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How do I turn opportunities into closed deals?
You created interest in the marketplace, nurtured your leads, given a fantastic demo — now it's time to close the sale. But what happens when opportunities don't naturally turn into closed deals on their own? So much work has gone into getting to this point; it can be frustrating when sales still seem elusive. Don't despair! It's still possible to convert your opportunities into meaningful sales. Need help closing the deal? We got you.
Define your next steps
First things first, you'll need to understand the following steps on your potential customer's side, so you know how to serve them best as you lead up to a closed sale. It's ideal to ask these questions before or during the demo, but you can do so in a follow-up email or call if you haven't done that. Here's what to find out:
- What's your potential customer's timeline for implementation?
- What decision-making role does your primary contact have at the organization?
- Do all key stakeholders see the value of your product or service?
- If value realization has not been achieved, how else can you show this?
- Does your customer need any follow-up information from you — an email they can distribute to the rest of their team, sales material, case studies, or customer references are all assets that could help make the sale.
- Can you set a follow-up meeting for a specific date?
Remember back when you were trying to develop your relationship with cold contacts? You were probably taking advantage of any opportunity to find something relevant to talk about. Now is not the time to stop that strategy. Since you know your prospects better at this stage in the sale process, it should be easier to find appropriate ways to follow up that add value while keeping you top of mind. Here are some ideas:
- Send a recently released industry report that touches on their work, with a meaningful question or way you can help.
- Congratulate your contact on any promotions or recognition they receive for their work.
- Acknowledge company news, including press releases, feature articles, blogs and company thought leaders quoted in the press.
- Follow the company on all relevant social media channels.
- Send additional product information with a clear call to action.
- Let your prospects know of any new features or updates on your side that could impact their value realization.
Send a buyer's guide.
If you've been trying to close a sale and just haven't been able to complete the journey, add some urgency to the deal. Here are some ways you can inspire a sense of urgency in your prospects
Don't have a buyer's guide yet?
This is one marketing asset you're going to want to develop. Chances are, your prospect is likely doing their homework to check out your competition. Instead of ignoring this fact, guide them through the buying process with a resource that helps them ask the right questions and teaches them how to evaluate your space fairly.
This makes you the expert and helps you become the go-to source of knowledge. Here's what to include in your buyer's guide:
- Definitions of industry terms and jargon.
- List of questions buyers should ask any vendor in your space before committing to a contract.
- Common misconceptions about products in your category.
- What to beware of so your prospective customer doesn't get taken advantage of.
- How to evaluate return on investment in your industry.
- A list of mistakes prospective customers often make.
- A chart that compares your offerings with your competitors.
Hosting the conversation in this manner gives you a jump start on your competitors and can help bridge the gap between your demo and a closed deal. It gives you a way to control how potential customers are thinking about you and their evaluation process.
Provide value and time your messages
Nothing feels worse than feeling like a salesperson is trying to, you know, sell you something. That's why you need to find ways to bring value to your prospects each time you reach out. Which brings us to the topic of timing — how often should you reach out? Here's where the two concepts are intertwined: Chances are, if you're providing actual value with each message, your prospects are going to want to hear from you more often. If your messages are straight sales pitches, you'll probably have to space them further apart so that you don't annoy your prospect.
With so many leads you're likely working on at any given moment, this is where the ability to take detailed notes on your prospects can truly set you apart. Staying organized, with exceptional record-keeping, helps you remember even the small things like birthdays or company milestones that can help you bring that value-added experience.
If you've been trying to close a sale and just haven't been able to complete the journey, add some urgency to the deal. Here are some ways you can inspire a sense of urgency in your prospects:
- Create a limited-time discount.
- Set a specific meeting time.
- Highlight an industry trend or seasonal occurrence to prepare for (example: holiday shopping).
- Offer an extra feature or service for a limited time.
- Alert your prospects of price increases on the horizon.
Be careful with coming across as too gimmicky when you reach out to apply urgency. Present your offer as an opportunity for your prospects, so they feel you're bringing value to their situation. You're probably tired of hearing us repeat that you need to add value. Well, the truth is, this is the secret sauce to nurturing your opportunities toward a closed sale. They never want to feel like they're doing this for you — you're working for them!
The wait between nurturing an opportunity and closing a sales deal can feel excruciating. You're so close, but yet so far. Don't get discouraged! Now's the time to hone your follow-up skills as you nudge your prospects toward a deal. If you find you genuinely aren't making headway with the sale, always remember that your particular contact could become valuable at a different time down the road — so don't count it as wasted effort, and don't burn a bridge. It's all about building a genuine relationship with your contacts. Show value at every step, and you'll reap the rewards in one way or another.