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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

5 Tips on How to Close a Sale Faster Than Ever Before

close sale faster
Everyone knows that sales is a numbers game. The more you have out there, the better off you are, which is why we all typically agree that sales is a numbers game,right?

What are the numbers everyone is talking about? As sales managers, are you looking at the wrong numbers?

How many times have you heard or said, "Don't worry! I've got a lot out there pending!”  That's great! But, does anyone actually get paid on pending? That’s the catch, and that's also why you need to be aware of the numbers you're actually looking at.

The Numbers That Matter

Instead of reporting the deals or money you have in pending, consider measuring these numbers instead:

  • The amount of business you're 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're worthy of your measurement. Keep your eyes sharply on them, and you'll see your revenue, renewals, and closing ratio rise! You'll also discover right away that your sales cycle is taking longer than you would like from presentation to close.

Now we’ve hit upon something we can really work on!

How to Close Sales Faster

1. Never Present a Proposal That the Prospect Hasn't Agreed to Already

We call that a “No Surprise Proposal” because there shouldn't be a single surprise inside. Talk through every detail with your client as you're developing and fine-tuning the proposal, and you'll never hear them say, “Oh, wait. I did not know that was going to be in there.”

2. Before Presenting the Proposal, Run Your Ideas by the Client in Advance

Also ask if there's anything about the idea that they don't agree upon. Ask what they specifically like 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.

3. Before You Present Your Proposal, Ask Yourself This Question

“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.

4. Agree on The Specific Business Challenge You'll Tackle in the Proposal

If the client doesn't believe you're solving their problems, they're not likely to move forward regardless of the quality of the idea.

5. Remember Sales is Something You Do With a Client or Prospect

With them — not to them. 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!   

Sales Accelerator
Editor's note: This post was originally published May 17, 2012 and has been updated.
Topics: Proposal sales strategy