The Sales Process, Part 3: Moving Toward the Close
Closing a deal starts the moment a prospect begins to trust you, and ends the moment a contract is signed. In Part 3 of The Sales Process, we dig into four ways to keep the sales process moving toward the close.
Every sales conversation should start by asking questions to analyze the prospect’s need (this is part of a “Needs Analysis”). Dive deep to discover your prospect’s business pain and how your product can help relieve it. Qualifying questions help you determine what you should share about the benefits and value in your product, based on what is going to be most important for them. Qualifying prospects for budget, decision making, need, and buying process are also critical to the sales process. Good qualification skills have a positive impact on time management and increase the chances of closing the deal.
Great sales reps practice the art of proactive “objection prevention.” Objection prevention allows you to neutralize the most basic objections, putting you closer to closing the deal. Have a list of the most common objections so that you can prepare and prevent such objections from occurring. Your list should grow every time you are presented with a new objection. It is sometimes advantageous to proactively address common objections before they even come up; other times, you may want your prospect to voice the objection first, followed by your skillful response.
Even the best owners and/or sale reps can’t prevent every objection, so it’s important to help your team prepare for objection handling when they do hear one. Reps need to learn to sincerely understand the prospect’s problem, ask for more information, and offer clarity to help the prospect overcome their objections. Role playing among team members is effective training to prepare for this.
For many B2B products, the demonstration is critical to starting and sustaining the sales process. Sales reps need to understand the product and be able to show off its capabilities to a prospect effectively through a demonstration. Practice the demonstration until you have worked out all the kinks, stumbles and awkwardness, so that your prospects can see how easy it is to use your product or service.
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