Categories Articles, Sales and Marketing

The ABCs of selling are: Always Be Closing.

(As opposed to the ABCs of sales metrics, which are a little different.)

You’ve probably heard this catchphrase more than a few times. ABC means that everything you do throughout the sales process should aim toward the singular goal of closing a deal. If you don’t close the deal, then everything leading up to that point was a failure.

Forget it. For sales reps selling Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), this is just downright bad advice.

The ABC approach, while effective decades ago when salespeople were selling vacuums door-to-door, should no longer be a sales slogan to live by. That mindset simply doesn’t work anymore. In today’s business world, customers…

  • Decide to buy after a series of interactions. If you are selling SaaS, the key to closing is building relationships – ones that take time to nurture. It’s simple: customers will not buy from your reps if they don’t trust or like them. The real work happens when they lay the foundation and improve on it over time, not the day the customer signs the papers. Reps should focus their efforts on developing those relationships instead of concentrating too much on the close.

  • Despise the hard-sell pitch. A combination of charisma and manipulation won’t get customers to buy from your reps. In fact, customers are turned off by unsubtle closing techniques. As soon as they sense a rep is being fake, their BS detectors go off and the sale is as good as lost. Coach your reps to set themselves apart from the stereotypical pushy salesperson by teaching them how to become great personal marketers. The best way to reach a customer nowadays is to be genuinely helpful and personable – to show you care about providing value and solving pain points.

  • Have already researched your company before talking to your rep. If a customer is engaging in a conversation with your rep, chances are they have looked at your company’s website and blog, read online reviews, and skimmed your rep’s LinkedIn page. They don’t want to hear the elevator pitch – they probably read that on your website already. Instead, they want your reps to tell them how exactly the product or service can resolve their specific pain points. How well can your reps internalize and answer these questions?  Train and test your reps on the ability to really listen and respond to a wide variety of these questions in meaningful way. Make sure they are equipped with all the preparation they need before allowing them to manage their own accounts.

Sales-to-customer engagement is quickly evolving and the days of ABC selling are over. Make sure your reps are up to speed!

In this new sales environment, which sales slogan does your sales team live by?

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