March 29, 2016

If your salespeople cannot close a sale properly, you many feel frustrated. After all, there is no way the can achieve impressive sales results if they do not know how to close.

What you may not realize is that the ability to close relies heavily on the entire sales process – not just what the salesperson says to the customer at the end of the call. If your salespeople are using an ineffective sales process, they cannot be expected to close sales frequently.

salesperson-not-closing-sales

That is why you, as the sales manager, must teach your salespeople to use an effective sales process that will allow them to make a sale at the end of their conversations with customers.

Keep reading, and you will learn sales tips to help your salespeople improve their process and overcome the challenges that are hindering them from closing.

8 Reasons Why your Salespeople Cannot Close

1. Their leads have not been pre-qualified

If your sales team is cold calling leads that have not been properly qualified, there is a good chance that they will be unable to close sales very often. That is because their leads are not likely to be interested in the product or service being sold.

TO avoid this issue, remember that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to sales leads. Make sure the leads you give to your salespeople are the right fit for what they are selling.

2. Your salespeople are not asking the right questions.

To sell effectively, your salespeople must understand how to uncover the prospects needs and make a recommendation based on those needs. That does not happen when the salesperson neglects to ask questions and instead, focuses on talking about the product or service.

If you note this problem among your salespeople, train them on the best questions to ask prospects and make sure they are capable of recommending a product/service based on the prospect’s needs. Their goal should be to let the prospect know that making a purchase will help them overcome a specific challenge they are facing, and that can only be done with a tailored sales pitch.

3. Your salespeople do not actively listen to prospects.

If your salespeople talk more than they listen, they are not likely to succeed at closing sales. That is because active listening is the best way for salespeople to overcome objections that stand in the way of a sale and recommend the best product or service for the prospect.

If your salespeople do not actively listen, do not worry – with a bit of coaching from you, they can learn how to do it every time they have a conversation with a prospect.

practice-active-listening

Bonus: Read this blog post to learn how you can teach active listening skills to your salespeople.

4. Prospects do not perceive your salespeople as trustworthy.

Salespeople cannot close if they do not know how to build trust with prospects. So if your salespeople are rushing into the sale process or coming across as desperate to meet a sales quota, that is likely why they are unable to close.

To fix this problem, coach your salespeople on how to build trust. They should avoid immediately pushing the product/service and instead focus on having genuine conversations where they discover they prospect’s needs and then communicate how those needs can be met with the product/service they are selling.

5. Your salespeople do not know how to close properly.

One of the most obvious reasons your salespeople may not be closing sales is a lack of knowledge of how to properly close a sale. If you suspect that this may be what is hindering your team from achieving top sales results, talk to them and address any questions they have about closing properly.

Keep in mind that there is more than one correct way to close a sale. When you coach your salespeople on how to close, make sure you recommend a successful method that works with their specific approach to selling.

6. Your salespeople do not know enough about the product/service they are selling.

Put yourself in the salesperson’s shoes for a moment.

How effectively would you be able to close sales if you had little to no knowledge of the product/service you were selling?

Chances are, you would not be able to close sales effectively at all. When you do not know much about what you are selling, you cannot make an educated recommendation for your prospects. As a result, prospects will be unable to understand how the product or service will benefit them and will neglect to make a purchase.

That is why you must make sure your salespeople have all the information they need to communicate the benefits of what they are selling to prospects. If they seem to lacking knowledge, provide training resources and offer coaching sessions where you can educate them with sales tips and address any questions or concerns they have about the product/service they need to sell.

7. Your salespeople are not Driven.

If your salespeople are not closing deals very often, there may be a larger underlying problem. They may not have the Drive necessary to succeed in a sales position.

A Drive salesperson will stop at nothing to win the prospect over to his point of view and make the sale, and he is certain they if he does not make the first sale, he will surely make the next.

If your salespeople do not possess the three elements of Drive: Need for Achievement, Competitiveness and Optimism, they are not cut out for a sales position. To determine if your current salespeople are Drive, administer a sales assessment test that focuses on Drive and its three core elements to ensure you have a team of Driven individuals. When hiring new sales employees, be sure to incorporate a sales assessment into your hiring process to identify Drive prior to hiring.

8. Your salespeople do not know how to use silence to their advantage.

Silence during a conversation can feel uncomfortable for just about anyone, but with a bit of practice, your salespeople can use that silence to close more sales.

salesperson-using-silence-tactic

For example, when your salesperson asks a closing question (“Can I schedule an appointment for you today?”) and the prospect rejects his offer, he may quickly respond with a counteroffer (“How about tomorrow?”).

Instead of doing that, the salesperson could successfully close by remaining silent after the prospect rejects the initial offer. By doing so, he increases the chances that the conversation will go something like this:

Salesperson: Can I schedule an appointment for you today?

Prospect: No, I am not available today.

Prospect: (after the silence)… But tomorrow works for me. 

Teach your salespeople how to use this tactic, and they should be able to close more sales. They may feel uneasy about letting silence linger during a conversation with a customer, but you should reassure them that it will feel more natural the more they do it.

On a final note, always remember that being unable to close is usually one of two things: a symptom of an effective sales process or an individual who lacks the Drive necessary to succeed. With that in mind, you can effectively pinpoint and fix the problem with the process, and assess your sales candidates prior to hiring to ensure you are hiring individuals who have the core traits needed to sell for you. Once you do that and start teaching your team the sales tips mentioned in this post, you should start to notice their results improving.