No one in the right mind would like to lose a sales opportunity. My guest today, Mark Cox, is going to teach you specifically why you will probably lose your next big deal and how you can avoid that. The goal is to take a pause to get some quiet time and think about the strategy for moving that deal from left to right.
Mark Cox is a Managing Partner at In The Funnel Sales Consulting. He is a sales coach and a sales consultant working with a lot of small and mid-sized businesses to help them improve their sales.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with Mark:
6 Reasons You Might Lose Your Next Deal
- You don’t have a compelling problem you’re solving for the customer.
You don’t tie to their desired business outcome. People love their technology so much that they’re presentations are so focused on what the technology does without really communicating well what problem your technology is going to solve for the customer.
Everything a business owner does rolls ups to one of these three things:
- Increased revenue
- Reduced expense
- Reduced risks
Therefore, you want to be clear that your solution is going to help them get to one of those three desired business outcomes. Make sure everybody in your team is very clear on what problem do you solve for the customer. Being able to articulate the value proposition is the responsibility of sales leadership and management.
- There is no compelling event forcing you to make a change.
No decision is actually the reason most deals don’t get done and that means the customer simply does nothing. Hence, there has to be a compelling event to have a greater likelihood that a decision is going to be made. Work with the customer to figure out if there’s something compelling them to make a decision. If there isn’t, oftentimes it gets a little bit too easy to delay.
How do you create a compelling event?
Tie in your solution to return of investment or help them run their business better and drive revenue instead of inducing the customer to make the decision. If you think that the customer didn’t get it, it’s because you weren’t able to communicate it well.
- You don’t know the real economic buyer.
You’re dealing with someone but you’re not actually engaging the person who makes that real decision face-to-face.
Companies make decisions by a group in a company. But at the end of the day, there is somebody with more influence than the next person and with more ownership of the decision and usually the person who owns the budget. This is the economic buyer.
If you’re not able to influence this person directly and engage that person, one of the other people we’re working with is going to sell our solution on our behalf and they’re not as good as we are.
Engage the folks you know and get their coaching on how to progress forward to get in front of the economic buyer. Then you have to add value when you interact with that senior level person and you have to engage them.
- You don’t have somebody on the deal team on their side who’s a champion for you.
You will realize that you’ve won most of the deals over time because somebody on the customer side was really rooting for you and you know that because they told you. The champion within an account tells you they want you to win.
When you’ve earned the right to this kind of conversation, ask them if it’s the right thing for their company to move forward with your solution. If yes, great. If no, ask why and talk through it so you have a deeper understanding of the barrier to getting the deal done. Again, you have to be able to articulate and tie in your solution to their desired business outcome.
- They don’t actually understand that the process by which the prospect/company they’re working with actually makes a decision to buy their product or service.
The more you understand about how they go through the process on their side, the better off they’re going to be in terms of being able to support them as they go through their decision process.
Keep in mind that your customers go through their decision and buying process and not through your sales process. You need to understand what that is so you can navigate it properly.
Once you’ve done some digging into their challenges, their business and industry, where they’re at, and their options to accomplish this goal, ask your customer what their process is for assessing the options available to them. And if they don’t have a process, this would encourage them to develop a process.
The more you know what process the company has, the better positioned you’re going to be in navigating it.
- They don’t understand the criteria by which they make that decision.
Another way of saying this is asking what’s important to them. Use open-ended questions and nice, casual language to get somebody talking. Then ask them to expound on that. Usually, they’re not thinking about it and it just dawns on them when they hear it come out of their own mouth. So you need to use your ears and mouth in proportion. Listen for more than you talk and that will differentiate you from company coming right in behind,
Mark’s Major Takeaway:
Plan for your next sales calls longer than you travel to it. There’s a little too much adrenalin in sales these days and not enough quiet, thoughtful planning. So think about what you want to do in that next sales meeting and you will have a better outcome.
Visit Mark’s site on www.ITFAcademy.com/TSE and fill out their qualification checklist to find out whether you will win your next big deal.
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