In Sales, there is nothing worse than a deal that won't close.
As a salesperson, you worked hard to find your prospect and create an initial interest in your solution. You took your time to make sure that you identified their needs and then designed your solution to meet those needs. You confirmed that you are working with the economic buyer for your product. You presented the solution, and the client confirmed that your solution addresses their needs. You follow up within a few days, expecting to hear the good news that your prospect is ready to move forward, but there is no reply. You continue to follow up and wait patiently, but as the weeks pass, your enthusiasm starts to wane. Your deal is stuck, and you don’t know why!
Although you know you did everything right, there are so many unspoken issues that may be inhibiting your prospect’s ability to adopt your solution. Here are a few reasons that your deal may be stuck:
1. Complexity – How easy or difficult is your solution to adopt? You’ve identified a pain or problem that you can solve and presented a solution that is clearly better than what the client currently has, but there is a layer of complexity to convert to your solution that may be causing your client to hesitate.
I recently worked with a client to implement a new CRM system for their business. My solution was easier to use, provided better reports and was less expensive. However, the process for getting data out of their existing CRM into a format that could be easily imported into the new CRM proved to be a bigger challenge than we expected. The client perceived the work to convert to be greater than the benefits that the new system offered. The complexity of the conversion process killed the deal.
2. Compatibility – How easy or difficult is your solution to assimilate into their organization? In other words, what’s the “ripple effect” of adding your solution into their environment? This doesn’t just apply to technology solutions. If your solution introduces a new process, it may conflict with existing processes.
3. Total Perceived Value – How much better is it than the status quo? It may be better, but is it good enough to justify changing?
I recently worked with a company that had an innovative solution that replaced outdated and costly technology. There were no out-of-pocket costs to switch, and the savings were immediate. However, at the end of the day, we just didn’t solve a big enough problem. There wasn’t anything compelling our prospects to act. “We’ll get to it when we aren’t so busy,” was a common response. As you can imagine, they were always too busy.
4. Influencer Opinions – Salespeople are constantly told to only deal with the economic buyer and to not waste their time selling to influencers. In recent years, research has pointed out that Decision Makers are far less likely to make a purchase without the support of their key influencers. Salespeople who don’t take the time to work with those who are most likely to work with your solution or be impacted by it, often shoot themselves in the foot.
5. Social Proof – Have their peers or thought leaders implemented your solution? Few people like to be early adopters. “Leading edge” is often perceived to be “bleeding edge.” Salespeople can easily overcome this fear by providing references from industry peers and thought leaders that have successfully implemented your solution.
ented your solution? Few people like to be early adopters. “Leading edge” is often perceived to be “bleeding edge.” Salespeople can easily overcome this fear by providing references from industry peers and thought leaders that have successfully implemented your solution.
6. Analytical Proof – Independent, unbiased research and data that validates your solution. This is especially valuable if you are selling new technology solutions. Has the technology been tested and proven to work? If not, your client may not be willing to invest and take the risk that it doesn’t work.
7. Transparency – How visible is the adoption decision to others? Sales often die because they became a “pet project.” Your prospect may have researched and validated that you have the best solution, but if their process isn’t observable to others, it can create problems. Salespeople often become focused on supporting the prospect and inadvertently ignore the fact that the organization has no idea what is going on.
The common denominator in each of these potential roadblock issues is that they have less to do with your solution and more to do with how your solution impacts the larger organization. Salespeople need to expand their focus to not only solving the prospects' problem but also thinking about how their solution is going to impact the organization.
In the past, salespeople were successful by focusing on the features and benefits of their products. However, buyers today must consider the broader implications of how your solution impacts the organization. Improving their situation requires not only a better solution but a solution that enhances the larger organization or at the very least, minimizes the disruption to adopt your solution.
In our work with clients, we evaluate the entire sales process to include an assessment of the 7 potential roadblocks outlined above. If you’re looking to improve your sales team effectiveness and interested in learning more about how AcSELLerate can help your team exceed their goals – click on the link below to start the conversation.