What To Do With A Stalled Sale

BY Jessica Helinski
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Have you hit a wall with a stalled sale? Don’t give up hope. These situations can be very frustrating but as a seller, they are likely to happen every now and then. With some thoughtful effort, you can still make the sale happen. 

How To Identify A Stalled Sale

It’s important that you can tell when a sale has stalled out. Sales Acceleration Group notes that reps often think a stalled sale is simply at a slow stage in the funnel.

But being stalled is not a stage. It’s a situation that needs to be addressed or else the deal may get too far out of reach.

The Sales Acceleration Group points out a few ways to identify a truly stalled deal:

  • The prospect has ghosted you for weeks. 
  • There is no firm next action on the calendar.
  • Their budget didn’t get approved.
  • This deal requires a buyer group's approval, and they won’t meet any time in the near future.
  • The lead has left the position, and you haven’t been contacted by their replacement. 

If any of these situations are familiar, it may be time to acknowledge you’ve got a stalled deal. But don’t give up; there are actions to take to get it moving again.

Jump-​start The Stalled Sale By Confirming Qualification

The first step, when assessing a stalled deal, is making sure you’ve qualified correctly. Your prospect may simply not be the right fit for your solution. 

It’s important that you revisit the qualification process. Anita Greenland, Brooks Group, suggests a few questions to ask yourself about the prospect. Do they have:

  • a clear need, and they are aware of that need?
  • the legitimate authority and ability to buy or commit?
  • a sense of urgency about making a buying decision?
  • trust in you and your organization?
  • a willingness to listen to you?

These, along with other qualifying questions, can clue you in as too whether you should be pursuing their business.

Are You Addressing The Real Issues?

A stalled sale may be a sign of misdiagnosis. You need to make sure that you are selling to an actual pain point instead of a pain-​related problem. 

HubSpot’s Ben Kassiff points out that misaligned problem-​solving can be a culprit of stalls.

And, as he writes, “not getting to the why behind a prospect's problems is often where misalignment starts.”

Revisit the pain points you identified. To make sure you’re focusing on the true issues, take a look at these tips for uncovering them.

SalesFuel shares several effective methods, including the different types of questioning to use. This advice helps ensure you’re addressing and selling to the real problems the buyer faces. 

Be Direct

Another effective tactic to deal with a stalled sale is to ask the prospect directly. This, Kassiff notes, should happen only if you’re being ghosted. 

Call out the fact that you feel that this deal is no longer a priority,” he suggests. 

Ask for their honesty and be respectful. Share your concerns of the process stalling, and ask if there is a possibility to keep it going. 

Show empathy, and lean into the trust that you’ve developed so far in the relationship. There’s a good chance that this can inspire re-engagement. 

The Prospect Is The Key To Moving Forward

A stalled sale is a common experience. As these tips show, it’s vital to not only act but also focus on the prospect. Ensuring that you are “solving for the prospect” can be key to jump-​starting a stalled deal and see it through. 

And for even more tips for addressing this issue, consider these insights shared by SalesFuel. They address other potential causes, from metrics to delivery.

Photo by JESHOOTS​.com