Never Lose to No Decision - Why Great Qualification is the Key to Sales Success
Categories: Sales Qualification
Losing a deal to your competition is frustrating, but sometimes, losing to no decision is even worse. Since it’s usually much easier for clients to stick with the status quo, every salesperson has lost a deal to no decision.
While you can’t totally prevent this loss in the future, there are ways to minimize the chances that you’ll lose a client who chooses to do nothing. Learn how an effective sales qualification process is the foundation for earning a decision from your prospects.
Solidifying Your Qualification Process
Qualifying your leads is the most important step you can take during the sales process, and it’s usually one of the first steps you take. You most likely have some sort of qualification process in place, but for maximum impact, your process needs to be acted out and reinforced daily.
In the beginning stages of your sales conversation, you need to use specific qualification measurements to verify that you’re working with a client that has a need for your solutions. Keep the helpful acronym MEDDICC in mind. This enables you to identify clients that are likely to close a deal with you, and the ones that have the potential to be no decision clients.
- Economic Buyer
- Decision Criteria
- Decision Process
- Identified Pain
When you take steps to build a solid sales relationship with your prospects through a strategic qualification process, you’ll ensure that you’re using your time wisely. You’ll also decrease the odds that you’ll lose to no decision.
To understand how MEDDICC helps you avoid losing to no decision, let’s take an in-depth look at each of its components.
If your prospect is still in the sales process and has yet to make a decision, there’s a chance that you haven’t effectively explained how your solutions help them achieve their business goals, and return they could achieve on their investment with your company. You need to demonstrate the ROI of a partnership with your company, and use metrics to support your claims.
Imagine you worked for a company that provided IT services for a distribution company. Your prospect said their goal was to increase revenue by $5 million in the next five years. One way to connect their goal to your services is by providing metrics that show how a new product management software could increase their productivity and streamline their operations, saving dozens of manpower hours each month.
In that example, you’re turning your solutions into money saved for your client, putting them one step closer to reaching their long-term goals. Make sure that you’ve thoroughly driven home the ROI of your solutions, using metrics and projections to support your necessity.
Working with the decision maker throughout the sales process is essential for scoring that final “yes” on the deal you’ve been fighting for.
Often, a manager or department head might have an acute need, which is why they’ve been working with you on a deal. Let’s return to the IT services example. A prospect’s internal IT team might be overwhelmed with work, so they contacted you. The IT manager is sold on your services and ready to make a deal, but now the CEO wants to be involved before a decision is made.
Obviously, you need to talk to a decision maker. Every salesperson knows that! But, if circumstances have changed or money is tight now, people that have had purchasing power in the past may not have it anymore. Ask to bring in the person with actual purchasing power to pitch your solutions to.
Not only do you need to know who has control over the final “yes,” you also need to know how they’re coming to a decision. Talking to the economic buyer about the decision criteria they’re using is an insightful conversation you need to have.
Ask your prospects what requirements they have for a solution. Let’s say a prospect is looking for manufacturing solutions. They might need a manufacturer that can fill bulk orders, stick to a certain price point, and accommodate rush orders. If you know those are the benchmarks that could gain a prospect’s business, you would communicate all the ways your company meets those needs and more.
To secure a deal from a prospect, you need to understand the internal machinations of their business, and how decisions are made. Who gives approval for a decision? Who has buying power?
Understanding the internal process for how companies evaluate, select, and purchase solutions is vital to closing deals. For some companies, if there’s only one level of approval (i.e. the CEO is highly involved, and makes all the buying decisions) the decision process is rapid and efficient. On the other hand, for larger companies, there are usually many layers of approval a purchase must go through before it’s finalized.
Gain an in-depth understanding of your prospect’s decision process, so you can use this process to your advantage, and set realistic expectations for closing timelines.
Clients make a decision when they have a pain so urgent they can’t go another day without finding a solution. Although you probably worked to identify the pains of the prospect during the lead qualifying process, there’s a chance that they have changed or become less urgent. If a prospect doesn’t feel a severe need for your services, this could lead to you losing to no decision. You need to identify a pain big enough to entice a prospect to take action immediately.
For example, if you were selling outsourced accounting services to a client, they probably won’t urgently feel a need for your services until tax season rolls around. The pains still exist, but they may not be top-of-mind for your prospect right now.
One great sales strategy to ensure that you and the prospect are on the same page about their pains is to write those pains down and send them to the prospect. When they can see a list of the problems that could be eliminated by working with your company, they’ll have a compelling reason to agree to a deal today, instead of putting it off or not making a decision at all.
Which are your prospect’s employees are your corner, pushing for your solution internally? It’s usually the employees directly impacted by the benefits of a solution. You need to know who these influencers are, and work with them to persuade the decision maker that now is the right time to close the deal.
Consider the IT services example one more time. The IT team and managers are on your side, because they’re the ones with the acute pain that needs a solution urgently. Work with the IT manager to convince the decision maker that your solution is the right one, and that it will bring sweeping, profitable changes to their company.
Losing to no decision to frustrating for any salesperson. But, when you use MEDDICC to effectively qualify leads, you’ll be on track to close more deals and minimize losses to no decision.
Who/what is our competition and what is their strategy to beat us?
- Understand who they are aligned with, their strengths, weaknesses and differentiators
- Anticipate competitor’s strategy and disarm them by educating the customer through Trap-Setting Questions
- Competitive Strategy includes Political, Technical and Commercial
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