Mark Stanley, VP EMEA for web marketing and marketing operations at Salesforce.com shares his top five tips for closing a lead and bringing in a sale. It’s about nurturing your sales leads to success.
First: Validation is key
Your salespeople are a valuable asset; you don’t want them following up non-leads or cold leads. To validate leads, someone must go through every contact that comes in, and separate the legitimate leads from everything else. They can then pass the warm leads onto the sales team as quickly as possible. A tool such as Pardot can be valuable in streamlining this process.
Second: Best foot forward
Once you have the sales lead validated, it’s important to get your sales team going. Ring up the lead to determine what ‘pain points’ can be best addressed by your solution. And then it’s on to the pitch. However, sometimes, even a great sales pitch isn’t enough for a prospect to buy. Often, they look to gain as much information as possible up front. It’s important to make sure your teams are ready to go and can answer a variety of questions in a self-service fashion. FAQs, forums, whitepapers, case studies and references are key to success here. If they ask about the competition, tread lightly and allow your product to speak for itself.
Third: It’s about value
Some leads will try to haggle on price, especially if the competitor charges less. This is your opportunity to explain the intrinsic value of your product. What return on investment will they get if they buy from you? Case studies, demonstrations and examples of the consequences of not making the purchase often work. Helping the lead understand why your product/service is a ‘foundation for success’ is key.
Fourth: Make it easy to buy
Believe it or not, it’s a person-to-person chat that might spark that critical buy decision. According to our research, 38% of consumers ultimately make a purchase based on a person-to-person chat. If you are selling online, a live chat works in the same way and helps avoid user frustration.
Fifth: Know when to fold ’em
Clearly, it’s important to ensure you are on the same page as your customer in terms of the deal. Whether it’s price, payment due dates, or product specifications, make sure they know what elements are non-negotiable. A motivated lead may negotiate but will ultimately accept the terms of the sale. If the lead isn’t interested or is simply going through the motions, you will be better off ending the relationship there than using up resources. Don’t allow a poor lead to drain resources. Know when to fold ’em.
Image courtesy of USA Network, Season 3, Suits.