“No Decision Made” | “Went Dark” Sales Deals

No Decision Made-Went Dark-Sales Deals

The best sales people deliver value to prospects at every stage of the buying process. If they do not, there is no reason for prospects to continue to respond to or stay engaged with them. In these cases, sellers often end up “chasing” prospects and offering them discounts to reengage versus working to close bigger/more deals faster via an effective sales process. In fact, when opportunities are closed lost because of “no decision made” or prospects “went dark” during the engagement, sales people should ask themselves the following questions.

Addressing the critical business issue. What is the prospect’s critical business issue (CBI) and have I been working to address it? Is the issue critical enough to cause the prospect to change? If you do not work to solve the prospect’s critical business issue from the first call to last, they will lose interest in engaging with you.

Being single-threaded. Am I “single-threaded” with the prospect (only working with one person)? Every complex sale has four buyer personas that must be managed: coach, economic, technical and user. Each buyer persona has a different focus and reason for moving forward. Being single-threaded is often not enough to get a deal done.

Building relationships and trust. Did I build a relationship with the prospect and convey empathy for their situation? People buy from people they like and trust. People also buy from credible organizations that have addressed similar issues for prospects. It is difficult to go dark on someone when you have a relationship with them.

Creating poorly qualified opportunities. Did I create an opportunity where several qualifiers were missing? Great sales organizations define the requirements for opportunity creation and manage sellers to it. Bad fit, edge cases, priority of initiative, etc. often cause sellers to “chase” the wrong prospects.

Establishing clear next steps. Did I establish clear, logical next steps for the prospect that help guide them through the evaluation and buying process? Do not leave it to prospects to figure out how to evaluate and use your product. Complexity and difficulty cause prospects to disengage. Make it easy for them.

Getting out of alignment. Did I get out of alignment with the prospect? If so, when did it happen and where did it happen? For example, sellers often provide pricing too early before the prospect understands the value of their product. Continually addressing the prospect’s fears and answering their questions is key.

Over-selling the product. Have I over-sold the product to the prospect (featured them to death)? Show the prospect in priority order the top three-to-five capabilities needed to address their critical business issue; otherwise, you will overwhelm them. Products lose value when they do too many things that prospects do not need or want.

CEB estimates that 35%+ of pipeline deals eventually fall into one of the two categories: no decision made or went dark. When you factor the time and resources invested, the opportunity cost is high. That said, what is the value of your closed lost pipeline for these two categories? Multiple your win rate by the total value. Is this missed revenue that could have been captured by better managing one of the seven areas above? It is better to lose to a competitor (inviting the fight) than to have deals fall into no decision made or went dark because not enough value was provided.

All contents copyright © 2016, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved


One Response to “No Decision Made” | “Went Dark” Sales Deals

  1. Kiersten Hedditch says:

    I just could not leave your site prior to commenting that I love this post! Thanks!


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