Our five-part series entitled Selling to large organizations in complex sales cycles presents an overview as well as the elements of a successful sales strategy. This article is a bonus to round out the series— a “bonus article” as the theme here is to know when to abandon the sale with a prospective buyer as opposed to how to win it.
Not every sales process with a prospective buyer will result in a sale (although it would certainly be nice if it did). The key is to look for the signals to understand whether you are making progress or if you are simply spinning your wheels. This is certainly more of an art than a science, as there are no definitive signs. However, if enough implicit signals are coming through, it may be time to abandon ship and focus sales energies on new buyer prospects.
Halting a sales process is one of the hardest things for a salesperson to do—but your time is a precious asset and wasting that time will be detrimental to your overall success.
Signs a salesperson can watch for to see whether they are on a sinking ship that should be abandoned:
As we mentioned previously, abandoning a sales process at any stage is very difficult to do. Giving up on that investment is never a great feeling. However, investing additional time when signals suggest the process will not succeed is even worse.
Pay attention to the signs and try to be as unemotional as possible when making decisions about time and commitment.
by Jeff Bilyea