If you are a football fan (or you just go for the snacks), Super Bowl 2015 was a game you will not soon forget. With just 20 seconds left in the game, the game was by all appearances a championship win for the Seattle Seahawks.

Enter rookie undrafted free agent Malcom Butler. In an unbelievable moment, the New England Patriot cornerback jumps in for the pass, inserting an interception that wins his team the Super Bowl ring and weeks of debate over the officials’ call. Game over.

Closing a B2B sales lead can oftentimes feel like a nail-biting football game. You see everything line up the way it should. All players are in place, the budget and plans are solid, and your focus is on an opening down the field through which to run. You leave your prospect to make a final decision, confident that this one is a win.

And then a Malcom Butler happens. Only in this case, there is no answer from the potential customer. The solid win you thought was on its way turns out to be a loss.

Closing a B2B sales lead is challenging and not without its setbacks. Every experience should give us insight into what we can do differently the next time. What can B2B marketers learn from these experiences?

After recognizing a fully qualified lead and bringing them into the pipeline, keep in mid these 3 tips as you see to close your B2B sales leads:

#1 Be patient: B2B sales take time. It can sometimes seem like your company will never make the touchdown and that the game has somehow stalled. Educate yourself on the buying process for B2B customers. As there is often a team of individuals making a purchasing decision based on a specific need and in accordance with a customer’s budget. Far from the snap decision made with a door-to-door salesman of old, B2B customers are unique and need to be treated as such.

#2 Be focused: By the time the B2B sales lead reaches your company, they most likely have researched and compared your product or service. Technology has changed the way we do business, and potential customers will rely less on your explanation of the product your company offers and be farther along in the purchasing journey. A study of thousands of B2B customers found that 57% of a typical buying decisions is made before a customer’s first contact with the supplier.

A B2B company’s focus should not be on the validity of the product or the benefits of the service offered, but rather on providing an understanding of the customer’s issues. Building a sense of trust is key.

#3 Be natural: No dramatic ending needed here. Forcing a close could cause you to be seen as pushy while small details get lost in the process. Be confident and consistent, but also conversational and personable with the ultimate goal of finalizing the sale.

Closing a B2B sales lead can present its challenges, and not everyone will secure the lead every time. In an ever-changing world of possibility and potential, B2B sales leads require patience, focus, and relationship. Don’t be thrown off course by the undrafted cornerbacks of the B2B world.

What are some B2B sales lead techniques that have worked for you?