There are three primary reasons why opportunities:
Or Ultimately Why Opportunities Are Lost
These are by no means the only reasons, but they are the primary reasons. Think about any prior opportunity that fell into these categories and apply the following reasons.
We don’t fully understand the client’s buying criteria beyond the technical solution. Often discussions focus on the solution and don’t fully uncover other buying criteria like ROI, go-live date, ease of changing service providers, service after the sale etc. Stay curious and ask ” Beyond the technical solution, what else do you need to hear or see in order to consider working with us?”
We don’t fully understand the client’s end-to-end decision process. In any B2B sale there are at least 5 stakeholders who care about and are involved in the decision process. When you start the sales cycle with mid-level managers and power users where discussions focus around the technical solution, you’ll also need to get access to other key stakeholders who are in the critical path of the decision process to understand what’s important to them. To fully understand the organization’s end-to-end decision process, you need to understand the Decision Steps, Key Stakeholders and Stakeholder Decision Criteria.
There isn’t a business case that justifies change. Having a technical solution that meets the client’s criteria isn’t enough to persuade an organization to make a change, particularly if they aren’t experiencing a significant amount of “pain”. You need to ask your buyer(s) if this decision needs to be cost-justified. Unless there is a regulatory requirement, most decisions are cost-justified in some way or another. Your job is to determine how your buyer(s) plan to do that. Ask them how they plan to “sell their recommendation” internally.
High performing organizations address these ‘Big 3 Reasons’ early in the sales cycle and validate throughout. By doing this you enable your client to make the most informed decision whether you are the right partner for them…which ultimately leads to winning faster or qualifying out faster!