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:
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.
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.
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.
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?