There certainly are people with a talent for sales. They have that innate ability to connect with others, they recognize buying signs, and they possess a talent for language and presentation.

Like a chef who has a vision for creating a delectable dish, this talented salesperson can weave the right conversations into a closed deal where others may not.

But cooking can be predictable and learnable. With the right training, a budding cook is able to learn temperatures, cooking methods, and preparation techniques that are more likely to lead to a delicious outcome.

And truth be told, sales can have similar, predictable patterns and behaviors that can help any salesperson become more successful. The question is, what are they and how do you teach them?

Ingredients for closing deals

There are five key areas that are the ingredients of great closers:

  1. Understanding the buyer’s need.
  2. Knowing the competitive landscape.
  3. Knowing what promotes value.
  4. Understanding the fit.
  5. Responding in a timely fashion.

Understanding the buyer’s need

Understanding the buyer’s need is the most important criteria for any sales position in any industry. Time and time again, the research at Primary Intelligence has shown that knowing why the buyer was looking for a solution outside of the company is three times more important to closing a deal than anything else.

The biggest mistake a sales professional can make is jumping to “demo-mode” before learning and acknowledging a buyer’s desired outcome. Take the extra time to discuss what the buyer is trying to achieve when buying your product. Not only does it help you customize your approach through the rest of the buying process, but it shows the buyer you are focused in on their needs and not just on selling a product.

Knowing the competitive landscape

If a competitor’s product is consistently perceived as a better value and you don’t know it, you are always behind in the game. Also, if you are perceived as being similar to your competitors, there may be nuances in closing the deal you are unaware of. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses in comparison with each competitor helps you prepare your efforts to put you in the best position.

Taking the time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors pays off tremendously because it gives you the right strategic approach to counter the ways they undermine your pitch.

Knowing what promotes value

Price is not the deal breaker salespeople think it is. In fact, only 25% of lost deals state price affected the loss. If you know what is most important to your buyer, you can tailor your sales pitch to promote the value of your product. Unless price is dramatically out of comparison with the competition, the buyer will always go with the solution that best solves their problem over a discounted option.

Understanding the fit

A salesperson’s time is valuable, so why waste time chasing unwinnable deals? It may seem counter-intuitive, but 47% of lost deals never were a good fit for the buyer. The quicker you know whether you are a good fit, the quicker you can move on from unwinnable deals and concentrate on those with potential.

Responding in a timely fashion

This sounds rudimentary, right? But it is surprising how many buyers state that the sales team was slow to interact with them. The minute the buyer feels you are not engaged with them you begin to lose the deal. Buyers want to feel that you are invested in their success, and lack of communication will damage that perception of you.

Mixing the right ingredients for the close

If you use these five key points, you will see an improvement in close rates and eliminate wasted time on unwinnable deals. These points are not a “secret sauce” that only the most talented salesperson can learn. They are the basics of good sales, and the more you instill the basics into your sales techniques, the more nuances you will be to adapt to the needs of the buyer.

Getting the information

This intelligence cannot be achieved from internal discussions. A salesperson’s perception of the sales process is proven to be incorrect more than 50% of the time.

In order to put these into action, you must get the voice of your buyer. A voice of the buyer program helps you understand the buyer’s needs and expectations by gathering feedback directly from them. With their direct responses, you learn what really matters to the buyer during the sales process: what is most important to them, what has the most impact, and so forth.

For more information on voice of the buyer programs, contact us here.