Average sales close rates by industry: What's a good ratio?

Matt McGillicuddy

By Matt McGillicuddy
20 Dec 2023


8 min read

Contents

If you want to get better at converting leads, you need to pay attention to your average sales close rates. This metric is one of the most vital ways of monitoring the efficiency of each of your agents and your overall sales efforts.

In an increasingly uncertain and competitive environment, sales teams are feeling the pressure to deliver more profit with less budget. And, shockingly, only 22% of businesses are satisfied with their conversion rates. So, when you work hard on driving high-intent leads into the pipeline, there's nothing more frustrating than not seeing them convert to happy customers. 

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In this blog, we’ll explain what average close rates are and how to calculate them. We’ll also explore average sales close rates by industry, and we’ll share some tips on how to improve your sales close rates.

What is a sales closing rate?

A sales closing rate, also known as a closing rate, shows the percentage of leads that become customers. It’s one of the primary metrics in determining the effectiveness of your agents and their ability to sell. The sales close rate is a valuable key performance indicator (KPI) for your team because it answers questions like:

  • Is your lead generation strategy effective?
  • How healthy is your overall sales pipeline?
  • Are your agents effectively closing sales?
  • What number of leads need to be converted?

If you understand your sales close rate, you can focus your attention on creating realistic targets for your sales team. Once they're established, you can work on improving their ability to convert with effective agent coaching.

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How are average sales close rates calculated?

If you want to set yourself a sales close rate benchmark to work toward, you need to know your starting point. To calculate your sales close rate, you need to collect a couple of important numbers.

First, you need to figure out the total amount of sales or deals you closed over a period of time. For example, you might decide to focus on one quarter. Then, you need the total number of leads that were generated over the same time period.

Once you have these two numbers, you can calculate your average sales close rate using the following formula.

(Closed deals /Total leads) x 100 = [Close rate]% 

For example, let’s say you sell stationery to companies. Over the last three months, you were able to generate 100 new leads. Of those 100 leads, you were able to convert 30 of them. To get your average sales closing rate, you would divide 30 by 100, then multiply by 100. This would give you a closing rate percentage of 30%.

What is the average close rate in sales?

According to Hubspot, the average sales close rate varies quite a bit across all industries. For instance, the software industry has an average close rate of 22% compared to just 15% for the biotech industry. But what about a sales close rate by industry? Let's break it down:

average sales close rates

Source: SmartWinnr 

Why is closing phone sales important for your business?

With so many ways for customers to make purchases these days, why are phone calls – and specifically phone sales – important? Well, it’s all about the personal touch. 86% of customers prefer to speak to an actual person and interestingly, just over 70% say they’re less likely to do business with a company that doesn’t have call centre agents available.

Every time a potential customer picks up the phone, you’ve got an opportunity to convert. Closing sales over the phone means addressing concerns in real-time, and identifying opportunities to cross-sell or upsell. This also presents a great opportunity to assess the performance of your agents to provide better training, deliver better customer experiences and, ultimately, drive more sales.

How to improve your average sales close rate

Give your agents best-in-class training

Every contact centre leader dreams of building a team of high-flying agents. The kind of agents who do everything they can to reduce average handling times, boost conversion rates, and consistently hit quarterly revenue targets. This is important, given that approximately 80% of sales are made by only 8% of your sales representatives. So how can you make everyone a top seller?

Automated call monitoring helps you deliver more satisfying customer conversations. AI-powered technology highlights common pain points that cause frustration. Once you've got this intel, you can tailor agent scripts to make sure agents deliver solutions before they escalate.

With tools such as Agent ID and Agent Scorecards, you can assess individual agent performance, understand how to improve the customer experience, and isolate calls that are significantly better at upselling. This in turn means you're able to gather learnings that can be shared across your call centre and used as a basis for best-in-class agent training. 

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Using insights to improve the customer experience

Customers expect you to anticipate their needs and around 70% of consumers now expect a level of personalisation as standard. Using call monitoring software, you have access to insights that enable you to identify common pitfalls, transform make-or-break moments into a guaranteed win, and even shine a spotlight on the blind spots in your overall strategy. As a result, you'll be armed with everything you need to improve experiences and service.  

Generate more high-quality leads

If you want to improve your average sales close rates, you need to understand which channels, campaigns, and keywords made your customer pick up the phone. Call tracking and call analytics help you understand the full customer journey so you can pinpoint where your best leads come from and drive more of them. 

For example, Flight Centre wanted to focus on the promotion of tailor-made holidays which required in-depth calls with potential leads. To maximise profits, they needed to identify which channels were generating high-value calls. Conversation Analytics enabled them to set goals based on location, intent, and even brand words that they marked as high or low value. This led to a 46% year-on-year increase in conversions and a 44% increase in the number of high-value enquiries that led to a booking.

Reduce friction in your customer journey

Another crucial element of improving average sales close rates is reducing friction in the customer journey. Sometimes, this involves using call deflection to make sure agents are focusing on the most profitable calls. Smart call deflection enables you to pre-empt needs in a way that makes your customers feel cared for, whether they spoke to an agent or not. To do this well, you need to invest in data-driven self-service options.

Speech analytics software such as Conversation Analytics quickly identifies frequently asked questions or simple issues. You can then feed this data back to marketing teams to help them optimise the online journey with things like better FAQs.

With the smaller issues taken care of, your agents will have more time to focus on the most profitable calls. When that's the case, you'll be on to a surefire way of boosting your average sales close rates. This also sets the right tone for future interactions and long-term customer retention.

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Perfect your objection handling

Call intelligence software automatically monitors the calls your agents make and take - at scale. Solutions like Infinity flag keywords or trends before you’re even aware of them. You can then tie these trends to positive or negative call outcomes, so you know what to do more, or less of. This puts you in a unique position to perfect your objection handling, based on thousands of previous customer calls.

Using this goldmine of call data, you can tap into insights at scale and analyse how agents have handled objections in the past. What words, phrases, solutions, or incentives did they offer to transform hesitant or concerned callers into happy customers? This is the kind of information that will help you effortlessly close more phone sales and boost call centre revenue.

Bonus: Upselling & cross-selling with ease

You know how to close a phone sale, but how do you make each call even more valuable? Successfully upselling and cross-selling is the way forward. According to a recent survey, 77% of call centre agents say they are nearly always able to upsell and cross-sell when resolving support requests.

Internet Gardener may be an award-winning online retailer, but 35% of their orders are placed via phone. Phone calls lead to their highest-value orders, as customers require a personal level of service when discussing big-ticket items such as sheds, furniture, and log cabins. They used Infinity call tracking to identify what source led to the call and record revenue per call. They were able to increase average order values by over 30%!

How call tracking helps you increase average sales close rates

Call tracking and speech analytics are a match made in sales heaven. Call tracking provides real-time data on where calls are coming from, to better understand where and why customers pick up the phone. If you can pinpoint the action that triggers customer calls, you can tailor scripts using high-quality transcripts and deliver training that will drive more successful outcomes.

However, a common challenge for call centres is the ability to extract customer insights that help increase average sales close rates at scale. With Infinity’s Speech analytics suite, Conversation Analytics, you can surface hidden insights, highlight topics and keywords, analyse sentiment in every call, and continuously evolve your conversion tactics.

Conversation Analytics enables you to get actionable insights into how engaging the calls coming in, and going out, of your contact centre are. Uncover the best calls to use for training, rapidly upskill your teams, and decrease average handling time, all while increasing conversion rates and ensuring your customers are truly satisfied.

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