Today’s post is by Mikita Mikado, a software engineer and entrepreneur from Belarus, now based in San Francisco. He is the co-founder and CEO of Quote Roller and PandaDoc. He is passionate about helping businesses realize the benefits of automation – particularly in the sales process.
The empowered consumer is a tough target to sway. Here are four keys to closing sales in an era where demands for service and convenience are at an all-time high – and target audiences’ attention spans are at an all-time low.
Key #1: Quality Content
To win over educated customers, brands need quality content. Articles, white papers, and other thought leadership pieces help brands earn the trust of potential clients by educating buyers about their industry and sharing information that helps customers work smarter. Content marketing builds valuable brand awareness and loyalty. Salespeople should have direct access to these materials so they can leverage them to address unique prospect concerns.
Key #2: User Analytics
Insight about specific user actions can help inform your strategic decisions. For example, potential buyers who spend a lot of time viewing your pricing page may be price sensitive and could be more receptive to discounts and special offers. Prospects who take the time to learn about your product’s advantages and benefits may be more interested in a free trial to see how well they can apply your tools to their business.
Also, knowing how receptive leads are to formal sales documents and proposals allows you to proactively address their viability as well as their unique concerns. Today, sales content automation solutions can actually let organizations see when leads are opening contracts for viewing – as well as the contract sections at which prospects are stopping and zeroing in.
Key #3: Deliver Information at the Right Time
To shorten the sales cycle, companies must leverage marketing and sales automation to deliver information, proposals, and finalized contracts at the exactly the right time – when customers are most willing and able to advance through the sales process. In the past, salespeople used to have meetings where they would meet a potential client face-to-face and, afterwards, return to their desk to process notes and produce a formal proposal. Between those steps, buyers tended to develop cold feet. To streamline the sales process and capture opportunity while it is still “hot,” sales teams need to be able to access valuable marketing content and build tailored proposals when they are facing prospects and on the road.
Key #4: Create a Painless Purchasing Process
Companies should create painless payment portals. When customers are ready to buy, a quick-and-easy credit card transaction removes potential roadblocks. Also, because most business deals are closed with a signature, companies should make it easy for buyers to execute contracts without the need to tediously print or scan anything. With professionals spending a majority of their time on the go and on smartphones, commercial agreements and proposals should be viewable and signable on mobile devices. This empowers the buyer to close the deal for you in an efficient and painless manner.
How will you evolve your approach to close more sales?