Stalled deals getting you down? If you find that deals are stalling out more often than not, it’s time to take action. Typically, a clogged pipeline is a result of mismanagement, with reps overemphasizing the top-of-funnel at the expense of the bottom. “Adding insult to injury, that imbalance means all that time and money it takes to get prospects to the closing phase goes to waste,” explains Sales Hacker’ Daniel Hebert. “But like all other aspects of sales, closing is a process. And like other aspects, it too can be optimized.”
- Optimize the delivery
- Check your metrics
These are only two of the tips that Hebert shares with readers to help them deal with this issue. If left at the closing stage, your sales likely will remain stagnant and eventually drop from the pipeline.
Stalled deals: What’s the cause?
It’s necessary to get to the root of why your deals aren’t closing. Prospects’ silence could simply be due to something on your side that needs to be adjusted.
Optimize the delivery
If you’re emailing linked information, make sure that those links actually work. This may seem ridiculously simple, but people, especially busy reps, don’t always double-check that the emailed links aren’t broken or lead to the wrong thing. Also, double-checking your sales engagement platform can ensure your emails don’t get stuck in spam folders. That is often where stalled deals die.
When sending out documents, always check the file size. “If your closing docs are formatted as Word, PDF, PowerPoint, or Excel files and attached to an email, make sure the size of these documents is manageable,” he writes. “Too big and they’ll land in your recipient’s spam folder and not their inbox, if they send at all.” But don’t delete valuable images or files to make your email smaller. Instead, he suggests compressing files or linking to the documents online.
Before emailing or messaging anything, always ensure deliverability.
Check your metrics
Do you know how long it takes for prospects to open your sent proposals? If not, that could be a reason for your stalled deals. By having baseline numbers, you are then able to spot warning signs about deals that could struggle. As Hebert points out, once you know this number, “you can set up an event in your closing sequence to fire an automatic, friendly reminder email to your prospect if they haven’t opened the proposal within this time frame."
Uncover the time between open and close. This number can also be tied to stalled deals. As an example, Sales Hacker’s data reveals that winning proposals have a median time of 51.4 hours between being opened and closed/won. How does your number compare? If you don’t know it, that could be your issue. “Once you know, you can set your follow-up trigger,” he explains. “Say 55 hours have passed since your rep sent a proposal to a prospect. Most deals close within this time frame. But this one hasn’t. This is where you build a high-importance task into the closing sequence for your rep to follow up and see what’s going on.”
That’s not all
Be sure to check out Hebert’s entire article to learn more of his advice for stalled sales. With his checkpoints in mind, you can assess your own strategy, make adjustments, and get more deals closed.
Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash