Every salesperson has been there; the frustrating experience of a stalled deal in the pipeline.
Should your sales reps spend their time trying to revive the sale, or should they cut their losses and move onto the next opportunity?
First things first, confirm that the stalled deal is actually qualified
Have your sales reps check if the opportunity meets all the following 5 criteria:
- Has a need and is aware of it
- Has the legitimate authority and ability to buy or commit
- Has a sense of urgency about making a buying decision
- Trusts the salesperson and your organization
- Will listen to what your salesperson has to say
If the opportunity is in fact qualified, use one or more of these 4 tactics to resume the sales process and move them through the pipeline.
1. Send Your Prospect Something with Immediate Value
There’s only so many “Hey, I’m just checking in again” emails your salespeople can send before they begin to sound desperate. Instead, suggest your salesperson reconnect with your prospect by giving them something, rather than asking for action from them.
Maybe your salesperson runs across a blog post that’s helpful for your prospect’s situation. Have them craft an email with an enticing subject line such as, “Saw [content], thought of you” or “Some thoughts on [problem]”. If the content is valuable, it may just spark some productive conversation.
Bonus points if the blog post, research article, etc. highlights an area that your product or service provides a solution to.
2. Get Their Attention with Good Ol’ Fashioned Snail Mail
Your prospect is bombarded with an inbox full of emails every day. And like most people, they’re busy. It’s easy for your salesperson’s attempts to reconnect to get lost in all the clutter.
So why not have your salesforce go where there is less competition for attention? Suggest for your salespeople to pull out a pen and paper, and handwrite a note to send to a prospect stuck in the pipeline. Include a branded notepad or calendar, or for larger opportunities, include a relevant book.
Remember the way you felt in the 90’s when you got an email? That’s how your prospect will feel when they get a handwritten letter from your sales rep. It’s an interrupter, and it’s likely to grab their attention.
3. Reach Out to Other Contacts in the Organization
There is always the possibility that an organization really could benefit from your solution, but your rep just isn’t talking to the best person to pull the lever to them becoming a customer.
If a deal is stalled but all signs point to it being a good fit for both parties, direct your sales reps to research other contacts within the organization that could help get the ball rolling. LinkedIn is a great place to start.
Just be sure your reps are tactful when reaching out to someone new, so as not to offend the original contact. If that approach seems too risky, your salesperson can suggest holding a strategy session to see who else in the organization could help move things forward. You never know, they might be relieved to have some internal help with the project.
4. Make Your Prospect’s Life Easier
Even if your contact has the authority to make a buying decision, there’s a good chance they’ll be making that decision with other members of the organization. More and more, multiple people are involved in a purchasing decision.
Your salesperson can help their contact convince others of the value your solution will bring to the table by sending a concise business case for your product or service. Include things like benefits specific to their organization, testimonials, case studies, and ROI studies.
Have your sales rep compile supporting information and even an RFP template and send it over to your prospect in an organized, easy to share format. If their job is to convince others to jump on board and sign off on an agreement, you’ve just made their life easier—something everyone can appreciate.
As a sales leader, it’s your responsibility to coach your salespeople through stalled deals in the most effective way. Mastering the art of deal coaching is just one topic covered at the Sales Management Symposium.
Join us for our upcoming Symposium and learn the sales leadership strategies that you can apply immediately to fuel your sales team’s growth.
Published on March 17, 2017