What is a closing call?
If the sales process was a race, then the closing call is the last sprint toward the finish line. It’s the sales team’s last chance to connect with leads and turn their time investment into a successful, closed deal.
Why closing calls are important
Closing calls are important because it’s an opportunity to tie any loose ends and answer any remaining questions a lead may have. If a lead has made it to this point in the sales process, it’s clear that they are interested in your product or service, and the closing call is the last opportunity to outline the value of your product or service.
Because closing calls are influential in turning leads into deals, there’s a lot of pressure and can even shake up the most confident sales rep. Especially if every step leading up to the closing call is executed perfectly.
For this reason, it’s essential that sales reps not only understand and express the true value of what they’re selling but also actively listen to a lead’s concerns or hesitations. This skill is required in order to make the lead feel heard, in addition to negotiating a deal that will have them saying: “You got a deal!”
How to conduct a closing call, step by step
Running a flawless sales pipeline, from the initial cold call to the closing call, can be an arduous task but it doesn’t have to be. To avoid any mishaps that may affect the success of your closing call, use this step-by-step guide to improve your closing call skills.
Step 1: Introduce everyone on the call.
First things first, as etiquette states, introductions are required. However, it’s important that everyone scheduled for the closing call is in attendance. Allow anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes past the scheduled meeting time before making any formal introductions.
As you wait for people to join the call, don’t just sit in silence. Welcome those already on the call and feel free to make small talk so as to break the ice.
|Tip: Keep small talk to a minimum (~3-5 minutes limit)|
|The ultimate goal of the closing call is receiving payment, so try to keep it as strictly business as possible, limiting the initial chat to no more than five minutes.|
No one’s asking you to take a dictatorial position and cut out anyone that’s trying to talk about anything other than business. Chatting about random subjects and having a good laugh is important to establish trust and build relationships.
However, try not to get yourself too involved in non-business matters. Since this is a closing call you’ll probably have busy executives interested in closing the deal on the line.
Once everyone has joined the call, briefly introduce yourself by stating:
- Who you are
- Where you’re calling from
- Why you’re calling
If there are multiple people on the call, either lead the introductions or allow everyone a chance to introduce themselves as well.
Since this is a closing call and the last step of the sales process, there shouldn’t be any surprise guests but it’s always important to have everyone say their name and title in order to make sure everyone is aware of whom they’re talking with.
So while it’s common for the sales team and decision-makers to be somewhat acquainted with one another by this point, allow prospective customers (if needed) to briefly introduce themselves in case there are new people on the call from the sales side.
Step 2: Clearly outline the call’s agenda or purpose.
Clearly state the purpose of your call. Delivery is everything, so be sure to maintain a friendly demeanor while getting straight to the point. The expectations should have already been outlined in previous conversations, but you can reiterate some points discussed earlier if there’s anyone on the call that needs a refresher or needs to be brought up to speed.
Your ultimate goal during this step is to ultimately begin a business transaction, so it’s important to be clear, precise, and helpful.
Step 3: Speak with the lead, not at the lead.
The main goal of this call is to offer any final information regarding the value of your product/service and how it can solve the challenges identified by the lead early on in the sales process. However, while the focus is on closing the deal, avoid taking over the call and not allowing the lead to speak.
Think of this call as a conversation between the sales team and the lead. Open up the discussion with a question to get the call going and set the direction of this call. This will vary, but consider something simple — like “where do we stand?” — and let them do the talking and tell you everything they need to know.
Depending on their answer, you can get right to the point and close the deal. If your prospect has any outstanding questions and still needs a little more convincing, take this time to answer their questions.
Remember: Potential customers won’t close the deal until they feel ready. That’s why listening to their questions and offering solutions that place them first, not the sale, are of the utmost importance.
Step 4A: If the closing call leads to a no, know how to navigate objections.
Closing calls are the perfect moment for all sorts of last-minute objections. If your decision-maker(s) doesn’t sound ready to make the final call yet, be prepared to handle and navigate objections like:
- “It just isn’t a good time to buy your service/product now.”
- “Your product is too expensive for our budget.”
- “We’re not sure that what you’re offering is the best offer/solutions compared to [competitor].”
By going into your closing call prepared to handle these common objections, you can confidently navigate concerns and turn objections into opportunities. Here are some examples of how:
- “It just isn’t a good time to buy your service/product now.” I hear you. Can you elaborate on that?
- “Your product is too expensive for our budget.” I understand. Can you walk me through your budget and ideal price point/package cost?
- “We’re not sure that what you’re offering is the best offer/solutions compared to [competitor].” Can you highlight what specifically isn’t working for you? I’m happy to clarify any differences.
If the call ends with a definite no, don’t let that affect your confidence. There are some things that you can’t control, but the one thing you can is how well you handle the rejection. Rather than sounding upset on the call, thank them for their time and leave the door open for future potential discussions.
While budgets or timelines for buying your product/service don’t align today, they may later on so avoid burning any bridges. Ask them if they’re open to revisiting this conversation at a later time. If they say yes, be sure to include them in any lead nurture campaigns or add them back into your sales pipeline.
|Tip: Have talking points ready for objections|
|A key part of a sales rep’s job is to understand competitors; how they work, their pricing plan, what products or services they offer, and how your product/service stacks up against them. |
Don’t go into your closing call without a clear outline of your company’s competitive advantages, and the way your product/service compares to competitors. If it would help, consider also writing a closing call script similar to a cold calling script to keep you grounded during the call.
Step 4B: If the closing call leads to a yes, be prepared to map out next steps.
Establish your onboarding process.
Walk your new customer through what they will do and what they will gain during the onboarding process (if applicable), and how long it will take. In addition to covering new customer onboarding, establish a start date for your implementation process, as well as the ongoing customer support.
Negotiate final price and possible discounts.
During this step, make sure you’re negotiating with the buyer’s procurement team or manager since they will have the knowledge and power to approve the value negotiated. Reiterate your company’s payment options and highlight the previously negotiated cost or deal amount that the customer agreed to.
It’s not uncommon for buyers to inquire about the pricing and negotiate a lower cost. As you prepare for closing calls, one of the most important pieces of information you must already have with you is the maximum possible discount.
Before starting a negotiation, always let the buyer establish the starting value. Keep in mind, however, that you don’t necessarily have to offer any discounts. In fact, avoid bringing up discounts unless the buyer asks first.
Go over the purchasing process one more time.
This step may or may not apply to your sales process because not all prospects demand procurement and/or legal reviews.
However, if the procurement or legal team needs to be involved in the process, understand exactly what your prospect needs in terms of information and establish a date by which the purchase and contract terms review should be completed.
Gather signatures, and finalize the deal.
Once everyone is happy and the final deal is complete, a contract should be issued and signed to close the deal and start the onboarding. Before sending out contracts, make sure all players are on the same page and in agreement. Clearly define when the contract will be shared and the agreed date when it should be returned.
If for whatever reason the buyer is delaying the contract signature, gently remind them of the deadline established. The product/service implementation can’t begin until this happens, so it’s important that all deadlines are met on time so as to not delay the onboarding process.
Improve your closing call process with Pipefy
The closing call is your final chance to prove why your product or service is the best choice for a potential buyer. By coming prepared to the call and structuring your closing calls in a way that focuses on a potential buyer’s needs and how your product/service meets them, the closing call is more likely to turn into a successful deal.
Pipefy’s low-code business process automation platform makes it easy to build a streamlined and standardized sales process that meets the needs of your sales team and prospective buyers. With customizable templates that quickly scale and features like automated notifications, tech stack integrations, and process connections to ensure seamless customer experiences, Pipefy simplifies the sales process by bringing everything into a single platform, giving your sales team back the time better spent investing in prospective buyers.