8 years ago
April 13, 2016

3 Reasons Your Sales Opportunity Stalled

In this article, we’ll discuss three of the most common reasons why an otherwise perfect sales opportunity stalled.

Rhys Metler

Few things in sales can deliver the blow to morale that a stalled sales opportunity can. Knowing that you have all the parts in place for a successful sale only for that sales opportunity to run aground can take the wind out of any salesperson’s sails. Fortunately, having sales stall is far from the worst problem to deal with-typically, with an understanding of why your sales opportunity stalled you can easily avoid repeat failures with a few minor adjustments. In this article, we’ll discuss three of the most common reasons otherwise perfect sales lose momentum and a few ways you can implement to negate them.

Not Enough Groundwork Laid

This is the simplest and most common reason for a sales opportunity to stall, especially when the sales opportunity initially seemed perfect. Two areas stand out as groundwork failure points in most sales.

  • The prospect company lacks internal consensus. You may be speaking with an individual who would love nothing more than to close the deal, but others within their company may not agree. A thorough effort to win over all the decision-makers within a company should be part of your strategy when encountering this situation.
  • You never established enough value for the prospect. Your perfect sales opportunity meant nothing on their end-marginal gains over a current solution. Even if the prospect believes they will come out ahead by buying from you, if the difference seems negligible the effort of closing the deal and implementing the changes may result in a stalled sales opportunity. You need to make clear the flaws in the current solution or lack thereof and/or greatly improve the value of your product in the prospect’s eyes.

You Didn’t Get Commitment

A failure to force a prospect to commit is a leading cause of stalled sales opportunities. That’s not to say you need to push to close the deal on day one. Rather, you need to push some form of commitment, something that builds momentum and necessitates ongoing communications.

Something as simple as scheduling the next meeting instead of leaving the next communication vague can help, but forcing some amount of effort from the prospect works better: ask them to send you information or the like.

Allowing a conversation to end along the lines of “We’ll talk again soon” will slow sales cycles to a crawl, where it doesn’t stall them completely or kill them outright.

Lost Control of the Process

Process matters, but often a perfect sales opportunity will bait you into ignoring your surest strategies. When you diverge from your sales process, it needs to be consciously and because doing so gains you something of value. Don’t drift absentmindedly, or you’ll find yourself in deep waters sans wind and oars. Without the framework of your process to work from, you lose much of the insight into capitalizing on a sales opportunity that you’ve developed under that framework–a sure way to stall a sale. 

Allowing a high-value prospect to take control of the sales process is perhaps the most egregious error salespeople make in this area. It sometimes benefits you to give a prospect free rein within certain limits, to give them the impression they control the process-but you should never, ever relinquish control over key factors. A schedule change that doesn’t really impact your key strategy is one thing, allowing a prospect to rework everything is another.

This is simply fixed by committing yourself to a strategy and sticking with it. Understand what can and can’t change without undermining the fundamental process and act appropriately.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.