We’re about seven or eight weeks into this crisis and we’re getting asked more than ever about the best way to go about closing deals.
In this post we’re going to share a five-step guide to closing during the crisis.
Before we get into the five steps. It’s worth considering why it is so much harder closing deals that we do have out there at the moment. The best way to do that is to step out of our shoes and into the shoes of the client and work out what’s going on with them.
Broadly there are three reasons why it is harder than ever for clients to gain sign off:
More risk averse
Clients continue to be very risk-averse. They don’t want to be seen to make a mistake and often, they don’t want to be seen as the person within their organization who wants to spend money at this time.
The wider decision-making group.
We know that over recent years the average the number of people involved in any B2B decision buying decision has been growing. Currently, it stands at around seven or eight people. Here at Flume we don’t know whether decision-making groups are getting even bigger during the crisis, however, many marketers are telling us that increasingly they’re having to get any spend signed off at a much more senior level. That’s making their life way more difficult.
Watertight internal business cases.
Due to the two points above, clients need watertight internal business cases for any spend right now.
It’s harder for our client to get things signed off internally, so let’s look at what we can do differently to make it as easy for them as possible:
Personal buy in
We are going to require our main point of contact to work really hard to get our recommendation signed off so we need to ensure that they are really bought into it. Try asking the following questions:
- ‘What’s the benefit of this for you in your role and for the wider business?’
- ‘Are you committed to recommending this internally?’
The decision-making process
We need to understand the decision-making process in its entirety. Try asking:
- ‘What are all the steps that we need to go through between now and ultimately getting this thing signed off?’
Prioritising the first step
It’s likely that this whole sign-off process is going to be quite convoluted. It represents a lot of work for your contact at a time when they are probably super busy and stressed. It’s not helpful for us to just chase them for sign off. It’s much better if we can find out what the first step is help them take it. Once this has happened it becomes much more likely that this whole process will gain momentum. Try asking:
- ‘What needs to happen first?’
The decision-making group
Your contact should be bought into your recommendation so if this opportunity fails to close it will be down to a member of the wider decision-making group. It’s therefore hugely important to build as comprehensive view as possible of who all the other stakeholders are as well as their likely influence on the final decision. Try asking the following questions:
- ‘Who else is involved in influencing the decision?’
- ‘Who or what could block this?’
- ‘Who will have the most positive or negative influence in the group?’
- ‘What questions will they need answering?’
- ‘What could stop this going through?’
Agree on collaboration
You are going to have to work closely with your contact if you are to successfully navigate this process. Work out how you can best collaborate. Try asking:
- ‘What would make this easier to sell on?’
- ‘What could we do to make it easier for the stakeholders to say yes?’
- ‘What is the common goal of the stake holders that we should position this around?’
- ‘What will they need to see in the proposal to be easily convinced?’
To find out more about closing deals, or to keep up-to-date with all our new content on our LinkedIn and You Tube pages. Also please look through all of our blogs. Flume was built on providing high impact training for sales leaders and salespeople to adapt to Today’s Buyer and to make it easy for you to drive KPIs and ROI, so there is a lot of great advice throughout.
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