In general, I’m not big advocates for worry. Worrying is counterproductive because it adds stress to your life and saps your energy — energy that you could be using to effect meaningful changes instead.
But in my opinion, there’s one key metric that sales professionals don’t worry about enough: close rates. (conversion rates )
Right about now, you’re probably feeling a bit defensive. After all, you constantly track your close rates. You’re always looking for ways to boost them. You might even be pretty proud of yourself for increasing your close rates by a fraction of a percent — or even a whole percent or two — over the last period.
The problem is that most sales teams and management don’t think big enough when it comes to close rate improvements. They’re content to settle for “good enough” and coast along, maybe making some minor gains over time.
But that’s a problem. Here’s why:
Poor close rates demoralize the sales team. Good salespeople know when they aren’t winning as many deals as they should. They get discouraged. Some will — rightly — believe that management isn’t doing enough to help them win deals. And they’ll leave, cause dissent or start the blame / excuses game.
Poor close rates make more work for everyone. If your close rate is lower than it should be, you’ll need a whole lot more leads. That means more work for marketing, more sales calls and more salespeople to do the work.
Everyone is less efficient.
Poor close rates increase costs. All that inefficiency has a price. Marketing will need to increase its ad spend. Sales will have to pay for more salaries. That means less money on the bottom line and less money for sales team members’ commissions.
Clearly, you need to get your close rates up. The question is how. ?
In my experience, close rates are a pretty good proxy for the overall effectiveness of your sales process. Don’t confuse being efficient for being effective or effort for results.
Just about everything you do in sales has an impact on this one metric.
So, if you have a major problem in your sales process — or half a dozen minor problems — that will affect your wins.
Conversely, that also means that tweaking intermediate points in your sales process can affect your overall close rate. I’ve seen B2B firms generate massive improvements in their win ratio with relatively minor changes.
But it requires a careful analysis of your current procedures, processes and overall strategy and thoughtful, meaningful changes at critical points in the sales process.
I can show you how to Improve Your Close Rates and explains how to do that analysis step-by-step. I’ll offer some tried-and-true tips and tactics that other firms have used successfully to make dramatic improvements in the number of deals they win.
Despite the title I’ve chosen for this Article, we don’t really want you to lose sleep over your close rates.
But we do want you to give them all the attention they deserve and to start taking steps towards major improvements. It’s one of the most profitable things you can do for your company
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Predictable Success can examine your sales processes and deliver an accurate road-map after determining where you’re on track and where you need a course correction. Predictable Success can provide a cost/benefit analysis and expert recommendations to improve your sales performance on every level.