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February 1, 2024


5 min read

Closing the Deal: 3 Proven Sales Strategies to Move Deals Down the Funnel

Shannon Carlson
Closing the Deal: 3 Proven Sales Strategies to Move Deals Down the Funnel

The #1 reason salespeople can’t close deals, according to buyers, is because the salesperson is not trusted or respected. “They just want to sell me a product.”

“They don’t actually care about our business.” “I’ve heard this whole pitch before.”

It keeps going.

In a study from Steve W. Martin, only 18% of salespeople “would be classified as trusted advisors” that B2B buyers respect. In other, bleaker words, two-thirds of B2B salespeople are labeled as “average” or “poor.”

In many interactions, buyers can easily sense a predetermined agenda from salespeople, leading to increased pressure and distance from the finish line. And this distance only increases further when salespeople deliver rehearsed, canned pitches without actually listening to the unique requirements and concerns of the buyers.

Finding a balance between the sales agenda and the buyer’s needs is crucial to foster authentic connections and bring that sale to closed won. In this month’s newsletter, we’re taking a deep dive into 3 proven sales strategies that can elevate your sales approach and create a more effective sales process.

1. Initiate a Discovery Call - Ask Good Questions

The foundation of a successful sales journey is often in the initiation of a well-executed discovery call. This sounds simple, but it’s often a step that is missed.

A discovery call isn’t some routine, over-rehearsed conversation/sales pitch. It’s an opportunity to understand the prospect’s needs, pain points, and goals. These calls not only allow for a more personalized approach but also enable sales professionals to tailor their pitch strategies, moving away from boring, generic, and canned pitches.

When a prospect agrees to sit down and talk with you, start by asking open-ended, insightful questions that go beyond surface-level, such as what their long-term vision for growth is, the hurdles they’ve encountered in reaching their targets, and any industry trends that might be impacting their operations.

Remember, the goal of the discovery call is not only to gather information but also to establish that foundation of trust and rapport. Actively listen to their responses, ask follow-up questions, and acknowledge their insights. This two-way communication not only enhances the quality of information you gather but also plays a crucial role in creating a collaborative atmosphere that sets the tone for a positive ongoing relationship.

2. Practice Social Selling

What if we told you that you could lower the number of cold calls you need to make?

Say hello to our little friend: social selling.

Social selling involves leveraging social media platforms like LinkedIn to establish and nurture relationships with potential customers. Here’s a quick rundown of traditional vs. social selling!

Modern buyers turn to social media for research and information, making it a valuable channel for sales professionals to engage and form more meaningful relationships with their prospects. It’s a proven strategy that enhances trust and builds that rapport we mentioned earlier.

By establishing a presence on social media, you make it easier for people to want to work with you by humanizing your approach and showcasing industry expertise. In fact, LinkedIn states that social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities, are 51% more likely to reach quota, and outperform peers who don’t use social media.

If you’re interested in learning social selling, we offer a handy dandy Social Selling Workshop tailored specifically to you and your organization. We’ve trained over 250 sales professionals on how to integrate social selling into the sales process.

3. Utilize Automation Software

Automation software allows you to analyze prospect data and gain insights into their preferences and behaviors, enabling sales teams to alleviate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, which allows them to focus more on strategy and building relationships.

These are just some of the areas automation software can assist in your sales process:

  • Funnel management: scoring, prioritizing, and nurturing through predefined criteria and workflows
  • Contact management: updating contact information automatically
  • Task automation: automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, set reminders for sales activities, etc.
  • Sales pipeline management: move leads through deal stages automatically with workflows

Long story short: automation makes it easier to move more leads through the pipeline quicker and more efficiently.

And just in case you’re not convinced to start using automation software just yet, 47% of CMOs say automation helps move leads from marketing to sales faster and 72% of the most successful companies use sales automation.

Despite all these benefits though, automation can be a disadvantage if used incorrectly since it can make communication seem a little too artificial if you aren’t careful. To maintain that touch of “human,” you can add banks (sort of like Mad Libs) where you can fill in personalized insights from your previous interactions with a lead 🙂.

The Final Chirp

Pushing those deals down the funnel relies on listening well, building trust, understanding buyer needs, and fostering genuine relationships. Through discovery calls, social selling, and automation, you can transform your entire sales approach and elevate the effectiveness of your sales process. At the end of the day, it’s not just about selling a product; it’s about building relationships that lead to long-term success.

If you’re interested in learning how our nest can help you achieve your sales goals, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We promise to provide value whether you choose to work with us or not.

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