We walk away from sales opportunities every day - abandoned sales opportunities. You do it, I do it, and a few of us have the discipline to identify why our deal didn’t come to closure.
There are two big reasons and I’ll start with the secondary one first:
1) No good next action or it got hung up in one of the steps of the buying process.
If you don’t set clearly understood next actions as you help the buyer through their journey, you won’t know when to follow up. Often you won’t know how to follow up either.
If you don’t know when or how to follow up, you can’t move the opportunity forward.
We find this with clients where sellers forget to capture important information INCLUDING what will happen next and how that will be initiated.
Time passes by.
The seller feels awkward reaching out after some time lapses and if they do, the buyer often doesn’t respond. Buyers are busy.
Buyers may have moved on and solved their issue, but you need to find that out.
When you believe in your products and services, it is upon you to follow up with buyers until you determine they’ve solved the challenge they first reached out to you for – and it is upon you to reach out and learn whether they feel the buyer did, in fact, solve their issues with either your competitor or with no action taken.
2) You didn’t qualify the opportunity (or call high enough)
I’ve done this myself many times over my selling career. It is an easy trap to get caught in. We are so excited about a buyer’s potential interest that we thing things are qualified and that they “really like us” so why wouldn’t I expect to close the opportunity by the end of the month or quarter?
By not calling high enough and speaking directly to decision makers, there is no way you can be sure that this opportunity – this buyer decision – will end in your favor.
Take a look at your last stalled or dead opportunities – and determine the reasons why they did not move forward. I’d love to hear YOUR input – was it for a reason mentioned above, or something else?
Lori Richardson helps mid-sized companies grow revenues by solving key issues in their sales department - like recruiting, retention, diversity hiring, process, pipeline and leadership. She speaks at CEO groups on topics of sales growth. Clients include companies in the technology, telecom, manufacturing, distribution, and professional services industries. Subscribe to the award-winning blog, follow her on Twitter
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