“Coffee’s for closers.”
That classic line from the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross has recently spawned a slew of memes and social media references, renewing popular interest in the sales profession. The sentiment behind the movie’s line is that in the cutthroat world of sales, rewards belong only to those who can close the sale.
Thankfully, the sales industry has grown up a bit since David Mamet wrote Glengarry Glen Ross. As in other business industries, sales managers learned that the path toward a higher closing ratio is not paved by intimidation and fear. Instead, it’s paved by sensible sales practices, research-backed tactics, technology, and positive reinforcement.
If you want to improve your closing ratio and empower yourself and others to “make the sale,” here are three proven pointers.
Persistence Pays Off
Don’t get discouraged if a single cold call or email doesn’t work. It rarely does. A study conducted by the Telfer School of Management, collecting data from over 220 million sales interactions, found that it takes an average of 5.7 contact attempts for B2B companies to close a sale. They also found that a stunning 80% of sales close between the fifth and 12th contact attempts.
What does that data tell you? One of the most significant inside sales tips you can follow is to be persistent. Develop a sales cadence that includes numerous attempts. Set up an email drip. Mix in SMS and phone touches. In short: work your leads thoroughly.
Your Research Shows
The better you know your product, the better positioned you will be to express how it solves a lead’s particular problems. If the extent of your product knowledge is the few talking points you learned week one, it will be difficult to speak authoritatively with leads about how your product can be a solution. Remember, you are selling a solution – not just a product.
Take the time to understand how potential leads may interact with your product. Know what pain points your product addresses. Work to understand your lead’s business and understand how to manage their objections. The more you know about your product and their business, the better.
Technology Can Give You a Major Edge
If you’re a sales manager, don’t rely on your reps to cherry-pick leads and self-schedule their follow-ups – automate the process. As mentioned above, persistence is a significant factor in closing sales, too significant to leave up to chance and human error.
The same goes for how reps choose leads. The old method, which involves reps cherry-picking leads from the CRM based on their best judgment, allows too many valuable leads to slip through the cracks. With a sales engagement platform, you can implement what’s called “queue-based lead routing,” which automatically routes the best leads to the top of the call queue, ensuring your reps are always working the best leads.
Alec Baldwin’s sales shark character in Glengarry Glen Ross may be the touchstone cultural example of a sales “winner,” but if you want to build an empowered sales team, ditch the machismo. Instead, think in terms of persistence, research, and technology.