In the sales industry, losses are inevitable. Whether it’s a dip in website traffic one week, or a slump in sales the next, sales teams are constantly caught between highs and lows. What separates a productive sales team and one that isn’t, is simple. The former doesn’t just celebrate the wins, they carefully track and dissect the leads that don’t close, because they want to understand why. This is because they know that there is precious data to extract from nearly every lost lead. Like they say, you don’t win or lose, you either win or learn a lesson.
Now, if you are spending an excessive time “learning lessons”, and would like to celebrate more wins, there are several points that must be considered. We’ve highlighted the top 5 reasons your leads aren’t closing, and what you can do to solve the problem.
Most businesses and sales organizations have the top three must-have components of a sales team, a sales platform (such as a CRM or LRM), a sales process, and at least some basic sales tools. And while the CRM or LRM they are using may not be the greatest, and their sales process and tools could be bare minimum, it should still serve as a great way to start building a sales pipeline. However, it will not guarantee that you’ll close leads at satisfactory rate.
While having a sales pipeline is a basic requirement for any business, simply having one won’t guarantee your pipeline is structured properly, or that it will function at all. Similar to having a car that won’t start, or that has severe mechanical problems, you won’t get anywhere, and if you do, it won’t be far. Simply stated, having a sales pipeline doesn’t mean much unless it works!
Providing your team with a sales pipeline that consist of highly qualified leads and the tools to properly nurture their lead’s interest requires a few components to be present. First, you must determine the best way to build a relationship with your lead and find the best way to manage those opportunities. Then, you can optimize the experience by leveraging data (that you should be collecting) like customer intelligence, activity reports, sales insights, and other engagement analytics.
While there are many reasons why your team may not be closing leads, we’ve compiled the 5 most common ones based on our decades of assisting sales teams. If your team is a victim of any of these lead-losing habits below, we highly recommend you consider our advice on how to fix the problem.
Its very important to only provide your team with leads that have already been qualified to some degree. This can be done by using one of many lead qualification processes. The most common, is adding a form for leads to fill out before submitting their information. In this form you can ask questions to help you determine the value of the lead, and if they are high or low intent. Another way businesses are qualifying leads is by using a scorecard tool. A scorecard tool will give leads a predetermined number of points based on specific activities or instances of engagement, this way leads that are more likely to close can be identified and prioritized.
There are several basic rules of follow-up etiquette that your team should be following whenever they engage with a potential new customer. First, they must be transparent about their process, the services they offer, and expected results. When these three pieces of information are relayed quickly and clearly, half of the job is done. The last component is for the sale person to adapt to the leads style, and always remain pleasant and polite. Nobody enjoys being attended to by a rude or pushy salesperson. There is an art to being persistent without being annoying, your sales team should be able to follow a predetermined sales process that takes this into account.
So many businesses allow easily avoidable delays to drag down their customer experience. Prospective customers and clients are very observant to the quality of service and level of attention they are receiving, and prompt service is a key factor in their overall impression of a company or brand. That means you must speed up the time it takes you to go from capture-to-import. Then, remove any delays that might be occurring between the time a lead is imported and the time it’s assigned to a sales rep. Next, during that quick process you must also include a mechanism that will verify the leads information for accuracy. Finally, the assets and materials your sales rep will use to try and close the sale should be readily available for them to use, share, or reference.
For sales reps, even highly successful ones, dealing with rejection is a normal part of the day. However, even the best sales reps get burned out from time to time, which can affect their enthusiasm for following up. In fact, nearly 45% of sales reps only follow up once before giving up, and a total of 94% of them drop off after the 4th follow up. The most frustrating part is that, on average, they would’ve closed 80% of those missed opportunities with just one more follow up. A great way to avoid this is to provide your team with automations that can perform follow-ups even when they are too busy to send them themselves. That allows your sales rep to schedule that 5th (or 10th) follow up whether it’s via email, text (SMS), or by setting up the call and sending reminders. It’s a win-win for sales teams, as managers see more leads crossing the finish line and sales teams enjoy more wins with less effort.
The two worst things you could do on a sales call/meeting are, guessing and hoping. If your sales reps are guessing what the leads are looking for and hoping what they offer is the right solution, you can almost be certain that their close-rates will be low. Afterall, technology allows businesses to track an incredible amount of customer data. Sales reps could be given information prior to following up such as the specific landing page, social post, offer or ad that inspired that particular lead to engage. They can use that data to build a customized offer that is perfectly targeted to what that lead is looking for. Helping your team understand a buyers objective and perceived ROI will not only sharpen their approach, it will improve the overall experience for your prospects as well.
Filling your pipeline with high-quality leads, providing sales reps with the tools they need to close more deals, making sure leads are qualified before handing them over and following up in a timely manner are all important steps to helping your organization close more deals. If these aren’t occurring on a consistent basis, then it’s pretty clear why you aren’t closing leads. Luckily, after reading this you should have an excellent idea of what to do! And, if you need any assistance along the way, schedule a call with one of our sales enablement experts and they’ll be happy to help in any way they can.