This Week’s Big Deal: Finish the Year Strong with These Deal-Closing Tips

November 16, 2018

In football, there’s nothing quite so intense as the “two-minute drill.” With the clock ticking down toward zero, an offense must achieve peak focus and efficiency to put points on the board while they still can.

As the clocks runs out on 2018, many salespeople find themselves in a similar position. Whether we’re trying to hit our annual goals, or simply want to close out deals and finish the year on a high note to build momentum for 2019, there’s added pressure to get things done in these final weeks.

Considering the stakes, Michael Goldberg’s latest post at Dun & Bradstreet is a timely one, highlighting three powerful sales closing techniques that work today.

Springboarding off his suggestions, we’ll add our own thoughts on how you can incorporate these methods into your B2B digital selling approach, especially on LinkedIn.

B2B Sales Closing Techniques to Conquer Your 2018 Goals

“To be truly effective this time of year, B2B sellers need to leverage real-time buyer insights to determine whom to call, what time to call, and what to talk about,” writes Goldberg. “Not only should this lead to better conversations this year, but it also puts you in a better position to start strong next year.”

It’s all about accurate, actionable buyer insights. Let’s unpack Goldberg’s three recommendations for putting them to use.

#1: Prospect research should be easy and informative

Goldberg notes that, per a recent D&B study, it takes B2B sellers an average of two hours — and as many as seven — to research prospects before reaching out. I wouldn’t say this is necessarily a bad thing, because gathering up information is a valuable activity and shouldn’t be rushed. But spending so many hours on the process at this stage of the year is like spending too much time in the huddle during a two-minute drill. The game clock might reach zero while you’re trying to draw up the play.

With the right systems in place, comprehensive prospect research doesn’t need to be such a time-consuming task. Use these tips to quickly find the most pertinent details in a LinkedIn profile. Their company’s LinkedIn Page will also often contain easily accessible tidbits you can use (zero in on how they present their message in the “About Us” section, as well as their most recent updates and shares).

For teams using Sales Navigator, the platform includes many features to help identify viable prospects more easily and streamline your research, such as Advanced Lead/Company Search and Lead Recommendations.   

#2: Prioritize contact data you have confidence in

Trying to chase down a prospect based on outdated contact info can be a major time-waster. Not only that, but once you actually get in touch with someone, your conversation may run off the rails if you lack readily accessible, up-to-date information to propel things forward.

Goldberg advises that contact data “be sourced from multiple places – from first-party data that’s generated through your company’s website or CRM platforms to third-party data that can enrich and complete the information you have in house.”

Sales Navigator Deals is designed for this exact purpose. It provides a central view of your pipeline for all reps on the team, and syncs with your CRM so that updates and edits are transferred over in real-time. This way you can source contact data from multiple places but keep it all stored on the same convenient dashboard.

#3: More than ever, focus on opportunities to add immediate value

In the right circumstances, deals can move along toward a close very quickly around this time of year. Perhaps a buyer has some 2018 budget left to use up, or they want to get a new solution in place before the start of 2019. These are golden opportunities for sellers, but it’s all about spotting and capitalizing on them.

Earlier this week on the blog we explained how LinkedIn’s sales team uses real-time sales updates to strike while the iron is hot. By serving alerts to your LinkedIn homepage and email inbox, you get potential sales trigger events sent to you rather than needing to seek them out.

A Game Plan for Closing Out the Year Strong

Whether we’re talking football or sales, the ability to execute late in the game is a decisive advantage. Making a successful play takes preparation, practice, and leadership. I recommend reading Goldberg’s full piece at Dun & Bradstreet for an in-depth look at sales closing techniques, and activating his guidance in your digital selling strategy for the rest of the year and beyond.

All you’ll have left to figure out is your end zone celebration.  

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