Research has shown that 70-80% of online shoppers are abandoning their purchases in their shopping cart. This started me thinking about how many salespeople are also being left in the shopping cart as their prospects decide to “think it over” and ultimately never buy.
The Marketing Mind Blog did an excellent job of covering the retail marketing implications of this trend. The research cited that a consumer can have many reasons to wait to complete an order including shopping anxiety, comparison shopping, and wanting to read reviews. Looking at some of the reasons consumers are hesitating can help you understand why your prospects may not be completing the sale.
Here are a few lessons that can be applied to B2B salespeople in closing the sale:
- Specific Value: Consumers buy when they believe the product offers value specific to their situation. Commodities are not an urgent purchase. Have you demonstrated that your proposal offers specific value focused on the real need of your prospect?
- Buyer Anxiety: Buying anything has an associated feeling of risk. Has your prospect been involved throughout the creation of the proposal? Are you presenting what we refer to as a “No-Surprise Proposal” where the prospect recognizes some of their ideas? Ideas that you have developed based on their input.
- Comparison Shopping: Here we go back to specific value. Is your solution an off-the-shelf package, which makes comparison-shopping irresistible? Or, is your proposal based on specific value that aligns the needs of the prospect with the capabilities of your own unique resources?
- Want to Read Reviews: When an online purchase stalls, it’s often because they want to know more about the product. When your prospect stalls, it is often because they want to know more about both you and your product. In direct sales, you are part of your product or service. Have you demonstrated that you are someone who is trusted and valued by your other clients? Does your online profile (perhaps on LinkedIn) offer the prospect a way to learn more about you?
- Reminders: After abandoning an online shopping cart, consumers expect to be reminded by email about their potential purchase. How is your follow up? Are you making calls to “check in?” or are you following up with valid business reasons that further demonstrate your specific value?
Looking at our own buying habits is always a great place to understand the buying behavior of our own clients and prospects. Addressing the 5 areas above will help keep you from being left in the shopping cart.
If you manage a sales team, you need to ask these questions.
Download this .pdf to help you assess your sales organization.