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One Way to Improve Close Rates

Often the most difficult part of a project is just getting started. This is particularly true when a task seems difficult. And the challenge of improving close rates generally fits in that category.

The sales team knows, of course, that closing more sales will be good for the company. It’s only common sense.

But knowing that you should do something and knowing how to do something are two different issues. If the sales team knew how to improve close rates, they would already be doing it. And they’re not.

Clearly, improving close rates is going to require them to change something, and change is almost always frightening and very often difficult. As a result, the sales team drags their heels when discussions about improving close rates arise. They might pay lip service to it being a good idea, but when it comes to implementing any actual changes, they always have an excuse that explains why they need to keep doing things exactly the way they have always been doing things.

In these situations, what you need is a good motivational tool.

Our suggestion is that you put together a financial model that shows the sales team exactly how much more money they could be making. In order to be effective, your model should meet a few criteria:

  • Keep it realistic — model the impact of a 10 to 20 percent improvement, no more than that.
  • Be sure to include the full lifetime value of any customer acquisitions.
  • Demonstrate how the change will affect both company revenue and company profit.
  • Highlight how the change will affect the sales teams’ personal income in terms of commissions.
  • Describe the current situation in terms of how much money is being “lost” every month, quarter, and year.

In most cases, you should already have all the numbers that you need to put together a good model. Take your time, and make the model as accurate as possible. The goal here is to inspire the sales team with goals they can achieve, not just to throw out some pie-in-the-sky targets that they could never actually reach.

Usually, when sales teams see the bottom-line numbers, they suddenly feel a lot more motivated to tackle close rates. After all, now you are speaking a language they understand: money.

Once you have them hooked, it’s time to suggest some simple actionable strategies that they can take to improve close rates.

How do you decide which strategies to use?

Let your data and research guide you.

SellingBrew has a couple of resources that explain how to use your sales operations data to figure out what you need to do differently in order to win more deals. The express guide Strategies and Tactics for Boosting Your Close Rates offers twenty approaches that other B2B teams have used to improve their closing numbers with great success. And the webinar How to Improve Your Close Rates delves deep into the issue with a detailed look at the most effective strategies and tactics.

Most importantly, don’t delay your efforts to improve your close rates. Once you get started and get your team properly motivated, you’ll be amazed by how quickly these efforts can lead to measurable improvements for your business.

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