Sales is undoubtedly one of the hardest jobs anyone could be doing. More often than not, customers will not readily give their “Yes” simply because a salesperson has made a good pitch or has thoroughly explained the product or service features of what they have to offer. In fact, people working in sales can expect to be rejected a majority of the time. I’ve personally had experiences wherein I was able to explain everything our company could offer, but in the end, got rejected.
Now you’re probably asking yourselves, “Is there a way to help lessen or avoid getting rejected by our customers?” We all want our businesses to succeed, and in order to do so, we need to be constantly closing deals and gaining new business for our companies. What is therefore the best way for us to “outsmart” getting rejected? This seems too hard to think about. I mean, getting rejected is something we can expect as salespeople? Right? While making mistakes is normal, there is a way to avoid them or lessen their chances of happening. As Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula puts it, “We learn from failure, not from success!”
Luckily for us, The Harvard Business Review has presented to us the top reasons on why salespeople lose deals. I’ll go over each briefly and hopefully by the end, we can all learn from other people’s experiences.
1.) No Decision
Customers are very eager to solve their problems. However, this does not necessarily mean that they will readily accept something that could possibly help them. Customers these days are very cautious and will do everything they can to eliminate their fears and reduce any uncertainty there can be. At the end of the day, customers are not 100% sure that they’ll make the purchase even with all these. As salespeople, the best we can do is to help them make the decision by explaining our product/service and answering any queries they may have.
2.) Stalled Sales Cycles
There are a variety of reasons on why a company’s sales cycle could be put on hold. As salespeople, we could have already convinced the person we were talking to. However, these people could not convince others within their company. This can be the case whether we were able to talk to someone in the lower levels or even with their top executives.
This is something we have experienced in our company. Typically, we get to talk with managers of companies and explain how our service works and how we can help them. However, there are cases wherein we were able to convince these managers, but they weren’t able to convince others. In other cases, it took too long for these managers to convince their superiors. As someone external to our customers’ companies, the best we can do as salespeople is to convince customers in such a way that they can champion our products for their companies.
3.) Inability to Penetrate New Accounts
One of the greatest challenges for any company is acquiring new businesses to grow. It is difficult to pique a person’s interest at first and to set a meeting and discuss. Even for our company which specializes in lead generation, getting new business is no easy feat. The best we can do is to provide the best service and experience for our customers and hope to get that “Yes.”
4.) Product Commoditization
Competition in practically every industry is inevitable. Even for startups with new business ideas, competitors are bound to emerge to the point that there is very little that differentiates one company from the other. In order to avoid products/services to be commoditized, we as salespeople should try and differentiate ourselves as much as possible whether on product/service features or even with the service we provide for our clients.
5.) Price vs. Value
Oftentimes, these two are what get in the way of each other. We price our products/services in such a way that justifies their value. However, our clients might not share the same sentiments. Even if we’ve explained everything our product/service can do for them, clients may still think that the offer is still too expensive.
This is not a new experience even for me. After explaining everything and setting the price, some clients still think that our service is too expensive. In order to lessen the chances of that happening, we put ourselves in our customers’ shoes. Our business is results-oriented. This way, our customers have less hesitation when it comes to pricing. Whatever the approach may be for a company, the best thing to do in this situation is to try and understand where the other is coming from.
6.) 800 Pound Gorilla
A difficult obstacle to overcome, especially for smaller businesses, is to contend with “800 Pound Gorillas” or the so-called top companies of any particular industry. Some of these companies are so big and reputable that they seem to win any business by default.
The best thing to do in this situation is to try and differentiate your company from theirs. After all, you don’t need to contend in the exact same turf as these gorillas.
7.) “Nice-to-Have” Product
Many companies these days try their best to cut down on costs. They will not purchase anything that is not necessary for their company. Therefore, your product/service could merely be considered as something that is “Nice-to-Have” rather than a “Must-Have.” As salespeople, our greatest challenge is to help our customers make that transition from “Nice-to-Have” into “Must-Have.”
For our company, we help customers make this transition by making them realize their problems and how these might negatively affect their company in the future. We make them realize the implications of these problems by constantly asking questions. This way, our customers do most of the talking and naturally make that transition.
8.) Internal Sale
As I mentioned previously, the hard part in selling is to get other people in your client’s company onboard. After all, you as an external sales person will not be involved when your client is pitching to their superiors.
The best you can do is explain everything to clients and help them so that they can champion your product/service to their superiors.
In some companies, there seem to be too much admin work that it gets in the way of salespeople going out to the field. However, these admin tasks (e.g. forms, reports, etc.) are necessary to finalize any sale. Since these are necessary, the best we can do as salespeople is to properly schedule and allot time for all necessary tasks.
In our company, what we do is put all necessary tasks and the person responsible for them in Pipedrive, an online CRM software. The important thing here is to write these tasks down so that we can be reminded of everything that needs to be done.
10.) Pre-Sales Resources
For some companies, there comes a time when there is a lack of resources (i.e. staffing and material resources) necessary to finalize any sale.
For instance, we had this experience with a client wherein we couldn’t finalize the deal because they lacked the manpower to work on the leads we gave them. In other cases, our customers lacked the budget to push through.
In such cases where our customers lack the means necessary to avail our product/service, the best we can do is wait and try to get back to them at a later time.
With all these reasons on why a lot of salespeople fail to close deals, hopefully we can do our best and lessen any objections our customers may have.
Curious? Want to know more? You can reach Jason at 0917-569-3371.
The difficulty of sales is what makes it challenging yet exciting all at the same time!