Machine Learning Reveals 9 Elements of Deal-Closing Sales

The data science team at analyzed over 67,000 sales calls/demos to understand the patterns that close deals. Here is what we found.

Act III: Accelerated Interaction

Remember earlier when we talked about “speaker switches per minute”?

A strong sign that a demo is going well is the rate of back and forth discussion gradually accelerates as the call progresses further and further.

In other words, effective demos begin as a pitch and slowly evolve into a strong back-and-forth dialogue.

In successful demos, the average “speaker switches per minute” increases by 36% during the second half of the call.

If I draw on my own experience and observation, this is when you’ve educated the customer enough for them to engage you in a strong dialogue.

They have questions. They have objections. Their heads are spinning with possibilities.

The conversation has shifted from a presentation, to a robust dialogue between two people working through some tangible issues and logistics that need to be addressed.

Act IV: The Wrap Up

Talking Price

At the end of a deal-closing demo, “pricing,” as a topic of discussion, is brought up between the 38 and 46 minute mark of the call on average.

Unsuccessful demos have no clear time window as to when price is consistently discussed.

Unsuccessful demos also spend 8% more time “talking price” than successful demos:

That could be interpreted as a symptom that you’re not explaining your pricing model in simple terms that the customer can immediately understand, hence the extra time spent discussing the topic.

If it takes you more than a minute or two to explain your pricing to a customer, you likely have some “rework” to do to make your pricing explanation more simple.

Planning Next Steps

Finally, winning demos involve 12.7% more time devoted to discussing “Next Steps” at the end of the call, reserving plenty of time for the sales rep and the customer to hash out the logistics involved in moving the project forward.

This translates to roughly four minutes spent on planning next step logistics.

I see the opposite of this all the time.

Reps who consistently struggle with converting deals to the next stage simply run out of time at the end of the call.

They try to “pencil in” the next step while the customer is desperately trying to get off the call to be on time to their next meeting (please… never use the words “pencil in”).

It’s better to make your pitch slightly shorter, ensuring you have plenty of time to work through what a next step looks like in a calm, un-rushed manner.

Giving a demo without reserving time to plan next steps makes you a 1-to-1 marketer, not a professional salesperson.

That Brings Us to the End

Well folks, that was a long one. That’s all the data I have for now.

Original. Reposted with permission.

Bio: Chris Orlob is Senior Director, Product Marketing at