Why your sales reps tell stories at the end of the month and how to elevate their closure rate
In August, I facilitated a basic sales training session for the sales team of a leading real estate company in Nigeria. Before the training, the HR head complained that their performance was just below expectation and they’ve tried different techniques yet no changes.
Just to know the exact problem, I asked a series of questions during the training session to know if they are having the right conversation and also to ascertain if they are getting quality leads from the marketing team. From their response, I discovered that the problem was not the leads or in particular their sales conversation but follow up. What they do is fire once and forget. They engage with a lead once or twice and drop the deal after prospect’s objections. As simple as it seems, this is one of the greatest failures of most salespeople. Sales reps that are not persistent, will always tell stories at the end of the month If your sales team can’t keep the sales conversation alive with consistent calls, messages and emails. They will always under perform. That is certain! The sales game is won by persistence, not by a quick close, to emphasize that, different studies carried out at different times, in different places, by different market research companies over a number of years all reveal that 80% of sales occur only after at least five follow-ups. Think about that. It takes at least five continuous follow-up efforts after the initial sales contact, before a customer says yes. FIVE! There are some fascinating statistics on this:
• 44% of sales people give up after one “no”. • 22% give up after two “nos”. • 14% give up after three “nos”
• 12% give up after four “nos”.
In fact, 92% of salespeople stop following up after hearing ‘no’ four times. Just 8% of sales people close the deals the fifth time. Yes, nobody likes hearing the word ‘no’.
But in a role driven by performance and growth, giving up after hearing ‘no’ two or three times will affect their closure rate. But, sales team who remain steadfast know that the first ‘no’ is just a stepping stone on the way to ‘yes’ — because 80% of prospects wait until the fifth follow-up to say ‘yes.’
The truth is tenacity results in sales. Even if following-up isn’t your sales team favorite part of the job, you must let them know it’s absolutely crucial to their success. If they give up before that crucial fifth follow-up, they are shutting down the bulk of the sales potential.In order for your sales team to excel and close more leads, you must encourage them to follow-up on their leads.
If you want to see improvement in your revenue, let them aggregate all their leads using a CRM or Google Sheets and set performance metrics to follow-up to track and monitor them regularly.I am confident that, if you try this out their performance will wow you. For your organization to achieve the revenue goals for Q4, you must ensure that your revenue team is operating at optimal level.
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