What is the most challenging task in the sales process? Ask this question to any sales representative, and one answer in a unified voice will be echoed in the entire surroundings. And that answer would be ‘Closing a Deal’. Even the most seasoned sales professionals consider deal closing the topmost challenge in their work profession.
Sometimes, it becomes easy to do research, prospecting, and nurturing but turning a prospect into a customer requires a special skill set. Unless you close deals successfully, there is no monetary benefit you can provide to your organization, and all your diligent efforts are considered futile.
It is thus important that sales representatives tackle the prospect smartly, understand the importance of closing a sale, and avoid making some common mistakes that are very prevalent in the industry.
Here we list the top 10 sales closing mistakes that result in the loss of valuable business opportunities.
1. Not Listening but Just Talking
It is usual that when salespeople call a prospect, they are bound to speak to explain the services better. But how much to talk is a key thing to note here. Just talking but not listening is a common sales mistake that you should avoid.
Listening makes you better aware of your prospects and helps pitch the right customized solution. It also reflects that you value their thoughts and are interested in genuinely solving their concerns. A study reveals that top closing professionals speak for 43% of the time and allow prospects to speak for 57% of the time. Roughly, you can consider that a 60/40 listening-talking ratio is ideal for B2B sales.
2. Focussing on Price, Not Value
If you think that price is the ultimate thing that matters in closing a deal and thus all attention should be driven towards focusing on this aspect, then think again. It is an illusion. Good sales techniques are curated keeping ‘Values’ in mind. People are interested more in what business benefits a product may deliver rather than just price.
They are okay to pay more but only if you can successfully inform them about what business benefits they will get. 79% of B2B buyers say they are keen to talk with a salesperson who adds value to their business. Once you successfully promote values, then smartly, you can brief about the price comparison chart as well. It is a more successful closing strategy in any B2B sales process.
3. Not Creating a Sense of Urgency
Even after understanding that a prospect needs your product/service, but the deal is not moving towards closure, you as a salesperson are missing one crucial thing, i.e., ‘creating urgency’.
A prospect may delay a deal due to ignorance or maybe the lack of wisdom to understand why they need it right now. But a salesperson must help them understand the urgency of implementing a solution for enhanced business growth. Creating urgency not just helps you to close deals faster but assists enterprises in reaping business benefits sooner. Pitching for limited time offers is one of the most powerful and tested ways of creating urgency.
4. Closing Too Early
In the sales process, there are 7 crucial steps
- Handling objections
When a salesperson nurtures leads through each stage, the chances of closing a deal get higher. But sales executives often try to close a deal before it reaches a final stage. As a result, prospects get disillusioned, and the deal gets stuck in the middle. ‘Closing Too Early’ is thus counted amongst one of the most common B2B sales mistakes. Therefore, always try to force a sale to a finish line and hit the hammer when the iron is hot.
5. Not Getting Access to Decision Makers
One of the most effective sales closing techniques is to analyze the true decision-makers and involve them in the sales process. It is of paramount importance in closing a deal as you can’t just sell a big-ticket B2B product/service to anyone. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t talk to other people. You will come across gatekeepers, product users, and influencers in the sales process. All such people contribute to closing the deal, but if you fail to connect with qualified people who make a purchase decision, you are simply wasting your time.
6. Sales Representative is Under Prepared
Contacting a prospect without completely doing homework is considered a crime in sales. It is one of the biggest sales mistakes to avoid. According to one prominent research, it is found that 42% of sales representatives feel they don’t have enough information before making a sales call. Without relevant information, you can’t understand the pain points, curate the right questions, and engage the prospect better.
Although you do not need to know everything about your prospects at an initial stage, under preparation is a thing to avoid. It may create a wrong first impression. A smartly executed research can help you pitch a service more professionally and also reflect your commitment, integrity, and dedication towards work. All such things matter in sales. A prospect does not just impress through product features or pricing but also from the attitude of that person selling a product.
7. Not Following Enough
Sales is not a sprint but more like a marathon. It takes time to close a deal. It rarely happens that a prospect says ‘Yes’ to a deal in the very first sales meeting, especially in a B2B scenario.
Often, sales representatives lose hope of converting a lead after 1-2 follow-ups. But best sales closing techniques suggest that a sales development representative (SDR) should make at least 5 continuous follow-ups to get the best results.
According to research conducted by Marketing Donut, it takes at least 5 regular follow-ups after the initial sales meeting before a customer says ‘Yes’. So, don’t lose hope if the prospect shows disinterest in your offering in the first place. Instead, analyze the shortcomings, prepare and make successive follow-ups with better communication planning.
8. Making Hollow Promises
If you go out to sell a product without thinking about the customer, you will end up making promises that are challenging to implement. When such promises are not delivered on time, it takes a toll on the company’s reputation.
Research suggests that making hollow promises is one of the most common sales closing mistakes that SDRs should avoid. A study by American Express revealed that customers having bad experiences are likely to tell about their purchase experience to an average of 15 people.
Therefore, it is vital to promote the exact features and benefits of a product and never make promises that you can’t fulfill. Doing so will help you build a positive reputation and good word-of-mouth publicity as well.
9. Using Statements Instead of Questions
The ultimate goal of running a sales operation is to convert as many prospects into customers as possible. But how would you do so? You need to understand your customers’ requirements, pull out information from their minds, and smartly pitch your products and services.
Now, the important point to be noted here is that SDRs often use long statements to convince their customers, but one study shows that questions, not statements, prove beneficial in closing deals faster.
Why so? Because questions demand straight answers – statements don’t. For example, if an SDR says to a prospect, ‘It would be nice to connect again on Monday’. Here, the prospect can respond in multiple ways. But if the representative says, “Can we meet on Monday?’. The prospect has to answer in two ways only. Yes or No. Even if the response comes as unfavorable, you can also use open-ended questions to take calls toward a better logical conclusion.
10. Selling Alone
Sometimes you might not know the precise answer to some critical questions or explain a product/service/feature better than the subject matter experts themselves. In such a situation, going alone to convince a prospect with half knowledge can prove fatal. It is one of the most common closing sales mistakes that SDRs should avoid.
A salesperson should not be ashamed of taking help from seniors. For example, a product manager will be able to explain better about the technicalities of the product than anyone else. And if the prospect wants to know more about something that you are unsure of, simply pass that baton to the expert. It augments the probability of closing the deal.
If you take a little help from a senior then it does not overshadow your hard work in the entire sales process. Instead, it will prove your genuineness in closing a deal and make you a sincere sales guy.
Sales closing is a tough job, but avoiding these missteps and handling prospects in a more informed, confident, professional, and sincere manner can help ease your task and lead you towards success. But the list doesn’t stop here.
As technology is evolving and the business environment is changing you need to keep a close eye on the latest trends. Continuous knowledge up-gradation and inculcation of newer skill sets are the only mantras for assured success.
VSynergize is a reputed B2B lead generation company that can help you elevate your business growth with high-quality leads. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about our services.