10 Reasons Why You Just Lost That Deal With Your Sales Strategy

Part of the sales strategy plan and a sales profession is to be able to lose a deal or at least be able to handle it. We can’t handle it and generally we go on a rollercoaster ride of emotion thereafter, especially if your sales strategy is not working time after time.

The problems with losing a deal is that sometimes we just don’t know what happened, certain deals were cancelled, contracts were dismissed right at the last minute.

We’ve highlighted what the 10 most common sales strategy failures are below:

Sales strategy - Losing the deal with your sales strategy plan

1. Pain of Switching

A new vendor or solution to an existing one is actually a pain for a company. The fear of moving, or habitual change is something few of us can handle without feeling lost and worried. If you haven’t been able to explain and demonstrate how simple your solution really is, you should expect people to pull out of a deal at the last minute.

In your sales strategy plan, prove the simplicity and stress free potential with your with testimonials and data – if you can do this you’ll remove the majority of fear.

2. Perception of Risk

Risk is one of the vital decision making thoughts that we make on a B2B buying level. Not only are jobs on the line, but careers in general can be ruined by a poor purchase. Deals fall through when you’ve not been able to either remove or limit the thought of risk.

Identify these perceived pain points early on in your sales strategy and answer any and all questions that are associated with risk; time, cost, previous problems, fixes for problems etc. Being transparent is a great way to build trust which begins the process of removing risk.

3. Value as a Partner

In B2B sales, many deals are considered a business partnership. People work with business partners if they trust them and they can support each other, rarely do you see enemies going into business together.

Become friends with the customer on all levels, if you’ve got common interests then speak about it. Everything about you needs to be trust worthy in the long run; commonalities are great ways to overcome any hurdles and this must be part of your sales strategy plan.

4. Lack of Communication

Sales professionals are notorious for making bold claims about their company and product. Everyone is used to it now; all that clients want to see is proof of claims made and data to back it all up.

Sales strategy not working

When you state some facts and figures, which will be in your sales strategy, make sure you send everything over to the clients. It doesn’t take a genius to know that if you don’t send anything you’ve just positioned yourself as an untrustworthy person who also potentially lie’s.

5. Lack of Champion

We all have a go at sourcing information and advice, be it a forum or another professional with greater experience.

The champion is going to ensure all queries come to you, if you don’t respond or give poor advice chances are you won’t be giving advice again.

Always ensure you give full attention and expertise for these accounts, the champions are willing to speak highly of you.

6. Focus on Price

Your focus on price has underwhelmed or overwhelmed the client; price is rarely the first and final consideration for going ahead with a deal. However the lowest price and highest price rarely ever get the deal either. So, focus on the pricing structure within the sales strategy plan as this is vital.

If you fail to describe or show how the product has a direct company fit then you’ll never win over the account regardless of your price or experience. The company wants to make the process cost efficient, if the transition has problems, costs begin to add up.

7. Advisory Role

Before an account commits to you and your offer they need an advisor, which needs to be you. As an advisor you’re capable of showing your expertise and knowledge in the respective industry.

At times, you should even pinpoint your competitors and mention their positive traits, it may sound counterproductive especially for a sales person, but the trust you gain is unparalleled to anything else you can do for the same results.

If you’re not able to be a relevant and expert advisor then the chances of committing to your offer is going to be minimal and your sales strategy will fail no matter how good your product or service.

8. Time Importance

When sending a proposal, the client is going to use it as a source of information or as a yard stick both for you and your competitors. In order to limit the sales cycle from getting even longer or your competitors stealing the competition, make the proposal time sensitive.

Business Start Up - Schedule time

Clients need the time to consider your offer, but they don’t need another year or more to do it. Take account of ‘time importance’ in your sales strategy plan. Offering a time sensitive or one time offer is going to create urgency. Without that urgency you’ve just basically given your competitors your customer.

9. Proposal over Conversation

Everyone wants a price or a quote, going back to the point above; the proposal is something that needs to be guarded by you.

Again, if the prospect isn’t willing to have a conversation about your offer then they are unlikely to go ahead until they’ve done enough research with your proposal as a yard stick.

10. Complexity

Your product is overly complex and the pitch fails to show an easy company fit. One of the biggest headaches in terms of risk and costs is swapping over from vendor to vendor. The last thing any company wants is to move from a vendor that’s been smooth in function, but costly in the long run compared to a company that’s cheap but full of mishaps and broken promises.

Your offer may be complex, but focus on making sure the client has fully understood everything as you deliver this in your sales strategy, leave little to the imagination.

Even in a sound sales strategy plan, a lot of the times deals are lost because of the pointers above, sometimes however, they could be for a completely different reason. If you happen to lose a client, ask them what happened and use it for future purposes.

If you’ve got all of the pointers and other problems noted from above, there’s little left to risk when attempting to close a deal.

Can you add any pointers to the list above?

Author: Marius Fermi

Director of Enterprise Communications and part of Tactical Sales Training team with the task of growing the online presence of the company & services.

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  • http://www.acsius.com/ Arun Singh

    Thanks for this checklist – the point 7 is particularly important. You have to offer a solution to an issue to gain the trust of your audience.

    • Marius Fermi

      Exactly Arun, too many sales people are focused on the end goal which gets further and further away each time they pump their product or fail to listen to the customer.

  • http://www.paxforex.com/forex-blog Paxforex

    I think lack of communication as well as focus on price are guaranteed sales killers. Very nice post.

    • Marius Fermi

      Thanks! It’s really just down to growing the ability to listen and listen well too. Without this ability sales professionals are set to be stuck in the same league of sales.

      • http://www.paxforex.com/forex-blog Paxforex

        I agree with you on that 100%.

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  • Samuel

    Awesome post Marius! It almost spells out why sales people can be difficult to deal with, but on the other hand, allows you to understand where they are coming from and the kind of mind set they can potentially improve.

    As Klaus points out in his comment, what are good ways of sharing value to increase sales? I mean are there any logical encouragements?

    • Marius Fermi

      Sorry for the super late reply Samuel. Realistically value is only created when the sales person has done their duty of listening and like Klaus has said go through a journey with the customer.

      Value and solutions were forced upon the customer a few years back, now in the new era of selling value is created by laser targeted questioning that not only qualifies it also gives the sales person a full list of pain points. This is where the value is added to the product and to the life of the customer.

  • James Chebski

    Well done Marius this is a top post on sales. One I find of crucial importance is definitely the ‘lack of communications’. I have heard and seen so many people saying “can’t get in touch, no concrete answers, very slow response” etc. Communication should be no 1 as without the right participation there is no strategy. What do you think?

    • Marius Fermi

      Thanks James, firstly sorry for the late reply. You’re spot on there, it’s actually surprising to see how many sales people who do this for a living fail to communicate effectively with their customers. Most even fail to follow up on leads, that’s breaking every rule in communication etiquette 101 – failing to connect is failing to get the deal, simple.

  • Klaus D.

    A very wise post. Such a true rendition of sales people vs businesses. I would personally add another point – Don’t waste the journey. Sales is about creating the perfect atmosphere and relationship whereby enabling the buyer to make a positive decision when they’re ready, and on that basis, the journey takes time and effort through adding value and benefit for the buyer.

    Well done Marius. Don’t mind if I share!

    • Marius Fermi

      Thanks Klaus, by all means give it a share! :) That’s a great point, so few sales people these days appreciate offering long term value, they just want the deal there and then.

      That’s how customers become alienated with those sort of approaches, educate and build relations is by far the best approach.

  • http://www.businessbanter.com/ Shameer Shah

    Marius, you’ve done it again!! This is an article worth archiving for future reads. Simply spot on and dives into a precise sales mechanism. Well done.

    • Marius Fermi

      Thanks Sam! :) Worth the wait, eh? Referrals and lack of understanding why a deal was lost are a couple of the biggest problems for sales professionals. Time to address that!

  • Anonymous

    Such a well-written article!

    • Marius Fermi

      Thanks :)