It's very common for executives, CEOs, and VPs of Sales to come to me and say, "Our people need to get better at closing." And nine times out of ten, it's not a closing problem, but another specific problem.
It's a prospecting problem.
See, when you're prospecting the wrong way, you invest a lot of time, energy, and money in generating interest. Then when someone raises their hand and says, "I'm interested," you grab them and run with them through our sales funnel.
Really, you should have been suspicious at the very beginning, and really looked to see what "I'm interested" actually meant. How many people have you grabbed when they raised their hand, and it turns out you were wasting your time, energy, money, and other resources?
A couple years ago, the CEO of a major organization got in touch with me.
"We've got a major problem," he told me. "We get tons of people to the final step in our sales process, then our salespeople can't close any of them."
I spend about a half a day working with his management team. We examined all the opportunities in their pipeline, and you know what? It wasn't a closing problem!
Not a single opportunity that was in the final step of their pipeline should have made it that far. Not a single one! Because not one of them was actually a good prospect.
But they'd all raised their hand and said, "I'm interested."
This all starts with prospecting! If you're not careful with prospecting, you can easily waste time, energy, money, and other resources. You can try to increase your closes by increasing the number of prospects you put in the funnel.
But shouldn't you be focusing on quality instead? Have real conversations with your prospects. Dig in and find out if they actually have a pain you can solve, or if they're just raising their hand as someone that's "interested."
When prospecting, look for that pain. Someone with a pain you can solve is worth investing your time, energy, money, and other resources. Someone who just said, "I'm interested," isn't.