A sales deal can be an elusive thing.
It can enter the pipeline, full of potential and promise, only to mysteriously disappear without a trace. Poof! Vanished into thin air.
If you've ever found yourself scratching your head, wondering what went wrong with a seemingly promising opportunity, then you have encountered the dreaded sales Bermuda Triangle.
In this article, we'll embark on a rescue mission to navigate these treacherous waters — and we’ll unveil a step-by-step process that will help you salvage those deals from the clutches of oblivion.
Strap on your life jacket, sharpen your wit, and prepare to revive stalled deals and turn them into triumphant victories. Get ready to set sail, because the disappearing act ends here!
What’s So Bad About Stalled Deals?
Stalled deals are deals that haven’t moved on to the next stage in the buyer’s journey for an unusually long time — typically longer than your average sales cycle. When deals slow to a crawl or disappear entirely, it can mean your prospects aren’t ready to make a decision, aren’t engaged in the process, or aren’t fully convinced of your value proposition.
It can look like this: You've carefully crafted your pitch, delivered a compelling presentation, and even managed to pique the interest of your prospective customer. But inexplicably, everything grinds to a halt. Your calls go unanswered, emails gather digital dust in forgotten inboxes, and your deal ends up floating aimlessly in the vast abyss of the sales pipeline. It's a place where dreams of commission checks go to die.
Apart from the obvious disappointment of losing out on potential revenue, stalled deals can have a negative ripple effect on your entire sales process. They can:
- Clog up your pipeline, causing congestion and bottlenecks that can hinder the progress of other deals
- Lower sales team morale due to constant uncertainty
- Waste time, because you’re chasing after deals that seem to have fallen off the face of the earth
- Skew your forecast, because you can’t tell when (or if) sales will ever close
Rescuing a stalled deal can be challenging, but here are some steps you can follow to increase your chances of reviving the negotiation.
Step 1: Analyze Your Current Deals and Identify Problems
Picture yourself as a seasoned sailor, navigating through the murky waters of your sales pipeline. To rescue those elusive deals from the clutches of the Bermuda Triangle, you must first don your detective hat and analyze the current state of affairs.
Take a close look at each stalled deal and ask yourself some questions.
- What factors led to its disappearance?
- Was it a lack of follow-up?
- Perhaps your pricing didn't quite hit the mark, or maybe the decision-maker got caught up in a whirlwind of distractions?
- Maybe you failed to personalize offers and presentations for the prospect?
Whatever the case, try to identify the specific reasons these deals went off course.
For instance, imagine you were selling a cutting-edge software solution to a potential client in the tech industry. The deal seemed to be progressing smoothly until it abruptly stalled. When you analyze the situation, you discover that your sales team failed to address the client's concerns about data security, leaving them stranded on an island of doubt. By pinpointing the issues, you can chart a course for revival.
Step 2: Establish Your Plan
Now that you've identified the problems, it's time to devise a plan to steer these deals back on track. Think of yourself as a savvy ship captain, strategizing to overcome the obstacles that stand in your way.
Examine each stalled deal and create a plan to resolve the issues so you can move ahead.
For example, let’s say you're selling productivity software to a busy executive. One of your deals encountered a roadblock, and it’s gotten stuck in your pipeline. Upon investigation, you discover that the client has doubts about the tool's compatibility with their existing workflow and software. To address this problem, you could create a detailed guide that shows how your tool seamlessly integrates with popular productivity platforms. Or you could offer a trial period or pilot project to allow the client to experience your simple integration firsthand.
You may need to revisit the client's pain points and objectives to make sure your solution still aligns with their current needs. There may be new challenges or goals you can address to reignite their interest in your offering. Or it’s possible your proposal will need some adjustment, based on the prospect’s feedback — and that might include offering flexible payment terms, providing additional services, or modifying the scope of your offering.
Every deal will present unique challenges — so your rescue mission plans have to suit the specific circumstances of each situation.
Step 3: Give Deals a Gentle Nudge
You've analyzed, identified, and devised a plan. Now it's time to execute with finesse. But remember, in the sales Bermuda Triangle, brute force won't save the day. Instead, give your stalled deals a gentle nudge to guide them back on course.
Here are some ways to re-engage stalled prospects:
- Send personalized, relevant content that addresses their issues and goals
- Offer incentives, discounts, or free trials to create urgency and add value
- Show client testimonials or case studies from existing customers to build trust and credibility
- Schedule a meeting, presentation, or demo to showcase your solution’s benefits
- Ask for feedback or dig deeper with the prospect to discover their objections or concerns
When you reconnect with your contact, be respectful and empathetic. Acknowledge the lapse in communication and express your willingness to address any concerns they may have.
Set Sail Toward Sales Success
Reviving stalled deals is a delicate dance in the treacherous waters of the sales Bermuda Triangle. By identifying root problems, devising strategic plans, and giving deals a gentle nudge, you can navigate your way out of the mysterious void and bring these deals back from the brink.
Sign up for a free trial of Showcase Workshop to find out how to create stunning presentations that guide your most sluggish deals back on course.