As every successful business knows, closing a sale is a team effort between marketing and sales. Collecting the best leads and presenting them to your sales team is only the first half of the battle. The other half is fostering clear communication between the sales team and marketing about what happens with those leads going forward.

This dialogue is important for a business to better understand which leads are working out, which are not and why. Yet, closing the sales loop may be more difficult than anticipated. To help, 16 members of forbes agency council share their best tips for closing the sales loop.

Members of forbes agency council offer their best tips for closing the sales loop.
Members of forbes agency council offer their best tips for closing the sales loop.

Photos courtesy of the individual members

Establish a clear process

Business development is as much a science as it is an art. Last year, we developed a standard operating procedure for our internal process that follows each new lead from inquiry through closing. We apply specific timing, communication, and printed materials to each vetted opportunity. Since rolling it out in 2018, our days to close have dropped substantially. – korena keys, keymedia solutions

Decision-makers want interaction with very small groups of accomplished professionals who have the experience and aptitude to know what they’re talking about and the confidence to talk directly. In short, the best way to close the sales loop is to be face-to-face with a decision-maker and have that decision-maker feel like he or she is talking with someone who can credibly solve the problem. – brian sullivan, sullivan branding

3. Create a sense of urgency

Give clients an incentive to make their phonelist decision, such as a free assessment or a discount, and attach a deadline to the deal. This creates a sense of urgency and gives clients an extra reason to think about your services, to see them as the right way to go and to see that the right moment to choose is right now! – daniela pavan, the ad store new york.

Focus on interaction with small groups

If marketing tees up leads and sales puts on a hard sell then you’re going to lose sales opportunities. Instead, create a seamless educational IG Users experience helping prospects feel safe—one where the sales team nurtures prospects. Map out every sales touchpoint and design a process where prospects get an amazing experience with your sales team. Close rates will go up and sales cycles will go down. – mike lieberman, square 2 marketing

5. Personalize all communication

No one wants to feel like they are one of thousands targeted by a mass mailing campaign. Once we receive a sales lead or engagement, we immediately get all relevant materials emailed to the potential client personalized to their firm and anticipated needs, followed by a package in the mail with a personalized handwritten note and a phone call. It’s a lost art that will get you far.