Great salespeople have an attitude of continual improvement. Have you ever looked at your closing ratio and thought: “I need to do better than this?” A salesperson is always tracking their performance. So to improve your closing ratio start by considering how well you do the three essential tasks to closing more sales: Prospect, Qualify and Follow-up.
What’s Your Closing Ratio?
Simply put your closing ratio is the comparison of the sales you made to the sales you attempted. Say you presented an opportunity to purchase your product or service to 20 decision makers in a moth. Of those 20 presentations ten decision makers agreed to buy from you. Then you could say the closing ratio is 10/20 or 50% of the deals pursued. Another way to figure closing ratio is by the value of sales won compared to the value of opportunities presented. If the 20 pitches totaled $100,000 and the orders were $40,000 then the closing ratio would be 40%. Great salespeople have a consistent way to measure their closing ratio.
Prospecting For New Customers
Think about the opportunities you win. What was it about those customers that made the deal? Look for potential customers who resemble your best customers. What business are they in? Which of the products you sell do they use? Is it a seasonal business? If so when is the best time to sell to them? Then search for other companies with similar needs. Your future best customers might just be divisions or other locations of your current best customers.
Qualify Hard – Close Easy
Great salespeople have a process to determine whether a prospect will become a customer. Don’t spend a lot of time with customers who don’t have a current need you can fulfill. Be sure you are meeting with the decision maker and you understand the decision-making process. Have you ever felt good about the close? Then asked for the order only to be told: “I have to talk with my wife, partner, boss.” Ask good questions to find out whether the prospect has a problem you can solve. Find out whether the prospect has the budget to buy your product or service. Qualify hard to improve your closing ratio.
Follow Up To Improve Your Closing Ratio
Great salespeople know following up with good customers and prospects is important. In some sales situations the customer experiences “buyer’s remorse”. They begin to doubt they have made a good purchase decision. Great salespeople know following up can reinforce the good choice they buyer made. For some prospects the timing is not right. So be sure to regularly keep it touch. Needs change. Budgets change. People change. Follow-up is very important in selling projects which have long sales cycles. Salespeople need to keep the buying process moving in their favor. Great salespeople realize how important follow is to set up the next order with customers who are repeat buyers. And this takes us back to prospecting. Asking happy customers for referrals is the best way to win new business.
What You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Closing Ratio
- First get a consistent method of measuring your closing ratio
- Second review each sales pursuit for lessons learned
- Third focus on sales fundamentals in prospecting, qualifying and following-up.