Last Updated on Apr 8, 2020 by James W

If you think closing sales is tough, you’re not alone. Nearly 43 percent of sales professionals don’t make their quotas, the latest CSO Insights data shows. As a result of these sales shortcomings, nearly 18 percent of companies don’t meet their revenue goals. Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to boost your sales effectiveness, even if you’re not a sales professional. Here are four steps you can take to close more deals and win more contracts.

Boost Your Confidence with Skills and Motivational Training

One characteristic of top sales representatives is confidence, expressed as calmness under pressure, a Quora survey of sales leaders found. While confidence is partly a function of personality, confidence can also be boosted by good preparation, which comes from solid sales training. When you’ve been trained to handle a sales situation, you naturally will feel more confident about closing deals.

Effective sales training should include both skills training and motivational training. Sales training organizations such as Sandler offer programs you can use to improve your sales skills, which will boost your confidence. It’s also important to get a regular injection of confidence by listening to motivating sales speakers and other motivational speakers. Agencies such as the Sweeney Agency provide access to top motivational sales speakers, and you can also find inspiring speeches by using online resources such as YouTube.

Map Out Your Sales Process

As with any other area of business, one of the keys to sales success is following a standard operating procedure. Mapping out your sales procedure can help you systematize your sales efforts so that you close consistently instead of erratically. It can also help you raise your awareness of where your prospect is in the sales cycle so that you don’t miss an opportunity by attempting to close prematurely or missing the signs when a prospect is ready to buy.

In general, the sales process consists of generating leads, scheduling appointments, building trust and rapport, identifying prospect needs, presenting benefits, closing, answering objections and following up. Customizing this general sequence for your particular business involves specifying exactly what routines and subroutines are involved in each of these steps, such as determining exactly which marketing channels are used to generate your leads and how prospects get from the lead generation stage to the appointment stage. Sales Performance Consultants provides an online guide to help you create a customized map of your own sales process.

Create Sales Scripts

Sales scripts are one of the keys to closing sales consistently. Scripts allow you to rehearse your sales presentation, improving your confidence. Scripts also give you an opportunity to optimize the language of your sales presentation, enabling you to better pinpoint your prospects’ pain points, highlight the benefits that will appeal to them, deliver a persuasive close and answer objections effectively.

You can write sales scripts for any phase of your sales process. For example, Chet Holmes International provides a sample template for a cold calling script you can modify to suit your needs. Holmes, Moine and other leading sales trainers have written many books containing other sample scripts you can adapt to different situations.

Implement Follow-up Procedures

Eighty percent of sales transactions require 5 to 12 follow-up attempts before they generate a close, according to bestselling sales trainer Grant Cardone. This means you can maximize your closing rate by implementing a systematic procedure for following up with prospects after your initial closing attempts. Following up consistently can also help you generate more repeat business and referrals.

You can use a wide array of communications tools to follow up with prospects. These include texts, emails, social media messages, phone calls and mail. And in an increasingly connected world, you can follow up in transit by taking advantage of in-flight Wi-Fi on select airlines. For best results, schedule a timetable for follow-up contacts.

Boosting your confidence through training, mapping your sales process, creating sales scripts and implementing follow-up procedures are four sound strategies for improving your closing rate. Implementing these strategies will help you close more effectively, land more deals and generate more revenue.

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