Three Common Sales Challenges and What to Do About Them

Three Common Sales Challenges and What to Do About Them

Categories: Sales Conversation  |  Sales Negotiation

Even the most experienced salespeople can find themselves in the middle of a challenging sales opportunity that they’re struggling to either move ahead or close. Take a step back to reassess your deal. How you can compel your buyer to action? After all, they've got problems they need to solve. Here are three common sales scenarios we see when deals are stuck and simple steps you can take to correct your course, or avoid the same challenges the next time around.

1. You're Late to an Opportunity 

Perhaps you received a RFP late or your customer is merely price shopping because they've done a plethora of research online. Coming in late to an opportunity is a common sales scenario that every seller at one point or another is going to have to encounter. 

Your Options:

  • Change the required capabilities by mapping them to the positive business outcomes your customer is trying to achieve.
  • Influence the current decision criteria by using trap-setting questions and stacking your buyer's required capabilities in your favor.
  • If you aren’t situated to win the entire opportunity, go for a smaller piece of the pie.
  • Know when to walk away. Does the deal truly fit your criteria for a qualified opportunity or will you end up wasting your time trying to chase a close in a deal you shouldn't be in?

How to avoid this challenge in the future:

  • Improve your ability to execute effective discovery that allows you to back up the sales process in order to realign the positive business outcomes and the required capabilities with your differentiation. 
  • Improve your territory and account planning process, so you can both get into the key deals and expand current opportunities at the right time.
  • Leverage your sales management team. Know when to ask for help and go to your managers with specific questions to cover.

2. You Can’t Gain Access to the Economic Buyer

If you aren’t able to elevate your conversation to the economic buyer, you aren’t speaking the business language of this key decision maker. Remember, you get delegated to whom you sound like. If you’re talking features and functions, you’re going to find yourself in meetings with technical buyers. If you’re talking about large-scale business issues, you’re more likely to engage with an economic buyer and gain access to their discretionary funding. If you’re having trouble getting to the economic buyer in your current opportunity, here’s what you can do. 

Your Options

  • Change your message. Speak in terms of large-scale business outcomes, not features and functions. 
  • Focus on the positive business outcomes that will be achieved by implementing your solution. Make sure those PBOs are related to the economic buyer's needs.
  • Reconfirm the value proposition with key stakeholders to ensure you are articulating the benefits of your solution appropriately. 
  • Reengage with key stakeholders and negotiate access to the economic buyer.

How to avoid this challenge in the future:

3. Your Negotiations are Focused on Price Rather than Value

You are in the late stages of your deal. You thought you had established value and differentiation earlier in the sales cycle, but unfortunately, you find that discussions with your customer are focused solely on price, not your solution's business value. If this is your scenario, you will need to better establish and pull value through into negotiations. While sometimes it’s too late to make a difference, here are some things you can try.

Your Options

How to avoid this challenge in the future:

  • Find ways to quantify business pain with hard numbers. Having data associated with a buyer's current negative consequences can more than help you justify the price in the late stages of an opportunity.
  • Remember that negotiation is a process that you leverage the moment you start engaging a prospect. It’s a process, not an event. Position the value early in the sales cycle
  • Focus on moving up and down in buyer organizations so you can build a business case for your solution that solves a problem that demands urgency and executive-level funding. 
  • In every opportunity, navigate the decision process with multiple stakeholders, so you can better control the final decision process. 

Improve your Ability to Execute the Fundamentals of Great Selling

Like champion athletes, top-performing salespeople constantly hone their skillsets. When you're focused on the fundamentals of great selling, you will be better equipped to sell on value and close deals faster. We cover how to execute the fundamentals of great selling often on the Audible-Ready Sales Podcast. Subscribe to the podcast on your favorite streaming platform to never miss an episode.

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