In the world of complex sales, a reality in many markets is there are now more “no decisions” than Wins and Losses combined. A benefit of the work we do with our partner CEB, we get exposed to the most current research and trends from the world of sales and marketing. One of the biggest trends or shifts is in the buying process. This change is a bi-product of what has been happening in corporate environments in the past 5-6 years, versus a new strategy being deployed by buyers. Coming out of 2008, financial controls, tight budgets, and increased governance lead directly to risk aversion, consensus decision making and a rise in “no decisions”.

All of these factors have a direct impact on sellers. Longer sales cycles, increased cost of sale, increasing complexity of understanding customers’ process and criteria forces way better decision making on which opportunities to pursue. The implications of chasing the wrong deals or all deals is severe. Have you adjusted your sales strategy or sales process?

A few facts to give you something to think about. If there is one person involved in the decision making process, there is an 81% chance they will make a decision. If there are 6 or more people involved, the chances drop to 31%. In the average complex sale there are 5.4 people involved. Most sales people have been taught to search for the decision maker. In a world of a consensus decisions and people taking less personal risk [and corporate risk] the mythical decision maker is becoming a unicorn. This forces a different level of preparation and deal understanding.

Regardless of how you got involved in the deal, as more people show up to the party, they are not created the same or equal. They will be from different functions and have unique perspectives or opinions. There ability to align and agree with each other leads to more “no decisions”. You will have competitors in the deal, but your customers pose a bigger threat to getting the win based on their likelihood of doing nothing.

We have seen our clients adjust their strategy and see tremendous results. How do you think you could or should adjust your sales strategy?

In my next blog, I will share more research and a strategic approach that has proven to increase both win rates and the chances of getting a decision, even when procurement is involved.

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Posted In Alignment
The Art of the Fast Start
Posted In organic growth
Enabling Your Prospect to Make Change