Asking for the business is the best way to accelerate SaaS sales

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“Always be closing” may be an outdated sales adage, but explicitly asking for the business is still critical for fast deal velocity. I’ve been working in B2B sales for over 10 years and I personally saw how sales reps who directly asked for the sale after discovery calls advanced opportunities faster than those who didn’t. In this article, I’ll demystify asking for the business and share proven techniques to move quality leads seamlessly through the sales funnel. Let’s get into the when, how, and why of directly asking for the business to shorten sales cycles and hear “yes” more often.

Asking for the Business is the Most Effective Way to Close More SaaS Deals Faster

Over 10 years in B2B sales, I’ve learned that being direct is the most effective way to accelerate the sales cycle. Nothing moves deals faster than confidently asking for the business at the right moments.

Early in my career, I was hesitant to explicitly ask prospects to move forward. I thought it would turn them off or make me seem pushy. But when I finally started asking directly for the business after initial discovery calls and demos, my deals started closing much faster.

Prospects appreciated the clarity on next steps rather than beating around the bush. And it helped me qualify leads – the serious buyers were happy to move forward while the tire kickers dropped out. Over time, being direct in asking for the business became a cornerstone of my process.

As I moved into sales leadership roles, I trained my sales teams to do the same. The results spoke for themselves – shortened sales cycles, higher win rates, and bigger deal sizes. Sales reps who got over the initial discomfort and asked with confidence advanced deals faster.

So take it from me – asking explicitly for the business is the #1 way to accelerate SaaS sales. Prospects value directness. It creates momentum and gets to a “yes” or “no” faster. In this guide, I’ll share when and how to ask during the sales process. I’ll also address mistakes to avoid based on lessons learned over my career.

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The Problem with Not Asking for the Business

I’ve seen a common mistake – sales reps avoid directly popping the big question and asking for the business. They dance around it or wait for prospects to bring it up first. I made this mistake a lot early in my B2B sales career.

I thought asking directly would appear pushy or damage the relationship, especially for larger deals. But I learned this hesitance actually slows things down and hurts win rates. Prospects appreciate the clarity rather than playing games.

Here’s why avoiding the explicit ask causes problems:

  • Elongated Sales Cycles: When I didn’t ask for the business quickly after initial meetings, deals dragged on. The process lacked urgency and focus. Asking directly lights a fire and gets both sides aligned on expectations.
  • Resistance Down the Road: Without regular confirmation that prospects are engaged, they’re more likely to get cold feet later on. Asking for the next step along the way prevents surprises.
  • Lower Win Rates: Deals often stalled when I waited for prospects to bring up contracts, pricing, etc first. Being proactive gives you control and surfaces concerns early.

Asking for the business keeps things moving crisply through the funnel. It qualifies leads, maintains momentum, and gets to a “yes” or “no” faster. The days of concealing your intentions are over. Transparency is appreciated.

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The Benefits of Explicitly Asking for the Business

In my experience, directly asking for the business throughout the sales process has three big benefits:

  • It Saves Time By Qualifying Leads Faster: When I started proactively asking for the next step after discovery calls, I immediately filtered out tire kickers. Leads who balked at simple requests like scheduling demos were not serious. Asking directly gets to a “yes” or “no” faster.
  • It Increases Win Rates By Maintaining Momentum: During my time in B2B sales, I won more deals by keeping up urgency. After assessing needs, I directly asked if prospects were ready to move forward. This uncovered concerns early and kept things moving.
  • It Boosts Deal Sizes Through Anchoring: On enterprise SaaS sales, I anchored deals higher by leading with pricing and premium tiers first. Asking directly for commitment to higher-priced options increased my average deal size.

Being transparent about asking for commitments, contracts, and next steps removes obstacles. Prospects appreciate salespeople who are upfront about the process and what they want.

When I coach sales reps now, I emphasize the importance of keeping momentum via direct asks. It shows prospects you are serious about delivering value and gets them engaged.

When to Ask During the Sales Process

Timing is everything when it comes to asking for the business. Over the years, I’ve refined my process for when to directly ask during different stages:

  • After the Initial Call: Once I confirm interest in moving forward after a discovery call or demo, I ask prospect if they want to schedule the next meeting for an in-depth needs assessment. This kicks off momentum.
  • After Assessing Needs: I make sure to confirm the prospect sees how our solution can deliver value for their specific needs. Then I directly ask if they’d like to advance to a free trial or pilot.
  • After Navigating the Decision Team: On larger deals, I make sure to get buy-in from all decision makers. Then I clearly ask who needs to sign off on a purchase decision. This surfaces any final hurdles.
  • After Presenting the Proposal: When I send over pricing and final proposals, I ask directly if the proposed solution and terms will achieve their goals. I also ask what other information they need to make a decision.

In my experience, asking repeatedly for the next step throughout the process accelerates sales. It gives prospects a clear cue to engage and voicing any concerns. The days of hiding your intentions are over – transparency wins.

How to Ask for the Business Confidently and Effectively

When I coach sales reps on asking for the business, I emphasize framing the ask appropriately for each situation. Here are some tips that have worked for me:

  • Frame the Ask Strategically: I avoid generic language like “Are you ready to move forward?” Instead, I tailor the ask to each stage. After a demo, I may say “Based on how DeckLinks can meet your needs, would you like to schedule an extended free trial next week or the week after?”
  • Quantify Value and Tie to Pricing: I always quantify potential value or cost savings based on their needs before asking about pricing. For example, “Based on reducing your client onboarding time by 40%, our solution pays for itself in under a couple month. Does starting with our Business plan for $XXXX a year seem like a wise investment?”
  • Confirm Interest and Understanding: Before asking for contracts, I make sure the prospect sees the value and understands all aspects of the deal – pricing, terms, onboarding, etc. I ask “Does this proposal seem like it would achieve your goals within the budget we discussed?”
  • Address Concerns Transparently: If prospects hesitate or raise objections, I address them directly and ask if they would like to move forward once those issues are resolved. Being empathetic but persistent is key.
  • Propose Next Steps: After asking for the business, I always suggest practical next steps to continue momentum – contract reviews, implementation planning, integration discussions etc.

Asking with confidence comes down to preparation and empathy. Quantify the ROI, confirm interest, and lay out a clear path forward to remove obstacles and accelerate the sale.

Custom branding
Showcase your brand.
Video narrations
Easily video-narrate sales presentations or proposals when needed (otherwise video is optional). Redo slide if you made a mistake. Use built-in teleprompter to record longer videos.

Data rooms
Attach any supporting files and links. Make it easy for your prospects and clients to find the right information quickly.

Company profiles
Create company profiles with custom banners and info-packages tailored to different industries.
Contact details
Show your contact info easily accessible by your prospects and clients.
Custom CTAs
Add custom CTAs to drive prospects or clients to your calendar, sign up form, etc.
Engagement analytics
See how prospects and clients interact with your PDFs.

Feedback and Reactions
Collect feedback from prospects and clients. Feedback and reactions are not publicly visible.
Share PDFs
Share any existing PDF presentations and documents.
Live links
Share with a single link. Update files even after sharing your link. Get notified when your PDF is viewed. Turn off access anytime.

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Conclusion

Let’s recap the key points on why and how to directly ask for the business:

  • Asking explicitly creates momentum, qualifies leads, and shortens sales cycles. Avoiding the ask causes delays.
  • Prospects appreciate transparency. Be upfront about your intentions.
  • Ask at each stage – after discovery, needs assessment, navigating decision makers, and final proposals.
  • Frame asks appropriately for each context and target specific next steps.
  • Quantify value, confirm interest, address concerns, and propose path forward.
  • Asking with confidence and empathy accelerates deals.

I can’t stress enough how critical asking for the business is. Sales reps often avoid it, but prospects value directness.

My call to action is this: identify your next 3 substantial leads. Challenge yourself to directly ask for the business early and often. Gauge their reaction to your transparency. Use the techniques in this guide to make your asks effective.

You’ll be amazed at how clearly asking to move deals forward faster closes more sales and accelerates revenue. Be bold and ask confidently!

FAQs

When should you first directly ask for the business in the sales process?

You should first ask after initial discovery calls or demos when interest is confirmed. Directly request next steps like a trial or demo to kickstart momentum.

Asking quickly filters out tire kickers not serious about moving forward. Noncommittal leads waste time. Ask to gauge real interest.

Avoid generic asks. Tailor asks to each stage. After pricing proposal, ask if it achieves goals within budget to advance.

Anchor value first. If you save 20% on document processing time, note how the solution pays for itself before pricing discussion.

Summarize the value delivered and make sure the prospect sees ROI potential. Have them confirm it achieves goals.

Directly but empathetically ask what issues they see. Resolve concerns transparently before proposing next steps.

To maintain sales momentum, suggest practical next steps like contract reviews, planning meetings, integration discussions to keep moving forward.

Don’t ask without context. Build value and rapport first. Asking prematurely damages the relationship.

Asking before demonstrating value seems salesy. Make sure to prove ROI potential before asking to advance.

They appreciate transparency and immediate next steps rather than vagueness. Serious prospects engage.

About the Author

Our content team of sales, lead generation, and marketing experts provides industry-leading thought leadership on B2B sales and marketing, lead nurturing, and sales enablement strategies. With decades of combined C-suite and VP-level experience, we deliver actionable B2B sales and marketing content that gives B2B companies a competitive advantage. Our proven insights on lead management, conversion rate and sales optimization, sales productivity, and tech stack empower companies to increase revenue growth and ROI.

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