Episode Fifty-Nine

Four Mistakes That Might Be Costing You Deals (And How to Fix Them)

Guest: Nick Siddoway, Executive VP of Sales and Delivery at Primary Intelligence

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About This Episode


That’s the number of B2B sales reps that actually achieve quota year to year.

Just because your sales reps know what they need to do to seal the deal, doesn’t mean they’re actually doing it.

Solving the knowledge gap isn’t the issue. It’s solving the action.

Nick Siddoway came on The Sales Engagement podcast to talk about solving what he calls the “doing” problem.

He’s the Executive VP of Sales and Delivery at Primary Intelligence, an organization dedicated to helping sales teams reach their quotas, beat out the competition, and stay ahead of the curve.

Nick’s company recently put out the Done Differently Report. The report evaluated one thousand B2B purchase decisions that were made. The decisions were either to buy or not to buy. Primary Intelligence talked to the decision makers – they wanted to understand what drove the prospects not to buy, and they wanted to answer the question: What could the vendors have done differently to win their business?

Here’s what they learned.

The Vendors Could Have Won 36% of the Deals

Decision-makers said that, had the losing vendor done something a little differently, they would have won the deal.

So there’s a big chunk of revenue out there that companies are missing, just because of one little misstep that happened along the evaluation process.

Nick Siddoway 4 Sales Mistakes 1On the flip side, 47% of decision-makers said there’s nothing the vendor could have done to win their business.

So, the organization never really had a shot at winning about half the deals they lose anyway.

Think about the wasted time, the productivity kill that is for a sales rep missing quota, when half the deals they’re losing they shouldn’t even be pursuing in the first place.

But let’s go back to the 36% they could have won. What’s the something they could have done differently?

If you ask a sales rep why they lost a deal, they’ll say the price. But the price is really only a main driver 25% of the time. So, that’s not what most buyers are citing as the reason they walked away. Buyers love to give that excuse because it’s hard to fight – it’s hard to overcome that objection. But that’s really not the main reason why they walked away.

Another misstep centers around the product and its feature set. The buyer failed to see how the product will solve their needs.

Finally, 36% said they didn’t connect with the salesperson. The chemistry was wrong or they just simply didn’t the sales rep.

This third set of missteps is the one we will focus on here. Within this category, there are four most common sales missteps that lead to you losing a deal you could have won.

#1: Failure to Understand Buyer Needs

The Buyer’s Perception: “The salesperson talked too much” or “I didn’t feel like they understood my needs” or “I told them something and they came back with a presentation that was off base”.

The Solution: Regardless of how good you are at listening, you always need to practice it more. People don’t feel like they’re understood until you can repeat what you’ve heard.

Nick Siddoway 4 Sales Mistakes 3

Try This: Transition every conversation with, “Ok, I just want to make sure I’m tracking with you.” Then repeat what you’ve heard in a concise manner, using your own words. Then ask if you’ve missed anything and give the client an opportunity to respond.

Do this even when you leave a presentation, meeting, or call with a prospect. Send them something to summarize what you heard and what you’re doing next. Give them an opportunity to tell you what you missed.

#2: Timeliness or Quality of Your Response

The Buyer’s Perception: “I had a request, but they didn’t get back to me in time” or “I thought I communicated urgency, but they didn’t do it fast enough” or “The responded quickly, but the quality wasn’t what I was looking for.”

The Solution: Even if you don’t have an answer for them right away, let them know you’ve heard them and you’re working on it.

Try This: Say: “Just wanted to let you know that we’ve received your message. I see that you’re looking to talk with someone we’ve worked with in the past. I’m going to find you the right person, but I need to talk to them first, so I’m probably not going to give you an answer back for 48 hours. Does that work for you?”

If someone is complaining about your response time, that’s because they had a different expectation. Make sure you level the expectations.

#3: Presentation

The Buyer’s Perception: “The presentation fell flat” or “it was too one-sided”, or “it was all about the vendor and not enough about how they can solve my unique needs.”

The Solution: It’s not about you. Even though you’re demonstrating your product, it’s not about you. The buyer wants to know how you’re going to solve their problems. They don’t care about your logo, etc. There’s a time a place for that, but it’s not in this presentation.

Try This: Focus on understanding why they’re interested in you and what problems they want you to solve at the beginning of the process. This goes back to #1 – understand their unique needs and know how you can solve their problems. Then make that the center of your presentation.

#4: Salesperson Is Not Interested in Me

Buyer’s Perception: “It just felt like Joe didn’t care to win my business.”

The Solution: Fire them. Just kidding. Well, sort of.

If this is an ongoing issue with your rep, you might have a culture fit issue on your hands. But that’s a conversation for another day.

Sometimes, if reps feel like they have expertise in a certain industry, and only want deals north of $100M, they may genuinely not be interested in the prospect and their needs.

Try This: Remind your reps that every dollar counts. Every customer counts. We’re in business only because of our customers.

Nick Siddoway 4 Sales Mistakes
Maybe your customer isn’t making bit deals today. But that little company can grow. They might be acquired.

As a leader it’s your job to motivate, encourage. you’re going to have a few bad days with your reps, but make sure they’re few and far between.

This post is based on a podcast interview with Nick Siddoway from Primary Intelligence. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here

About The Podcast

The Sales Engagement podcast is the #1 podcast focused on engaging your customers and prospects in the modern sales era. This show features real-life stories and best practices from revenue leaders doing the job day in and day out, in a casual, radio-like talk show.

Each episode features modern tactics, strategies, hacks, and tips to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy and help you navigate the next generation of sales. You’ll find energetic talks that will provide you with real actionable value around building meaningful connections and creating a better selling experience through authentic conversations that you can measure.

The Sales Engagement podcast is here to help B2B sales leaders, customer success leaders, and marketing leaders innovate and usher in the next era of modern sales by building pipeline, up-selling customers, and ultimately generating more revenue with more efficiency.

Hosted by Joe Vignolo, Senior Content Managing Editor at Outreach, and Mark Kosoglow, Vice President of Sales at Outreach.

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