How to increase your close rate

How to increase your close rate

You know that feeling. The amazing rush when a big prospect says “yes.” When you realize that the innumerable emails, discovery calls, and demonstrations have finally paid off. When you’re going to be rewarded for all of your hard work. Even if you haven’t been in sales for long, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

How about that other not-so-pleasant feeling?

The depressing realization that a major prospect has gone “dark” on you?

The time when you realize that countless hours of hard work will soon have amounted to nothing. For my fellow salespeople, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Below is an illustration for those who don’t know what it’s like to work in B2B sales:

Last year, I negotiated my biggest deal yet. After three months of calls and emails, the prospect and I agreed to price, terms, and a start date. The CEO told me to send the contract ASAP—he wanted to start the next day. I sent the contract. Then….nothing. After a month of calls and emails, I accepted the fact that the deal was dead.

Even the most excited prospects can get cold feet once it’s time to finalize the deal. The excitement gives way to apprehension, and then it goes cold.

Instead of accepting that some deals aren’t meant to be, I started searching for a way to avoid losing deals. A colleague suggested that I emulate field salespeople – get excited prospects to sign during the close call.

I decided to sign up for a popular eSignature tool to try to help close more deals on the spot. We were able to send a PDF proposal to a prospect but it proved more tedious and time consuming than expected. Starting with a Word template, I needed to input information into dozens of blank fields, save it as a PDF, upload the document to the eSignature tool, add signature fields, and then finally send it to the prospect.

I told a friend about my troubles with the popular eSignature tool and he suggested that I check out PandaDoc. Unlike some of the maybe more well known players in the eSignature business, PandaDoc actually combines word processing and eSigning. Using PandaDoc’s “tokens” function—similar to mail merge fields – and their CRM integrations, customization and sending a proposal has now become lightning fast.

During my next closing call, I tried what we now call “The PandaDoc Close.” When the prospect told me to send her a contract, I filled in the tokens (merge fields), hit send, and told her to check her inbox. Before we hung up I had a signed contract in hand.

I immediately incorporated PandaDoc into my team’s sales process. Some of the benefits we experienced were unexpected:

  • Our close rate increased by 25%. We averaged 16.2 deals per month before implementing “The PandaDoc Close.” The first two months with PandaDoc, we closed 21 and 23 deals, respectively. This amounted to over $300k in revenue.

  • Less prospects disappeared. It’s simple: prospects disappear and clients don’t. Try to make them a client during the closing call. Get a signature and payment before you hang up. Problem solved.

  • Objections were revealed. You can only address the objections you know. Some prospects find it easier to disappear than voice their objections. “The PandaDoc Close” forces them to sign or tell you “why not.”

  • Hear “maybe” less. My first sales manager told me that the second best answer in sales is “no.” Reviewing proposals over the phone and asking for a signature on the spot makes it much harder for a prospect to say “maybe.”

“The PandaDoc Close” isn’t appropriate for every type of sale, though it can be adapted to work for most sales teams. The ability to make changes on the fly and instantly resend documents gives you incredible flexibility during a sales call.

How would the ability to quickly build and send proposals and contracts affect your sales team’s performance?