Imagine your pipeline being healthy and full of sweet opportunities. Your prospects fit your customer profile and your chances to win these deals are seemingly assured. All well, right? Or are your customer conversations going round in circles, you’re stuck waiting for them to finalize their “internal discussions” and you’re struggling to get those deals over the finishing line? If yes, you’re not alone. There are 4 main challenges that derail winnable deals before the finishing line:
Pleasing instead of advising
The single biggest indicator of a Salesperson’ performance is the need to be liked. The study of Objective Management Group which was cited by the Harvard Business Review found that 86% of the weakest Sales performers indicated “they do need to be liked” while among the high performers only 11% do. People pleasing leads to customers avoiding saying no – but they do not move the needle towards a Sale. Buyers are not looking to buy from people they like but from those they trust. Think about your typical doctor: He/She is diagnosing your problem by asking clear questions and prescribes a solution based on your condition. Sell like your doctor – a trusted advisor.
Imaginative qualification & weak next steps
Conflict avoidance is a well studied fact that varies in level among different cultures. The short rule: A “no” means no. A “yes” means maybe. A “yes” with a “how do we get there” means yes. Interpreting this wrongly, will lead to awkward conversations with your manager where you have to explain why this supposedly “yes” deal seemingly went nowhere. The solution plays in with the point above. Don’t settle for a “yes” without a “how” or your deal is not a qualified opportunity.
Product not problem
Prospects don’t just wake up in the morning feeling like they require your product. People buy solutions that solve their problems. Skipping the problem understanding phase is a sure-fire way to fail your sale. Any simple product presentation will lead to objections around some specific feature while not addressing the big picture of the “problem fix”. This will not create any urgency to buy for your prospect and only trigger their negativity bias, which will lead to you missing out on your opportunity.
The unequipped champion
The average B2B buying process involves 6-10 stakeholders that all agree in a consensus mode if they should adopt your product. As salespeople we only talk to a small number of this buying committee though. So what happens if we ignore this fact and settle on simply delivering our demo? Well, your main contact might not be as good in convincing their colleagues as you are. Those hidden stakeholders you never talked to can easily sink your deal in your customers internal discussions. The way to prevent that is to add the “who” to the “how do we get there” of our above point and give our main contact the collateral he/she requires to win those internal discussions.
So where does that leave us? All of those points can be addressed – there is even a quick fix to do so: Mutual Action Plans are sworn by some of the greatest Salespeople out there to protect B2B sellers from losing winnable deals and improve their win rate by:
- Outlining clear next steps on how your prospect can solve their problem.
- Helping to qualify your opportunities for real as you’re not settling on a simple “yes” without a “how do we get there”
- Supporting your main contact with the exact material he/she requires to win their internal discussions.
Mutual Action Plans are a proven concept for success but they are all too difficult and time-consuming to set up. Stageset.io was built to solve exactly this. Create digital Mutual Action Plans in seconds, the same way as you would set up a Google Doc, that help you protect yourself from losing winnable deals and improve your win rate.