Any experienced sales professional will tell you that closing deals are the most daunting task at events and trade shows. By no means do they have it easy. They are usually under a tremendous amount of pressure to maximize sales and close deals within a span of the average three-day event. And more often than not, sales professionals persuade a number of deals that are unlikely to yield outcomes. This means that they have very little time to analyze what went wrong with deals that fell through and what they need to do to rectify these steps.
In our previous blog, we touched upon five signs to look out for that could indicate that your deal might fall through. In this blog, we look at five reasons that could tell you why your deal may not happen.
#1 The lack of interest
In many cases, marketing and sales work in silos trying to reel in as many leads and maximize the impact of these interactions. And often, they fail to align what they have to offer with the prospect’s actual needs. This can result in either forcing the product to fit or pitching to customers that simply do not have a need for the product. This may also be because the messaging was ambiguous and may have led the prospect to misunderstand the capabilities and scope of the product.
How you can avoid this? As easy as it sounds, the most important thing to remember is that precise messaging and careful qualification can save you a ton of wasted efforts. One way of sharpening your messaging and targeting is by aligning sales and marketing teams together. According to a study by Hubspot, organizations that do this are able to achieve a 20% annual growth. Sales can help Marketing teams identify prospects that are a closer fit to the company’s ideal customer. This can help them focus on opportunities that can impact their top-line.
#2 The lack of intent
Prospects often spend a lot of time exploring and understanding the latest innovations in their industry. Although this might seem ideal, most prospects do not approach this with actual buying intent. They could just be browsing to find something interesting or may not be ready to make a commitment because of various reasons. And many marketers may mistake this interest in the product with the intent to buy. But how do marketers assess these situations and isolate those opportunities that are more likely to end up in a successful business opportunity? One way of doing this is by asking questions that play directly to that. Since marketers are the first line of contact for prospects, they need to be able to pick on subtle cues to gauge interest and intent levels among prospects. This can separate those attendees that are genuinely interested in buying the product from those looking around.
#3 The lack of influence
Attendees prefer to talk to people with influence rather than sit through superficial conversations. According to a study by CEIR, an approximate 80% of prospects that frequent the exhibitor’s floor have buying authority or the ability to influence deal closure. This means that a majority of attendees have the potential to buy your product and are at various levels of readiness. In such cases, it becomes extremely important to engage with them efficiently and ensure that every interaction or meeting pushes them one step closer to the purchase decision. In order to do this, the right people need to be present.
Having the right people present in a sales meeting can help cut short the sales cycle by 20%. And it is always recommended to have your C-suite executives to engage with attendees that are CXOs and VPs. This ensures that they can network with people of the same level as them and ease attendees into a sales conversation as and when the opportunity comes up.
#4 The lack of authority
Ideally, marketers prefer talking to prospects that have a certain amount of freedom to make decisions. As mentioned previously (see #3), this may not happen in about 20% of cases. You have probably heard prospects tell you that they need to consult with their higher-ups for approvals. This is because, in some cases, prospects do not have the authority to make a purchase decision. In such cases, having them sit through a presentation and expecting them to make a purchase decision is going to be a futile effort unless they are the end users.
Typically, attendees are a mix of end users, influencers, and decision makers. For obvious reasons, you want people who are capable of signing the check and closing the deal involved in meetings. Designations are sometimes indicators of the authority. By engaging with decision makers, it becomes significantly easier to shorten the sales cycle and close the deal.
#5 The lack of timing
Timing plays a crucial role in sales at events. There have been a number of instances where sales have wowed prospects, engaged with their C-suite executives, and even presented a sales pitch only to hear the three dreaded words that every sales professional hates – not right now.
There may not be a way to avoid this, but a way to prevent this from happening is by indulging in a bit of research. It is important to note that prospects may be unwilling to commit when the event is closer to the end of the fiscal year. This may be because of a lack of budget allocation. In such cases, prospects will probably ask you to revisit the opportunity at the start of the next fiscal year. It is advisable to initiate a nurturing email campaign to subtly remind them of your product and keep them informed when they are ready to actually buy.
Selling at events is not as simple a process as it seems. There are a number of elements that come together to successfully close the deal. The points discussed above are just a handful of possible reasons why a deal may have fallen through. As a thumb rule, ensure you schedule the next meeting before the end of the first one. This gives you control over the process and shows the prospect that you want to keep the conversation moving.
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