Congrats! Your prospect said “it’s a deal” and sent over the signed contract. You cash your commission check and log in to Salesforce.com to change the Opportunity sales stage to closed.

all doneYou’re ALL DONE…wrong!

Contrary to what most organizations believe, closing the deal is not the last step in the sales cycle. Before the sales team moves on to the next venture, it is essential to garner valuable information about the new client and get details on how the deal closed. This “Sales Win” information not only gives the sales organization a clearer picture of what collateral and customer references were used to ultimately close the deal (so it can be replicated in future deals), but more importantly it also does something else: opens the door to using that new win as a sales asset down the road.

Most B2B deals today leverage customer references in some way during the sales cycle. Whether it be through a live reference call, a site visit, customer testimonial quotes, name dropping, a video interview or a written case study. Smart salespeople recognize the validation from customer testimony (your buyer’s peers) is invaluable for influencing the buyer and driving the deal to close. It’s one thing when the salesperson says they can deliver, it’s another when a customer actually vouches that delivery. The sale instantly becomes more compelling.

Sales people own their relationships with customers, partners, third-party thought leaders, and analysts—and these relationships have never been more important. Why? Because these are the people your buyers trust. In fact, a SiriusDecisions study reveals behind analysts, peer recommendations are the most trusted source of information during a B2B buying cycle. Thus, when a salesperson converts a potential buyer to a customer, they need to ensure that closed sale will be a willing advocate that the sales team to leverage in future sales cycles.

That’s where sales enablement technology workflows play out. Integrating a “Sales Wins” module in your CRM, like Salesforce.com, when an Opportunity status changes to “closed” can automatically help pull this vital information from the sales rep. Then, once the information is received, it can be flagged for the customer reference team to start nurturing that new win into a strong new advocate for the customer reference program down the road. Continuing the customer lifecycle through this manner ensures the sales team will be able to enable happy customers within their sales cycles and continue to drive success for the organization.

So yes, you may be celebrating over the close, but don’t forget the power of that new customer advocate lying behind it as well.

See how the RO Innovation “Sales Wins” module works and discover how seamless integration with your sales platforms, like Salesforce.com, are key to your organization’s sales enablement success. Register for a free online demo today.

Nichole Auston
Nichole Auston is the Director of Marketing at RO Innovation. With a background in digital marketing and nearly a decade of experience managing marketing programs for a variety of SaaS companies, she’s passionate about sharing insights, best practices and stories about sales enablement and customer reference management, and the people and technology that power it.
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