Current economic pressures mean that we're all facing an incredibly risk-averse buying community. It's expressed in terms of longer sales cycles and more people getting involved in purchase decisions.
People are scared that if they make the wrong choices, they run the risk of losing their jobs - so it's no wonder that a growing proportion of otherwise promising deals are ending in in decision to "do nothing".
It's a subject I've referred to before in my blog on the Cost of Inaction. The ability to manage the buyer's perception of risk has become a must-have skill for any sales person wanting to win business.
I see risk as having two fundamental dimensions. The buyer has to be persuaded that the risk of doing nothing is higher than the risk of buying a solution - and they have to believe that yours is the lowest risk solution they can find.
Reducing risk is critical to sales pipeline management, sales forecast accuracy, sales process improvement and - ultimately - sales productivity and sales effectiveness.
There are a wide range of factors influencing the buyer's perception of risk - and many of them are addressed in the first e-Book from the newly created SALES | BLOGGERS | UNION. You can download "How to Sell More By Reducing Risk" here. There are some great ideas here. Let me know what you think.