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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the CLOSE Step

Coaching the Sales Process Overlooked Points in the CLOSE Step

Having a strategic sales process goes far beyond knowing how to close a deal. If your goal is to drive sales performance and increase revenue, stay true to a repeatable sales process that leads to predictable sales.

The six steps of the Sales Accelerator lead salespeople from identifying a good prospect to developing a business relationship that results from the sale of your solution. Making it to step five—Close—means the finish line is in sight. But we’ve all heard the phrase, “the end depends on the beginning, and everything in between.”

Eliminate Surprise Objections 

Close, also referred to as “Confirm,” “Agreement,” or “Present” all share the same goal of gaining final agreement with your proposal. At this step of the sales process, there should be no surprises in your proposal. You have the prospect’s buy-in, and they practically helped write the proposal, so it’s usually a simple matter just to confirm the sale. eliminate objections in your proposalsHowever, too often proposals are met with the response, “Let me think about it," because the buyer is hearing many of the proposal elements for the first time during the proposal presentation.

Salespeople can eliminate these words, close and win the business by presenting solutions that will work and get the desired business results. A tried and true way to accomplish this is with the No-Surprise proposal. When done right, the No-Surprise proposal has an exceptionally high close-win rate.

“Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes and anticipate their concerns and questions,” advises Dean Moothart, Director of Client Solutions. “Be easy to do business with by clearly mapping out the path to partnership and the next best step in the process.”

Proposal Templates

Aside from gaining final agreement with the proposal, there are several courses that cover activities salespeople would do in the Close step, such as:

  • Create proposal
  • Present proposal
  • Closed won
  • Closed lost

Your salespeople will find proposal templates that we’ve found to be most effective, plus explanations on how each piece leads to creating and presenting more effective proposals. We emphasize Close because of the importance of coming to a closure on your presentation — knowing as soon after your presentation as possible if it’s a Closed Won or a Closed Lost.

To ensure the prospect is tracking along the way, we also advise incorporating simple, but strategically placed Mini-Closes in the presentation. These are questions like:

  • Are we in agreement on how we will measure the success of this campaign?
  • Do you have a high degree of confidence that this solution will deliver the results we are focused on?

“A critical path included in your proposal can help both parties stay on track and invested,” states Senior Coach Alysa Hinshaw. “It helps a potential prospect feel comfortable with the process moving forward and shows them that you are thinking beyond the sale and about fulfilling what you promise.”

Responding to a Prospect

Digging deeper into the sales process, Close also addresses what happens when the prospect says, “Yes” and “No.” Closed Won, when the prospect says, “Yes,” looks at the immediate actions to take to get from a closed deal to the start of implementing the campaign. And then to ensure an ongoing successful campaign.

Proper execution is often the difference between retaining or losing a client. It’s important at this stage to keep your attention focused on the desired business result and how it connects to the solution.

Closed Lost, when the prospect says, “No,” helps uncover why that was the given answer. No is not the last step. It’s to find why it’s a no and how to turn no into yes. There are three areas the problem comes from:

  • Everything leading up to the proposal

Revisit Identify, Connect, Discover, Advise.

  • Your proposal

Revisit how the proposal template was executed.

  • Your presentation of your proposal

There are five common problems to consider such as, did you use Mini-Closes along the way?

There’s also a Closed Lost Diagnostic form to help determine where the source of the problem is. While that opportunity may not be saved, it can help your people become stronger wit new opportunities.  

Stay tuned as we continue our Coaching the Sales Process series and gather tips from our experts on things you don’t want your salespeople to overlook when going through the Sales Accelerator sales process.

Follow the Series:

Step 1: Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the IDENTIFY Step

Step 2: Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the CONNECT Step

Step 3: Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the DISCOVER Step

Step 4: Coaching the Sales Process: Overlooked Points in the ADVISE StepNew call-to-action

Topics: Proposal sales process sales accelerator