The key objective of every salesperson is to close deals. No close, no deal, no revenue. It’s that simple. Closing deals, of course, comes at the end of the sales process and it is often the most challenging part. At the same time, it can be the launchpad for a long-term business relationship.

What you NEED to do to close deals

Here are some important best practices for closing deals:

  1. Have confidence in understanding that your business solution will meet a prospect’s needs or capitalize on an opportunity. Know that your solution will add value.
  2. Find out if the prospective company is positioned to accept and implement your solution. A way to do that is to see if there is an existing initiative that may align with your proposal; an initiative that has some similarities in timing and funding.
  3. Determine if there is some compelling event that is driving the potential customer’s needs.
  4. Sell at the right level. Find the right users, influencers, and decision-makers in the process and work with them. If you go too low in the decision-making process, you will simply waste time.
  5. Develop an understanding of how decisions are made at the prospect company. That includes on what criteria that decisions are made, who will be involved in the decision, what the decision process looks like, and how the conclusion will be reached.
  6. Set an expectation that deadlines will always be met, and then deliver as promised.
  7. Throughout the selling process, restate the value of the solution that you are presenting.
  8. Always assume the sale (instead of expecting rejection.)
  9. Make it easy for the customer to execute the sales transaction.
  10. Know that closing deals is not the end of the process. The sales process continues with an on-going relationship, solution implementation, follow-up conversations, adding more value to the company, and getting referrals for more clients.

Common barriers to closing deals

Closing a deal doesn’t come automatically. These challenges exist for salespersons:

  • Experiencing difficulty in establishing a sense of urgency.
  • Finding it hard to establish and build a real connection with a prospect.
  • Prospects struggle with the price of the product or service. They may have budget limitations and may not see the real benefits of the solution.
  • The selling cycle is too long.
  • There are too many stakeholders involved in the purchase decision and they can’t agree on the purchase.
  • The prospective buyers don’t see the value provided by the product or service.
  • Salespersons are losing out to competitors who may be offering more value, more uniqueness, or may be pursuing more effective sales strategies.
  • Sales leads are of poor quality. The CRM system may need to be upgraded and marketing and sales work more closely to improve the prospect pipeline.
  • The sales team needs more information about the prospects.
  • Salespersons lack training or support in the product or services to sell them.

How to unstick a stalled seal

If deals are stuck in the purgatory of no response/no decision, here are some tips to get to a close:

  • Cut through the silence to provoke either a go or no-go decision to avoid wasting time.
  • Be bold but not abrasive in asking for a decision.
  • If nothing happens, simply move on.

To achieve sales success, seek outside expertise

As a fractional VP of Sales, James Bellew works with small to medium-sized business owners to build or rebuild their sales organizations. That includes sales strategy, processes, building, establishing, and aligning sales teams and their sales tools to achieve solid sales improvement.