I hear it every day from CEOs and Sales Leaders; their sales reps cannot close the big deals.

Close dates keep getting pushed out. The sale is 99.999% closed, then the customer stops returning calls and emails. A deal that had no worthy competition mysteriously gets awarded to a competitor. Customers lose budgets in the final minutes. They decide to do it internally. They give failing suppliers more chances. They have ten other projects to do before they can get to yours. And the beat goes on…

My guess is that you hear it every day too.

Why aren’t sales reps closing sales? Because an untrained sales team does not know how to engage with the real decision makers, co-create a factual business case, and close sales effectively and timely.

It’s not the customers’ fault; it’s a sales skill and method deficiency. Customers are just as frustrated as you are; they didn’t get their goals achieved or their problems solved either? Greater that 40% of B2B sales transactions go to no decision.

Below is a sequential listing of the mistakes that untrained sales reps make every day and why they aren’t closing sales:

  1. Not working with the real decision makers: The sales team is not including the business, user, and financial stakeholders into the sales cycle. They are rarely working with the final approver.
  2. No business case to justify why the purchase is necessary and immediate: It’s not clear to all decision makers how your offering impacts their business results. How will your offering enable them to make or save money, improve customer retention, meet regulatory compliance, etc.?
  3. Quotes instead of proposals: A quote is a product description and price. It doesn’t describe your business case, alternate strategies considered, solution overview, acceptance criteria, how you are uniquely qualified and how your organization will support the customer long term.
  4. Submitting instead of presenting: Emailing a quote. We humorously call this “quoting and hoping instead of proposing and closing.”
  5. Not asking for the sale: This is major. This is when your rep doesn’t engage with the final approver and actually ask them for the sale.
  6. Unable to manage stalls and requests for price concessions: Let’s stop being surprised when the customer isn’t prepared to make the decision when they said they would, or when they push back on price in the last minute. Count on both of these situations happening every time.

There are only two reasons why a sale doesn’t close. The customer no longer feels that initiative is a priority (no compelling business justification) or they don’t believe that your organization is the right fit (you have not proven that you are uniquely qualified).

Effective closing requires your sales team to teach your customer how to achieve a business result, lead them through an objective evaluation process, co-create a legitimate business case, present the business solution, and ask for the sale. There are no short cuts or one liners.

Are you winning your fair share? Can your sales reps improve? Would you like to evaluate them?

It’s time to learn why your sales reps aren’t closing sales. We typically facilitate a training class on presenting and closing on the last Thursday of every month. Check the class schedule for the next Presenting and Closing seminar.

The Worldleaders Smart Sales Institute is designed for CEOs and Sales Leaders of B2B technology companies to improve sales teams by increasing their skills and enabling sales growth, which ultimately drives revenue to maintain your company’s competitive edge. If this is interesting or important to you, contact Joe Morone.