Everyone knows that sales is a numbers game, right? Of course! The more you have out there, the better off you are, so I’ll agree that sales is a numbers game. But, today I am going to argue that you may be looking at the wrong numbers.
I’ll start by asking you, how many times have you heard or said: "Don't worry! I've got a lot out there pending!” C’mon—be honest! If you are like most people, you’re thinking that’s not so uncommon.
I have to ask you, does anyone actually get paid on pending? Not anyone that I know. That’s the catch.
And that is also what tells me that you may be looking at the wrong numbers.
Instead of reporting the deals or money you have in pending, consider measuring these numbers instead:
- The amount of business you are closing.
- The number of your accounts that are achieving results and therefore renewing.
- Your overall closing ratio.
- The length of time it takes you to move from presenting the proposal to closing it.
Those are the numbers that really matter, so they are worthy of your measurement. Keep your eyes sharply on them, and you will see your revenue, renewals, and closing ratio rise! I also suspect that you will discover right away that your sales cycle is taking longer than you would like from presentation to close. If so, good find! Now we’ve hit upon something we can really work on.
So, let’s get started.
Here’s how to close sales faster:
- Don't ever present a proposal that the prospect has not agreed to already. We call that a “No Surprise Proposal” because there should not be a single surprise inside. Talk through every detail with your client as you are developing and fine-tuning the proposal, and you will never hear them say, “Oh, wait. I did not know that was going to be in there.”
- Before presenting the proposal, run your ideas by the client in advance, and ask if there is anything about the idea that she does not like. Also, ask what she specifically likes about it, and how it could be improved. Getting the client involved in the solution is good business, and it helps to ensure that they will get results and ROI.
- Before you present your proposal, ask yourself, “Is there any reason that the client might not agree to this?” If you come up with even a single reason, address it with them before you ever make the presentation.
- Make sure you and the client agree on the specific business challenge you will tackle in your proposal. If the client does not believe you are solving his key problem, he is not likely to move forward regardless of the quality of the idea.
- Remember that sales is something you do with a client or prospect not to a client or prospect. Doing the work upfront, before you present your proposal, will help you to close more deals faster than ever before.
At The Center for Sales Strategy, we often say, “Slow down the proposal and you will speed up the sale.” Give it a try!