Posted on June 30th, 2020 by Ellen Wilkinson, Partner Communications Manager
Even if consider yourself the “Wolf” of Wall Street, chances are you’ve experienced a slump at some point. However frustrating it may feel, the good news is it’s perfectly natural to have peaks and troughs in your sales cycle. Yet when a small slump becomes a continued dry spell, where you consistently seem to miss out on deals that should have been easy wins, it’s time to take action. You need to diagnose the cause and get your game back!
5 Key Reasons Prospects Don’t Buy
1. Your Prospects Aren’t Really Your Prospects!
It’s easy to think of all enquiries as potential prospects and to some extent, this is true. However, if you don’t fully qualify your prospects before trying to move them through your sales funnel, you could find yourself investing time and money in leads that aren’t a good fit for your products in the first place! Make sure you have a robust qualification procedure in place for your salespeople to follow. This could include screening calls or a simple checklist outlining your target customers profile. Once you’ve qualified prospects, you’ll be able to sort your high potential opportunities from your low potential and allocate resources accordingly.
2. You’re Sales Focused Instead of Value Focused
Hard sales are out, consultancy is in. Digital marketing has revolutionised the way consumers make purchasing decisions. The sheer volume of information available via the internet and social media means your prospects will typically engage with you at a later stage of the sales funnel than they would have in times gone by. When they do engage, they are more informed, know what they want and already have alternative options in mind. Hard sales pitches won’t work in this realm- instead salespeople need to act like consultants, taking the information the prospect brings to the table and building upon it, to arrive at a ‘joint’ proposal to move forward with.
3. Your Funnel Isn’t Performing
If you notice that your prospects get part way through the sales cycle and then consistently drop out of the process, it could indicate a disconnect between the awareness, interest and evaluation stages of your sales funnel. If you have the right KPI’s in place, it should be easy to identify the source of your ‘leaks’. Once you know what they are, you’ll want to try adjusting content, retargeting lost leads with incentives and then testing week-on-week until you find the winning combination.
If you need help with your A/B testing this guide from Hubspot is a great place to start.
4. You Haven’t Managed Their Objections
Uncovering objections can be daunting. Once they’re spoken out loud, they’re just sitting there…concrete reasons your prospect doesn’t feel ready to buy from you. For some salespeople, this thought alone is enough to make them avoid objection handling altogether but the reality is, the objection exists whether you uncover or not! The real issue is whether you’re willing to allow your prospect to walk into the arms of your competitor by not having an open and honest conversation.
The best time to handle objections is at the start of the evaluation phase. Too early in your sales process and your prospect won’t trust your authority. Too late in the process and they’re likely to already be weighing up alternatives. Try asking these questions to uncover any lingering objections:
- We’ve discussed what you like about [Product] but is there anything you’re still not sure of?
- If you chose to go with another solution, what would the reason be?
- Is there anything you are unsure about that we could work through together?
5. Your Prospect’s Fear’s Haven’t Been Addressed
Budget holders often feel there’s a weight on their shoulders. After all, you don’t want to be the guy that introduces a new communications platform, only to experience issues when the old one was performing well in the first place! Sometimes these fears lead to prospects choosing to maintain the status quo even if they know that your solution has the potential to make a significant impact on their day to day working lives or lower costs. To ease their fears, try to incorporate the following into your sales process:
- Referring to well known current customers
- Sending case studies and testimonials to your prospects
- Highlighting industry specific review sites that have profiles for your product
- Mentioning relevant accreditations and awards.
Going through a sales slump can feel like you’re constantly coming up against walls. The good news is that there’s normally an easy fix that can turn things around. We want to hear how you coach your teams out of slump- let us know in the comments!
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