In last week’s blog post we talked about some tactics to employ should you find your proposals stalled. But we can’t highlight enough the importance of being able to tell the difference between a stalled deal and a dead deal. Don’t waste any more time on unqualified prospects.
Has this happened to you before?
You found yourself putting time and energy into a proposal that went on to fall through shortly after?
Sure, sometimes it’s just part of the job, but great sales leaders can tell when it’s best to cut their losses. If you’re still trying to hone that skill, here are a few pointers.
Deal or No Deal: Five Signs It’s Time to Move On to the Next Sale
There’s no shame in leaving an unqualified prospect to go after a better lead. And one of your jobs as a sales leader is to make sure your team knows exactly when they should cut their losses. Here are some telltale signs a deal isn’t headed where you want it to go.
1. They Don’t Need What You’re Selling
Sales is about solving things, not selling them.
You are offering your prospect a solution to their problem. You have to recognize when your solution just doesn’t fit their needs.
If a deal has been stalled, then reevaluate the relationship: is this prospect truly your target audience? If not, cut ties and go forward!
2. Contact Begins to Refer to Themselves in the Plural Form
This is a sensitive area, so tread lightly, but if your contact moves from saying “I” to “We” when discussing decision making, it’s possible that they’re trying to shift the responsibility and focus of ending the deal to others.
It may seem silly, but chances are your contact doesn’t want to be seen as the party at fault, but rather wants you to perceive the company as having said no to the deal rather than just them. Ask a few follow-up questions and if you get the sense that there really is no “we”, go ahead and move on.
3. The Budget Isn’t There
You can save yourself a lot of trouble by asking these questions upfront, but make sure your prospect has the budget to afford your services before engaging.
Don’t low-ball yourself for the sake of a deal, you know the value of your offering, so stick with prospects who can match it.
4. Vague Timelines
Sure, some people are just a little unorganized, but if you find yourself trying to set a deadline and are just getting vague (or even zero) response from your prospect about a potential start and finish date, they’re likely dragging their feet.
No timeline means no sales pipeline, so save your sales rep the trouble and cut the cord.
5. They Say No
To be in sales is to be competitive, a “go-getter”, even relentless, but you must recognize that when a prospect says “no” it’s not an invitation to change their mind. If a prospect says no, accept it as truth and move on.
However, “no” is always a learning opportunity. Now that your original solution isn’t a fit, take the time to understand where you missed the mark. If you’re getting no often, it’s time to adjust your process. Learn and grow from your misses so you can land on the right solutions in the future.
Keeping these five signs in mind can help save your sales team a lot of time, energy, and resources and effectively keep the sales pipeline flowing.
The team at 360 Consulting is here to help with other valuable resources and info. Get in touch with us to learn more about better sales practices, a full CRM that can keep your important deals in order, and other services that can whip your sales team into shape and help you smash sales records.