“My salespeople can’t close.” How often have you heard that line? If you’re a sales leader, you’ve probably even said it. But closing is never the real problem. Never. That’s just the symptom. The problem is that salespeople neglect important activities during earlier stages of the sales process.

Unless you address the broken links in your prospecting system, your results will not be sustainable. It’s like back pain. You can stretch and put heat on an aching back, but unless you treat the source of the pain — a pulled muscle or degenerating disc –your back will continue to hurt.

Put Your Finger on the Real Problem

When you start looking at what  really went wrong with missed sales opportunities, you’ll typically discover that your salespeople didn’t make the time to prepare for the meeting. They didn’t plan an agenda, do their research, or even check the client’s LinkedIn profile to identify common connections, interests, and similarities. In addition: 

This is not how you wow prospects, build relationships with them, and convert them into clients.

Don’t even think about training your sales team on closing techniques. Save your money. Instead, give them a sales process that works.

 

Start at the Source

If your team has trouble closing, go back to the beginning— qualifying prospects—and examine your entire sales process for missing links and broken tactics. 

Ask these pointed questions:                

Ask the Right Questions

If the problem is with your prospecting methods, and your reps are  chasing cold leads, then they’re pretty much set up to fail. But if they’re getting in front of the right prospects and still can’t seal the deal, they’re probably not having the right kind of conversations—or asking the right kind of questions.

Thoughtful and provocative questioning has a huge impact on close rates and sales revenues. When salespeople ask smart, probing questions to understand what their clients really need—not just what the clients  think they need—the scale of projects increases, creating win/wins for everyone. Your company gets bigger deals. Clients get solutions that actually solve their problems and create demonstrable business results.

Bravo! You’ve addressed the problem, not the symptom. Your client looks good, your team is prepared, and deals are yours to win. 

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