November 21, 2008

Why purchase decisions get stalled

Sales people often complain that 'sure thing' purchase decisions are increasingly getting stalled – often at the last minute.  It is all the more frustrating because salespeople feel there is nothing that can be done about it. 

However, looking beneath the surface there are reasons why buying decisions get stalled and things that we, as salespeople, can do to avoid all our hard work being 'put on ice'.

Situations change – the customers priorities, needs and budget have changed and this has caught the sales person off guard.

Failure to proved the value – that is quantified the benefits and in particular gained agreement as to the business impact of the solution.  The sales person did not present a sufficiently compelling reason to buy at this time.

Getting ahead of the customer and failed to notice that he/she was falling behind.  You failed to interact sufficiently with the customer, or to incrementally build commitment and gain agreement throughout the sales cycle.

Don't surprise them!  They did not see or agree to what you were proposing and what it would cost before you submitted your proposal. 

Failure to talk to the right people – or to systematically covered the buying unit.

The leap to be made by the customer is too big – the level of risk on the part of the customer might have been reduced by means of a pilot, a phased approach, etc.

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