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?
Before anything else, reps should confirm the stalled deal is qualified
Your salespeople should be skilled at applying consistent qualifying criteria so they are focusing their time and effort in the right place.
Have your sales reps check if the opportunity meets 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
BONUS #6 – Strategically Aligned with Your Organization
If the opportunity is in fact qualified, your reps should proactively reach out and try to get them moving through the pipeline.
Below are 4 tactics to give your salespeople some inspiration in moving their own stalled deals.
1. Send the Prospect Something with Immediate Value
Sending too many “Hi, I’m just checking in again” emails puts your salespeople 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 stay up to date on blogs, research, and news that affect the industries of their prospects. When they run across something that could bring insight—or influence a future purchasing decision—they should send it to the stalled opportunity.
Make sure they use 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.
It’s a bonus if the blog post, research article, etc. highlights an area that your product or service provides a solution to.
2. Get Their Attention with a Creative Mail Package
Your organization’s prospects are bombarded with inboxes full of emails every day. It can be very difficult to grab attention and reconnect with an email, especially if the contact is a more senior level decision maker.
Coach your salesforce to go where there is less competition for attention when a prospect is stuck in the pipeline—with a handwritten note and a creative or insightful mail package.
What kind of items should they include? A branded notepad or calendar is a good start, and a relevant book can bring value and guide a prospect towards change. Some humor or creativity can also go a long way.
Below are several creative mail packages sent out by The Brooks Group’s sales team to stalled deals:
“It’s time to ‘seize the moment’ and take the time to talk next steps so we can implement IMPACT and enhance the customer service experience. Our training is nothing to sneeze at – let’s talk soon…and bring in Stephanie when she returns.”
I Googled ‘Top Sales Training Programs’ and look at what the analytics drove to the top. So why aren’t you using us to improve your sales? Let’s talk.”
Wouldn’t you like to celebrate the success of implementing IMPACT Selling across [client name]? Let’s talk next steps and get this initiative moving!”
Remember the way you felt in the 90’s when you got an email? That’s how prospects will feel when they get a handwritten letter and package from your sales reps. It’s an interrupter, and it’s likely to grab their attention.
3. Seek Out Other Contacts in the Organization
The number of stakeholders involved in the decision-making process continues to grow.
An organization may be an ideal client who could benefit from your solution, but the opportunity has stalled because your sales rep isn’t talking to the right person.
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.
Chances are the original contact might be relieved to have some internal help with the project.
4. Make the Decision-Making Process Easier
Even if the contact your sales rep is communicating with 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. The average number of customer stakeholders involved in B2B purchasing decision is 6.8 – up from 5.4 in late 2014.
Your salespeople can streamline the decision-making process by sending a concise business case for your product or service. This package can include items such as:
- Benefits specific to their organization
- Case studies
- ROI studies
If your sales rep has an internal advocate, this package of information can help their contact convince others of the value your solution will bring to the table.
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.
This can be an extremely helpful tactic to move a decision-making team past the status quo or to revive a deal that’s stalled due to indecision.
Today’s sellers are increasingly faced with the challenge of longer sales cycles and stalled opportunities. Your reps must not only be prepared to have impactful sales conversations with prospects, but also to move those conversations forward when they’ve come to a halt.
IMPACT Selling® teaches sales professionals as 6-step consultative sales process that will give them a predictable path for closing the sale. Your sales reps will know exactly where they are in the selling process at any given moment, and clear action steps and strategies for moving the sale forward.
View the video below to see a client of The Brooks Group discuss her organization’s experience with IMPACT.
If you’re ready to give your sales force the tools and processes they need to succeed, request a free strategy session with one of our industry experts today.