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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

Failing To Do This One Action Stalled The Sale

stalled sales process

You've met with a prospect several times and this person also happens to be the CEO of the business. Score!

You've built a great rapport, they've shared challenges with you, and you've developed the perfect solution. You're really getting excited about the opportunities that are unfolding!

It's all going perfect, until you hear...

“This is great, but I’ll need to talk it over with my team.”  

New call-to-actionTeam? What team?

You've met many times before this moment, and there was a team?! How could you have not known this? 

You were so confident that you had done everything to move this in the right direction. But, you failed to do one critical thing you never asked about who was involved in the decision-making process.

After all, you were speaking with the CEO, the highest level at the company. It had never crossed your mind that there were others involved.

Because you only focused on the decision maker and not the actual decision-making process, you just stalled the sales process.

A Lesson Learned

You can learn a valuable lesson from this. Such as, how important it's to understand the landscape of a company, and to ask questions about the decision-making process early on so you can understand how decisions are made.

In this case, while the CEO was impressed, he still needed to discuss with the decision influencers his brand manager, his COO, and his sales manager.  A simple question during our first or second meeting like, “If we did a program like we have been discussing, who else would need to be involved in the process?” could have changed everything.

Had you asked this question early on, you could have had those individuals involved in the process from the beginning, and in doing so, would have gotten to a “yes” faster.  

Uncover Decision Influencers

While the decision maker might make the final decision, it’s important to know, and involve, others that might play a supporting role in the process. Once you know the players, you can consider how to incorporate them into your sales process.

It’s important to understand who makes the ultimate decision, but also make sure to learn about the decision-making process.

Who are the influencers of this decision? These are the people that have a say (or play a role) in the final decision. 

Uncover the decision influencers and decision makers early on, and understand their decision-making process . If you do this, they can lend support to increase your chances of making the sale rather than blocking or stalling it.

eliminate objections in your proposals

*Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in 2018 and has seen been updated.


Topics: sales process sales training prospecting