The old adage says that the unexamined life is not worth living. This philosophy is at the heart of being great in the world of sales. Top reps are always analyzing and assessing their performance, looking for ways to improve. It would take a superhuman sales rep to close every single deal, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come really close to it.
To take an honest look at your sales performance, it’s important to understand some of the ways a deal might fall through. Obviously, there are always some factors that are outside of a pro’s control. But this is not about making or finding excuses. This is about seeing steps that you can take in your day-to-day sales work that will help you get even closer to that 100 percent success rate. Here are five effective ways that you can stop losing deals.
1. Check your relationship between attitude and behavior
Your attitude can have a sneaky way of influencing your behavior. Behaviors usually, but not always, reflect established beliefs and attitudes. Doing your work with a negative outlook can end up undermining your performance without your even realizing it. You may find that you don’t try as hard or don’t put out the effort in the same way if you’re feeling grouchy about a situation.
A new CRM can be a source of contention for a sales pro. When you have to overhaul your processes, there’s a natural resistance to change. Why bother using a complicated new system when you already have a DIY solution?
Here’s where that attitude comes into play. Not trusting in your tools means you won’t use them to their full capacity, and you may be letting your sales work suffer as a result. This means that in order to get the most out of your sales work, you need to have a positive outlook. Have some faith in your tools. When your team is adopting a CRM, make a good faith effort to make it a part of your routine. You may be surprised how much both the right tool and the right attitude can improve your performance.
2. Turn every encounter into a contact
Potential contacts are everywhere. Whether you’re at a trade show or a cocktail party or your local cafe, there’s always the possibility of a chance encounter with somebody who could become a customer. The usual approach to these unexpected meetings is to jot down a name and number on a napkin, or to pocket a business card. But what are the odds that you’ll be able to find those crucial details by the time you get back to the office? If you don’t have the contact, you can’t have a sale.
With a CRM that travels wherever you do, you’ll be able to create a new contact on your tablet or phone as soon as the conversation ends. Not only does this ensure that you’ll be able to follow up with the lead, but all the details of your introduction will be fresh. Log all of your notes in a central place, and you’ll be able to wow that contact with your seemingly photographic memory. Impress the client and you’ll improve the chances of making the sale.
3. Cultivate genuine relationships – scrap the sales talk
Human nature isn’t always logical. A great personality and strong people skills can tip the scales in your favor over your competitors. Sometimes a good bond will even beat out a good price offered by a rival. That means you need to be able to cultivate genuine relationships with your contacts. This is no small feat when your rolodex clocks in with hundreds, or even thousands, of names.
The key is to be on top of your interactions. With a CRM, you have a central location to store every email and phone call exchanged between you and a client. Keeping up a regular flow of correspondence will keep your name and your relationship in that customer’s mind. Plus, your contact card for each person can house a list of their interests and hobbies. So when that baseball fanatic client is celebrating a World Series win, you can drop a note of congratulations. Several small, personal gestures add up to a bigger impact on your client than a single grand one followed by radio silence.
If you aren’t able to maintain the relationship, you may not maintain the deal for long. Putting enough effort into regular contact with your valuable clients will help to keep the rapport strong.
4. Be responsive to all queries
The Internet ushered in a golden age of online shopping. That doesn’t stop with Amazon or eBay; more and more people are vetting your company and your competitors before you even have a chance to start your sales pitch. If somebody has seen enough from your business’ website to convince them to send a query your way, that means they’re quite interested. Sales reps should be thrilled to get these unsolicited queries, but for many companies, a majority of requests go unanswered or answered in an untimely manner.
That’s letting business wither in your inbox.
Any time you receive a query, jump on it. In the least, set a deadline for responding to all new business inquiries. You will be judged by the timeliness of your response. Just because the customer is at the prospecting stage doesn’t give them less value than a long-time buyer. Starting off on the right foot and making a great first impression right from the query stage will boost your odds of making it all the way to closing with that person. If you don’t someone else will.
5. Don’t forget the details
Successful sales work requires trust. You need to earn that trust from your clients by following through on your promises, both big and small.
To guarantee that you deliver everything that your client wants, you need a centralized place to store all the details of each deal. No note is too small to be left out. Use your CRM to gather and store all that information. It’s a great tool for establishing trust.
A CRM can also be your high-tech to-do list. Juggling the next tasks for a dozen deals in your head means a high risk of forgetting something. Use your CRM to set reminders so that you’re always aware of what the next step is and when it has to happen. Never forget a follow-up email, never miss sending a catalog, never skip a meeting. Automating your reminders will help you keep track of all those little details. That’s what makes the difference between a good sales pro and a great one.
These are just a few ways that you can take your sales performance to the next level.
1. Download our ebook “How to Improve Your Sales Process” for even more steps that you can take to get all the way to the 100 percent close mark.
2. See how Base can help you close more deals. Start your free trial now.