5 Steps to Improve Close Rates

Brittany Pierce

No one is happy with bad close rates. When your team just isn’t closing enough deals, you might quickly pin it on underperforming AEs or managers. There’s also the possibility that a prospect you thought was great but doesn’t fit the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

While that may be true, sometimes there’s a deeper problem. Technology like a key performance indicator (KPI) dashboard can show you the symptoms, but it will not necessarily indicate the root cause. You may need to look at your Presales team for that.

B2B Close Rates

When troubleshooting and calculating variations of close rates, it is important not to use win rate and close rate interchangeably. There is a slight, but significant, difference. The win rate looks at closed opportunities, while the close rate looks at all the opportunities created.

Your close rate is one of the most important KPIs to determine how well your team handles sales opportunities. You typically calculate this by taking a rep’s total won closed opportunities and dividing them by the number of opportunities created within a set window. To improve your close rates, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Determine what your prospects want
  2. Remove roadblocks in the experience
  3. Set clear timelines
  4. Examine win-loss scenarios
  5. Use Demo-Qualified Leads (DQLs)

1. Determine What Your Prospects Want

Stop guessing about what your potential buyers want. Take the time to find the source of their true motivations (individually and collectively), what’s really disrupting their effectiveness, and the jobs they need to get done. This way, you can demonstrate why you have the best solution.

Your advice needs to be relevant so they feel like you understand them and their needs. If you do this well in discovery, your pitch will resonate more powerfully.

You connect a lot of this at the level of the demo. It’s easy to disqualify yourself unintentionally when you lean into the wrong details in your demos. The demo doesn’t have to showcase the perfect product, but it should be perfect for your audience. By showing the prospects the value you could add in a way they understand, you will boost close rates.

2. Remove Roadblocks

You invest time, money, marketing, and strategy calories toward each deal. You lose a good portion of that with closed-lost deals and unqualified prospects. When communicating with prospects, try identifying obstacles or red flags that may cause a holdup down the line. For example, pick out the stakeholders as soon as possible. Your team may be spending too much time with someone that isn’t going to make the final decision.

You can anticipate and remove roadblocks if you have taken the time to get to know your prospects, their problems, and what they want. This will lower the risk of wasting resources on sales that won’t go through.

3. Set Clear Timelines

Selling processes can easily drag on because of scheduling conflicts, miscommunication, and clients losing interest. It is essential to align your process around your buyer’s process – a central tenant to Buyer Enablement – and establish clear expectations and measurable steps to progress through each phase of their buying process.

Then, communicate those clearly and often. If the client starts to stagnate, you can see the exact phase where things started to go wrong, and you can troubleshoot and remediate. Remember, these tasks and deadlines should be based around the buyer’s process and not your sales process. They’re the ones doing most of the selling internally, not you. Your job is to be a buyer coach, not a seller.

4. Examine Win-Loss Scenarios

Look at the data to form strategies for your team’s performance. For example, you can see how your reps performed in various price points and industries. You can then course-correct to fill in any gaps and see who may need some additional coaching. You will be able to identify where your sales techniques are successful and where you need to implement changes.

Some on your team may need coaching and support for their closing skills. Others may need skill development in other areas like lead qualification, communication, or stakeholder mapping. Ensuring your team is capable in their closing ability and has sufficient product knowledge is essential to achieving your highest possible closing rates.

5. Use Demo Qualified Leads (DQLs)

Demos continue to be a bottleneck for many organizations. Many buyers wait for more than a week for a demo, and that kind of lag slows down deals. You can increase your close rate and reduce the wait time by creating a way to qualify leads before using high-impact demo resources. A Demo Qualified Lead (DQL) is simply a way to qualify which customers are serious enough about your solution to warrant spending quality Presales time.

Technology can help by identifying who your potential buyers are and what they want before even meeting with them to pitch your product. Demo qualified leads are the key, and you can enable them with automated demos. You can build and share these demos with potential buyers asking for more information. Potential buyers can click on the link and identify what field they are in and what aspects of your solution are most important to them. Then, they get a personalized demo of your product and what it can do for them.

Buyers can schedule a follow-up meeting through a link after the demo if they want more information. After the initial work of setting up the demo framework, you won’t have used any time, manpower, or other extra resources, but you will have generated an interested lead, learned what field they are in, and learned what they care about to make a purchase decision. Thanks to technology, you have effortlessly developed a DQL that is 34 percent more likely to buy from you.

You can quickly increase your close rates by using your team’s statistics to find where they need support and coaching, assessing what your potential buyers want, and focusing on qualifying leads. Low close rates are just an opportunity for learning! As you identify problems and seek to improve them, don’t be afraid to turn to technology for easy and effective solutions.