March Newsletter: When Your Toughest Competitor is "No Decision"

Posted by Bob Apollo on Thu 19-Mar-2009

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For those of you who do not subscribe to it, here is our March Newsletter - focusing on the challenge of "no decision"...

For many sales organisations, faced with risk-averse prospects and lengthy and convoluted decision making processes, their toughest competitor has become "no decision".

We are dedicating this newsletter to exploring this issue and its consequences - and to sharing what we've learned from best-in-class sales organisations who have managed to master the challenge.


Competing against "no decision"

Being offered a compelling ROI is not enough to propel today's prospects to buy.  Many of them prefer to preserve an uncomfortable status quo rather than take the risk of making a bad purchase.

Faced with this inertia, vendors need to focus all their energies on engaging with prospects with urgent problems that they cannot afford not to deal with, and for whom the vendor has a compelling solution.



Getting considered by more of the right sort of prospects

Solving the problem starts at the top of the sales funnel.  Now, more than ever, sales organisations need to focus on quality, not quantity.  You cannot afford the distraction of wasting valuable sales resources on deals which have little or no chance of closing.

We've seen that vendors who practice
prospect profiling, implement opportunity scoring, carefully align the prospects most pressing issues with their key capabilities using value mapping - and qualify bad deals out early - enjoy far better opportunity-to-sale conversion rates than their volume-focused peers. 



Getting chosen

Of course, getting considered is just the first step in the process. Driving the sales team to "sell harder" will, in most circumstances, simply result in the middle of the pipeline getting clogged up with deals that are going nowhere - and a growing level of prospect irritation.

Faced with today's increasingly well-informed buyers, sales people need to concentrate instead on
facilitating the prospects' buying process.  With the help of appropriate sales playbooks, and by practising selling through storytelling, even average sales people and partners can put themselves in pole position more often. 



Getting to closure

The final hurdle - but the one so many deals now get stuck at. As we've already observed, having a strong ROI is no longer enough. If they are to achieve closure, sales people need to have elevated the consequences of inaction to a level where the vendor is seen as the least-risk of all available options - including "do nothing".

Having a powerful champion may not be enough, either - which is why we've seen savvy sales organisations focus on securing approval by creating executive selling documents that help secure approval by carrying their story to places they have been unable to reach directly



Free Sales Process Healthcheck

We know all of this probably seems like simple common sense.  But how completely is your organisation putting these principles into practice?  We can help you find out.

Until the end of March, we're offering a free sales process healthcheck. It will cost you nothing other than a little of your time, and there is no need to either accept the findings or use our services.  What have you got to loose? 

Click here for more details...

In Conclusion

We hope these ideas prove useful.  But in today's climate, good ideas are not enough - great execution is what makes the difference.

Good selling!




Bob Apollo | Mike Fish | Revenue Insights