Generating new business is never easy. But, it is manageable with an effective plan of action. Our five steps of how to close a deal takes a page from an inbound marketing playbook that is proven to build, nurture and convert new leads.
How to Close a Deal in 5 Steps
1) Define a Qualified Lead
Just because someone filled out a form on your website doesn’t make them a qualified lead. Every inbound marketing agency receives leads with fake numbers, names or email addresses.
Only about 25 percent of qualified leads are ready to buy. Another 50 percent are considered marketing qualified leads, which means they are qualified but not ready to make a purchase. The rest of your leads are unlikely to ever buy anything at all.
You can qualify your leads by examining titles, responsibilities, industries, budgets, their authority to buy as well as their level of need and sense of urgency.
2) Research the Lead and their Company, too
Before contacting inbound marketing leads, research is crucial to qualifying them. Today, almost all the information you could want is available at your fingertips on the Internet.
A good way to start the process is by reviewing the company website of your lead. Reading the about us, services and leadership pages will give you a good overall picture of the organization where they work.
Social media accounts are another great place to learn more about an individual or company. With a little research, you will find accounts for most leads and businesses on social media today.
LinkedIn offers a wealth of information on a lead’s professional life. It can show their current job title, company, professional affiliations and more. LinkedIn also displays how you are connected to another user. Search to see if your lead has a Twitter account too, because these offer a publicly viewable glimpse into a person’s life and interests. Depending on whether or not their page is private, a Facebook profile is another possible source for information.
3) Identify Pain Points
If you’ve gotten this far in the process, you are starting to wonder more about how to close a deal.
As you offer a lead a solution to a problem they are experiencing, you’ll want to know their pain points. Buyer personas — semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on market research and real data — will give you the insight necessary to better understand your lead’s behavior patterns, motivations and goals. Employing this strategy develops context that is useful for an effective sales call.
4) Nurture the Lead
While email marketing remains the most cost-effective way to nurture a lead, it needs to be personal in order to help the sales professional convert.
The best strategy is to segment your outreach according to your buyer personas by looking at your leads’ titles, industries, company size and other available data.
5) Close the Deal
All this research is designed to equip your sales professional with the right information necessary to close a deal. This process gives them the ability to identify a lead’s needs to communicate how your products and services serve a solution to their problem.