Sit down with most sales people doing a loss review. The majority of the reasons cited for losing are:
- Product deficiencies
- Restrictions in how we do business, contracts, etc.
According to sales people, why we lose has little to do with our own performance.
Ask customers why they chose to buy, or even why they couldn’t make a buying decision, the responses are seldom about the product or their confidence in the product/solution.
Yeah, I know I will be deluged with emails and comments saying I’m wrong with endless amounts of “evidence” that “If we just had a better produce, easier contracts, and, of course, better pricing, we would win.” And sometimes it may be true, but not as often as we would like to think.
As customers go through their buying process, by the time they have narrowed the alternative solutions they are considering, any of the alternatives will work.
So why do we really lose?
First, we “lose” at least 53% of the buying journey’s our customers undertake because of “no decision made.” It has nothing to do with solution selection, but more to do with their ability to manage their own buying process. In fact the biggest failure point in the buying journey often occurs before they even consider alternative solutions. (37% through their buying process).
Focusing on helping the customer navigate their buying process, effectively, reduces the number of losses due to no decision made.
Second, we fail to address customer decision confidence. This is a little tricky, we focus our efforts in making the customer confident in our solution. But it turns out that’s not really what the customer is worried about. Research shows, customers are overwhelmed with high quality information–from all the alternatives they are considering.
The issue customers are concerned about is less confidence in our solution, but confidence that they are making the right decision for them and their company.
It turns out decision confidence is very personal. It’s less about the data, facts and figures, which we tend to focus on in presenting our solutions, but more based on how the customers feel. Are they making the right decision? What are the risk of failure? What happens if they make a mistake? How will their management, their people, their peers feel about the decision? How will they make it happen?
The things they worry about, the things that impact their confidence are varied, but until we help them through that process, the likelihood they will make a decision and make a decision for us is very low.
Helping the customer with their confidence is really about caring. It’s caring enough to connect with them about how they feel, perhaps just listening to them, perhaps helping them think through what impacts their confidence. It’s always about them and their confidence, and not about what we sell.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons we lose is because of decision confidence. The way we begin to address decision confidence is demonstrating we care.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons we lose is the customer doesn’t believe we care about them.