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People outside of sales often scoff at the lavish prizes and hefty commission checks reps stand to earn by crushing their quotas. It doesn't seem fair that salespeople get rewarded just for doing their jobs. 

These people do not realize just how difficult it is to close a sale. Even if a prospect has a compelling need, a healthy budget, and a reason to buy now, the deal might still end in no decision. As the sales process draws to an end, buyers' resolution to purchase can weaken as doubt creeps in. Is this really the right choice? Shouldn't we think about this for a few more months? If salespeople aren't prepared to address and neutralize prospects' late stage worries, they can kiss their dreams of making quota goodbye. 

Knowing what blocks the way to a won deal from the rep's point of view can help sales and marketing leaders tweak playbooks and messaging to increase win rates. New survey research from sales training company Richardsonreflecting the opinions of over 300 B2B and B2C salespeople from a broad assortment of company sizes and industries, reveals the top three obstacles preventing reps from closing deals:

  1. Competing against a low-cost provider (30.61%)
  2. Creating a compelling case for change to prevent a "no decision" (16.89%)
  3. Positioning competing value proposition (11.87%)

It seems price is still a factor in many deals, and sales can slip through reps' fingers if they're up against a cheaper alternative. With this in mind, sales leaders might consider training (or re-training) reps on how to sell value over cost. Alternatively, they could come up with a list of acceptable discounts or freebies to offer in tough competitive situations.

The latter two items on the list could be tackled by a combined Sales and Marketing effort. In addition to adjusting marketing messaging to be more compelling and tweaking sales playbooks accordingly, sales leaders can also use this roleplay to teach salespeople a technique to create a sense of urgency in their prospect. 

Do you agree these are the top three barriers to closing deals in 2015? What prevents you from winning sales? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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Originally published May 18, 2015 7:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017

Topics:

Creating Urgency in Sales