Inbound Insights: How to Close a Sale
It’s no secret the Internet has revolutionized the way business is conducted. Inbound marketing’s buyer-centric focus is the answer to this shift. Since so much has changed in marketing recently, now is the perfect time to revisit how to close a sale with inbound best practices.
How to Close a Sale in the Digital Age
The Internet has forever changed the buyer/seller relationship. Since any and all information is just a click away, the power has shifted from the seller to the buyer. In response, inbound salespeople have developed a winning formula for a more-personalized buying experience.
The Buyer’s Journey
A good starting place for learning how to close a sale is to look at the buyer’s journey. By identifying the current stage of a potential buyer, it becomes instantly easier to create a tailored sales strategy.
- Awareness Stage: A prospect is experiencing or expressing symptoms of a problem or opportunity.
- Consideration Stage: A prospect has now clearly defined and given a name to their problem or opportunity.
- Decision Stage: A prospect has now decided on their solution strategy, method or approach to their problem or opportunity.
Follow the Inbound Sales Methodology
Each stage of the buyer’s journey corresponds to a part of the inbound sales methodology.
Salespeople can start working their way through the inbound methodology by identifying individuals with goals or challenges that need assistance.
Then, they can connect with these leads to help them decide whether to prioritize their goal or challenge. If they choose to pursue this course of action, they become qualified leads.
Next, inbound salespeople explore qualified leads’ goals or challenges to determine if they are a good fit. Qualified leads who are a good fit become opportunities.
Finally, sellers advise opportunities about how their product or service is uniquely positioned to provide a solution. If the buyer is interested in the salesperson’s solution, opportunities may become customers.
Good salespeople are good researchers. They are always researching prospects and their companies in order to qualify leads. This data helps them determine where prospects currently are in the buyer’s journey.
Working with buyer personas enables salespeople make educated guesses about customers’ likes, dislikes expectations, needs and concerns.
To be successful, inbound salespeople specialize in also knowing everything about their product or service in order to be able to sell its relevance to their customer.
Nurture the Lead
When learning how to close a sale, it’s important for salespeople to nurture their leads, because on average, it increases sales opportunities 20 percent, according to HubSpot.
They use tactics like these:
- Targeted Content
- Email Marketing
- Multiple Touches
- Timely Follow-ups
- Personalized Emails
- Lead Scoring
- Sales and Marketing Alignment
Close the Deal
A customer’s final “yes” or “no” answer is the culmination of the sales process. While many salespeople focus on the art of the close, the deal hinges on more than just a few smart lines. Thoroughly following the inbound sales playbook is what really gives the seller an advantage in a buyer-centric marketplace.