospect talking. The best way to do that is by asking questions. These questions also help you to understand client pain points and their commitment towards the deal. Below is an example of how these questions can be used for understanding the buyer’s perspective of the deal:
What are your current challenges & pain points?
How long has this been a problem for you?
What are the consequences and implications of not solving this problem?
What will you achieve by solving this problem?
Who else will be involved in finalising this contract?
Is there a committee for procurement?
When was the last time you purchased a similar product? Who was involved?
Is there anything that can stop us from getting this contract? How do you think we should address them?
How is procurement driven in your organisation? Do you have centralised budgets?
Is your procurement dependent on timing or budget cycle?
Do you have a budget allocation for these kinds of projects?
Hope budget is not a procurement constraint for our solution?
What is the cost of not solving the problem for your organisation?
When are you planning to start the project?
When would you like to have the solution to your current problem?
Do you plan to start this project now?
If time & money weren’t constraints, would you buy this now?
Is there any reason that you wouldn’t do business with us?
If I can solve this problem for you, would you sign the contract?
What do you want us to do to start the project now?
9. A compelling reason to close the sale :
Buyers are not compelled to purchase your solution. A compelling reason is needed for them to close the deal. The buying decision often revolves around the needs of the buyer. Buyers consider closing the deal when:
a) They understand the financial benefits of your solution & also the implications of not buying.
b) Benefits to the buyer are clearly articulated. They can see how their life will become easy, if they buy your solution.
c) Buyer has an urgent need & gaps. Your solution will take care of them.
d) The prospect can clearly see the ROI and understands how the solution will pay back.
e) Buyer knows your unique competitive advantage and wants to be associated with your brand.
10. Establish Trust & eliminate risks:
Most companies don’t have a problem buying something that will create value for them. The price, time constraints are mostly superficial. The most important thing is that the buyer really needs to trust you as a solution provider to get the job done. You need to create a roadmap for the buyer that eliminates and minimises risks. A complete picture and understanding on where they are currently, what your solution proposes to do for them, how it will be implemented & the end goal.
Closing deals requires great persistence & efforts. To stand out from your competitors, it is important that buyer knows your competitive advantages and what your brand stands for. Why you are the best choice for the buyer? How your solution will help them to improve their business? What they will lose out, if they don’t have a deal with you? Customers are looking to associate with businesses that can offer them tangible ROI, great service & long term partnership. Closing deals is infact beginning of a new partnership that can create a win-win opportunity for both parties.