Wrap it up: Four strategies and sales tools to close those deals

10th Dec 2014

With the festive season very quickly approaching, wrapping things up may be on everyone's' minds. But for sales professionals, wrapping things up as it comes to the end of the year does not bring pretty paper and fancy ribbons to mind – they are thinking about closing sales.

If salespeople have proposals outstanding that they’ve made over the previous few months, they may find that some just seem to be on hold and impossible to move forward. It is important to understand the “why” behind the stall before moving past it.

The basic reason for most stalled sales is that sales has failed to hit the pressure point that would create urgency on the side of the prospect to purchase the solution. The prospect must believe that it is worth making a change right now. To move a stalled sale forward, the proposed solution needs to move from “nice to have” to “when can we get it?” In short, right now it may be nice to know about the offering, but there is no urgency to get it installed. If salespeople find themselves pushing to close in these situations, some of the sales tools and tips below might help wrap things up:

1. Why buy? To move a sale forward, it is vital to appeal to the prospect’s needs. What business driver or current issue is the solution addressing? Using sales triggers, or notices of leadership changes, new projects or inside scoops about targets provided by some good intelligence companies, can help salespeople approach a prospect with the understanding that they have had a recent management change or have a current initiative as their focus. The solution should speak to their situations. Sales conversion rates increase when sales can demonstrate measurable impacts, like how to reduce operating expenses. Leveraging this intelligence assists in being to keep sales reps on top of the most current opportunities at prospect organisations and enable them to use the intelligence to keep the lines of communication open, and impress upon prospects how the proposed solution will solve a current need.

2. Why you? Leverage existing satisfied customers to show the value you bring by sharing case studies or customer satisfaction reports. During sales meetings, salespeople should share examples of similar customers and the success that they have gained by implementing the solution. By showing how customers have overcome challenges, and how you share in their success, you not only show how you can deliver success, but impress upon the prospect how important the satisfaction of customers is to your organisation. Companies want to work with organisations who value their customers. High customer satisfaction is a very strong selling point.

3. Who is at the table? Closing a sale requires on average between 4-5 decision makers to give their sign off. Often sales are held up because the modern sales environment is a multi-stakeholder sale, and yet relevant decision makers are not typically involved throughout the process. Leveraging a sales intelligence solution that provides detailed organisational charts gives visibility into the decision making structure of the IT, Marketing and Finance departments. Salespeople then have the power to loop the relevant decision makers into the process earlier on to ensure that the close won’t be held up because the finance guy has not been included in meetings and has to be brought up to speed.

4. Stay focused on selling. When working several deals, it is vital to the close that sales teams stay current on organisational changes and activities at prospect accounts, but the burden of this research can take valuable time away from the sales process. This issue is one of the biggest challenges that sales teams face. Save the sales team’s time for selling by using a sales intelligence solution that not only updates the contacts and contact information within target accounts as they change, but one that provides the information when and where sales teams need it. A system that integrates seamlessly into a CRM solution and is available in the office or on their mobile devices so that the information they need is at their fingertips where they use it. By implementing a solution like this, the sales team can sell while the data intelligence provider does what they do best – constant industry research to keep your team informed of all the latest changes.

The modern sales environment is complicated, and the situation within prospect accounts changes frequently – it is the nature of business today. Utilising a sales intelligence solution gives you up-to-date actionable data into opportunities, changes and initiatives in prospect organizations. The power to speak to prospects with real intelligence and insight into what they need will enable your sales teams to close those deals. It is that simple – wrap up the year with intelligence.

Henry Schuck is CEO of DiscoverOrg.

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