Look, you want to know why you or your team keep losing sales. A nice meaty intro paragraph to set the stage is nice sometimes, right? But, there’s no need for a lot of preamble on this topic. Let’s just get into it:
You allow too much time for indecision.
Sure, volatile budgets, busy schedules, and “bad fits” are all hurdles in trying to close a sale. A hugely overlooked variable that can result in losing sales, however, is simply indecision. Him-hawing, decision-by-committee, even just an inability to get a decision-maker participating all can contribute to the stall pattern of deal death. It’s like the little color wheel spinning endlessly on your desktop. In fact, a 2022 Dixon & McKenna study found that “between 40% and 60% of deals today end up lost to customers who express their intent to purchase, but ultimately fail to act.”
Indecision is most likely to impact leads looking for absolute certainty that your offering is a sure-thing. Individuals who face tremendous scrutiny are more likely to drag their feet. All customers vet vendors. Finding a good fit is essential. These over-scrutinized leads, however, need a bit more.
If you sense you’re dealing with this scenario, bolster your efforts with case studies. Also, consider using results from companies/organizations similar to your lead’s. Draw attention to guarantees and incentives that exist in your contract. These emphasize the need for your team to deliver on the claims you’re making. This, in turn, can help reassure a nervous lead.
You’re trying to win over the entire team.
Depending on the scope of companies and customers you work with, you may often be faced with a team of individuals collaboratively assessing vendors. In these instances, you may find yourself trying to face down a firing squad of questions, attempting to sway and influence every person on the team. This is often times wasted energy as it is 1) very difficult to do, 2) slows your sales cycle, and 3) usually not all members of the team have equal say.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, “90% of study participants confirmed that there is always or usually one member of the evaluation committee who tries to influence and bully the decision their way. Moreover, this person is successful in getting the vendor they want selected 89% of the time.”
Sure, that may be a troublesome dynamic on the other end. For your purposes, though, that individual is critical for you to identify and work with. Having the most impassioned advocate on your side can often times be the difference between losing sales or moving forward past a mountain of bureaucratic red tape. Often times you only need one person, as long as you can identify the most influential.
You’re losing sales while waiting for perfect timing.
This one is tied deeply into a similar topic, a lack of urgency. Often times we try to think for leads and customers, deciding for them what they prefer most. The trouble is, we’re often wrong. Misnomers such as “it’s near the holidays so my lead won’t be checking their email” can cause missed opportunities.
You know your industry. Maybe there are, in fact, “dead periods” where sales aren’t going to occur, but don’t miss chances to cut through the fray during a time that competitors might take their foot off the gas. In a crowded market, this could be the most prime opportunity you get.
Merge this with keeping a sense of urgency in your sales cycle. The middle (after a strong opening) is where most deals die. Shrink the sales cycle and you also minimize the time in the middle where stagnation can appear. Seize opportunities, don’t wait for the perfect time—it will likely never come.
You’re losing sales by not establishing a personal connection.
While this point may be last on the list, it should be first in your mind. In order to herald a lead through the buyer’s journey, you must make a personal connection, and do so early. Reading your lead’s personality and circumstances is a crucial step in the sales cycle; however, it’s equally important that you use this knowledge to establish a fantastic rapport.
The old adage exists for a reason: People buy from people. In fact, how you communicate goes a long way in developing this connection, as well. Consider the way you choose to craft your messages, as well as how you deliver them, in order to effectively move your lead through the sales cycle. Covideo has built its history on helping companies do this exact step: video messaging that highly personalizes the sales experience.
If you or your sales team is looking for actionable, time-tested ways to close more deals and transition from losing sales to winning customers, these four areas should be first-step investigations. There are a number of reasons sales fall through and some are outside a salesperson’s control. The reality is, however, that many of those lost sales were more within control of the salesperson than might have appeared at first glance. So, take a renewed approach, get hyped up, and get back out there to move those leads into excited, loyal customers.