How to Prevent Deals from Falling Apart at the Closing Stage?
Sales reps and sales teams spend a lot of their time on prospecting and moving leads down the buying funnel. To reach the closing stage and then lose a deal not only translates into lost opportunity and revenue, it is a waste of all the effort a salesperson would have put in, in bringing the lead to this stage.
It takes as much effort to ensure deals don’t slip or fall apart at the last stage. What does it take to prevent important deals from stalling at closure?
Revamping the Closing Phase
If you suddenly feel that a lot of your leads are stalling at closure, it could be one of two things – a sales person problem or a process/messaging problem. Sales and marketing teams who are well aligned in their outreach and campaigns can easily handle and filter top of funnel leads and sales processes. Towards the actual buying stages and closing, sales operations teams and sales enablement teams need to identify a smooth process that allows for easy tracking of the contract, quick due diligence, improved turn around on proposal / sales quotes and associated formalities; tightening the bolts at this stage will help sales reps maintain momentum at the bottom of the funnel.
Silence after the Proposal? Check your Metrics
While a lot of the fundamentals in a typical B2B sales or B2B marketing team will overlap across companies and industries, each team will have their own process in place to achieve goals. When it comes to sales metrics, most salespeople know the basic metrics that matters and those that need to be tracked.
For sales teams who have been experiencing delays in close rates or radio silence from prospects after a proposal is sent, it’s time to dive deeper into a different set of metrics to understand what could be going wrong.
Start by analyzing the time spent in discussing the scope of work and the sending of a formal proposal. Once the document was sent, how did the prospect respond, did they open the document/email, are they still to read it, is there a specific point that was left out (dive into the last few closing emails to dig deeper).
If the metrics show that the recipient hasn’t opened the proposal yet, a friendly reminder after a few days might be a good way to move things along. Follow ups are after all the holy grail for anyone in sales.
Using metrics to analyse prospect behavior at this point can help a sales person craft follow ups and messaging that can prevent the deal from turning cold. For instance, if a salesperson realizes the prospect to whom a proposal was just sent is showing interest in a competitor’s product, it’s time to play the ‘’this is why we’re better’’ card.
Knowing what is Preventing the Prospect from Signing
There are a list of reasons for prospects to turn cold at the closing stage. For sales teams who are trying to reduce the number of lost deals at closure, understanding what kept past prospects from signing the deal at the closing stage could help them prepare better for the future.
Sales teams can actually look at this as an opportunity to restart a conversation and directly ask those prospects what made them turn around during the closing stage the last time?
Knowing whether prospects simply find your proposal formalities too tedious or whether they just decided to go with another product because of competitive pricing will help make a big difference to optimizing this part of your sales process.
Track the number of opportunities lost at this stage and analyse what made these deals turn cold. While revamping the closing process, these inputs will serve as the basis.
Remember, The Closing Stage is not a Stage for Prospects to Turn Cold!
After all the effort sales reps put in to draw prospects to convert, losing deals at the closing stage is the worst way to lose revenue. This hiccup in the sales journey can easily be prevented with the right data, process and action. It’s as simple as understanding what is going wrong at closing to fix creative solutions to address the problem at its core.
Read More: Is A Cookie-Less Future Good For B2B Sales?