How to fix a broken sales cycle?


Things often go quiet during the sales cycle. This is always a worry for the seller. Sometimes they go so quiet that it’s hard to get in touch.

One of the things that can go wrong, is that our contact has lost focus on their purchase. If they seem to be reluctant to help, we need to find out why, and quickly; there may be something we can do to help.

They may use excuses, such as, “I don’t have time to look at this at the moment”, but these are just masking the real reason.

So, what are the true reasons for causing a major hiccup in the sales cycle?

1. Lack of knowledge

They may feel that

  • the problem is not worth solving

These objections usually occur when they don’t know enough about either the problem or our solution.

Go back to the person who brought this problem to our attention in the first place. Arrange a meeting with all parties, and get the originator to explain to everyone, why this is an important issue to resolve. Then go through our solution and check back that we have everything covered.

  • our solution will damage their organization somehow.

If they feel it is too risky, find out what they are worried about. Explain how our solution covers their concern, then go back and find out if they are still worried.

  • they are not the right person to help us

Maybe their Expert is too senior and this issue is too small for them. Perhaps they don’t understand their problem or our solution. Try to find somebody else, who does, or who can explain the details.

2. Our solution may have a negative impact on this person.

They may feel that they will lose

  • their job
  • their team
  • their power in their organization

If any of the above reasons are valid, then this is not the right person to listen to. We have to find someone else and they are probably more senior. Try to identify who their Line Manager is. The next step is fraught with danger; we have to try to go over their head without antagonizing them. Since we have arrived at this point because they have stopped communicating with us, we should be able to contact their Manager on the pretext of needing further information. Try to arrange a meeting with their Manager, and include our previous contact. In this meeting, bring up the way we can improve our solution if we could work closer with their organization. Maybe this contact does not have time; is there somebody else who could help as well?

3. They may be favoring one of our competitors

They may have had bad experiences with our

  • organization
  • products
  • sales team

This is the most important objection to overcome. The only way is by understanding what went wrong last time. Even if it is impossible to put this right, we need to start to build bridges with this person and their organization.

4. They may already have good links with our competitor

The most common way to overcome either of these objections is to offer a very competitive price. This is one of the times when a very tight margin can get us back into the game. Unfortunately, tight margins come with their own problems. While we are trying to rebuild relationships, we have no spare budget to go the extra mile. This is only worth looking at, if there is a lot more work to come from this organization in the future.

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