Following on from my last article about the potential issues that could cause an opportunity to stall, this time I want to share some strategies you could employ to reactivate these stalled opportunities,
Revisit the sales process – The first place I would start would be to revisit the sales process and try to identify any areas where I feel I don’t have enough understanding or insight into the client, their needs, their issues, or their business, you will need to be honest with yourself and don’t try and kid yourself that good enough is good enough if your gut is telling you that you haven’t truly understood the situation and you don’t have enough insight, reach out to the client or prospect and try and revisit the sales process again to uncover the information and insight you need to reconnect the dots in the sales process.
Shift from selling mode to consultant mode – Salespeople that consistently outperform their competition know when to stop selling and start helping their clients and prospects. Sometimes our “sales person mode” can get in the way of us providing valued assistance to a client or prospect. Try to determine why the opportunity has been shifted to the back burner and offer some advice or assistance. Do they need someone to break down the proposal into smaller elements? Do they need someone to calculate and document ROI? Would they benefit from a case study that would help them see clearly the value or the best course of action? Would a customer testimonial in their own words that showed real value re-ignite their interest?
Challenge the possibility of not taking any action - When a sales opportunity stalls, it’s easy to conclude that no decision has been rendered and the opportunity may resurface on its own in the near future. In reality, it is more likely the case that you competed against the status quo and you have lost! You may have assumed wrongly that there were no competitors active and it was yours to win. Your real competition was “do nothing” or the status quo. As a sales person, you need to take a fresh look at your competition and develop a strategy to undermine support for the status quo. Build a business case to show the cost of doing nothing and the true value and benefit of taking action and choosing your offering.
Don't corner your prospects - Nobody likes to feel trapped. When you're working toward a goal in sales, give your prospect ample exit opportunities. If you're coordinating a call or a virtual meeting and your prospect is unwilling to confirm a date, let them know they can reach you by phone or email if they need to change the date or time of the call or meeting once it's scheduled.
Re communicate the value - Sending too many “Hi, I’m just checking in again” emails puts you at risk of sounding desperate. Instead, salespeople should try to reconnect with prospects by providing them with something of value, rather than asking for action from them.
Encourage your sellers to engage with alternative elements of the product or solution that will allow them to see the product or solution in a different more valuable light. When they come across something that could bring insight—or new value this can have a hugely positive impact on a stalled opportunity.
Send a new quote - If the end of the month or quarter is near and your prospect still hasn't closed, wait until there are about three days left and send a new proposal.
Expand the audience - If you are in one-to-one communication with the prospective buyer, it gives the buyer too much power when a deal is stalled.
Start new lines of conversation with other buyers, influencers, or business units at your prospect's company.