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Top reasons for deal failure that can be easily fixed

It’s one thing to have trouble enticing new customers to your product. But what’s even worse is when you have their attention… only for your deal to fall through. 

Or perhaps you do close the deal, only for it to fall short of profitability benchmarks. 

We’ve compiled a list of common reasons for deal failure. Fix these issues, and your win rates will improve, average order value (AOV) increase, time to market decrease and order fallout disappear. 


1. Price is not competitive

Too many deals are lost due to non-competitive pricing.

Pricing is a complex and challenging topic for B2B telcos - exacerbated by rapid changes in the market1 - and require an agile approach. This is further exacerbated when including 3rd party products and services into your catalog of offerings. 

Many organizations implement a strict pricing model, only allowing changes to be made to the price through formal approval processes. Unfortunately, if sales reps have to get constant approval at various stages the sales cycle becomes frustratingly slow. 

Many other organizations allow more flexibility towards their sales reps and managers, but end up creating a trade-off. By introducing flexibility to the discount process, control on margin is impacted, however the ability to close and win deals is faster. This trade-off is real and always exists.

To strike a cohesive balance between pricing, discounting and an efficient approval process, organizations need to eliminate cumbersome manual processes, and replace them with automated systematic processes. Empowering product managers to adjust pricing inline with market demands, coupled with a strong sales empowerment framework will see your business grow and staff satisfaction increase. 


2. Quoting process is unprofessional

A common scenario we all see in businesses is sales representatives going back and forth with prospects via email and phone calls as they prepare a formal quote. However, like most businesses today, they lack the ability to track and trace these conversations and get snippets of information that the customer is really interested in. The process is also often fragmented and the true ability to qualify the core details of the customer is harder, especially if products and services are complex. 

Organizations want to be able to qualify in or out quickly, as deals can take up considerable amounts of time and resources. B2Bs are often faced with complex requirements where customers are not aware of the overall cost, thus being able to provide high level indicative quotes allows businesses to qualify in or out rapidly. 

It’s imperative that sales reps provide a budgetary quote to a client to ensure the deal is viable, and do so fast. The complexity of deals and pricing, not to mention the manual nature of approval discount processes, slows down the whole sales cycle. Building the basket and getting the pricing approval is another challenge in itself.  

We all know time kills all deals. Any delay in providing price, or being able to truly qualify the customer on requirements, budget and timeline quickly will result in risk to winning. You may find yourself quoting something that has changed 3 times, whilst your competitor has been guiding the customer to their solution as their turnaround time was hours and days as opposed to weeks and months.


3. “Frankenstein” quotes

The customer demand has changed and sales cannot just quote on single products or simple solutions. They are now quoting detailed solutions for customers that solve core business problems. These are often complicated and require multiple products to work together in one ecosystem. This becomes challenging for the sales representative as they often have to work with other 3rd party vendors and other technical people to ensure the solution is right for the customer's business outcome. 

The general process is often cumbersome for the sales rep but also transpires into a disorganized perception, as there are often many individual quotes, multiple items that don’t make sense to the customer, and the presentation is generally very poor.

The net result is that organizations lose deals that they shouldn’t because the customer loses trust and confidence. 


4. Product launch delayed

With more complexity built into new products every year and customer expectations rising, organizations are under pressure to ensure quick and seamless launches.

Gartner recently found that 45% of all product launches are delayed2, due to lack of formal processes. Additionally, systems, catalogs, platforms and spreadsheets don't always work in harmony leading to delays in launches, price changes and promotions. A lack of integration and coordination between business units can make it difficult to create a cohesive customer experience.

Systems need to be able to communicate with each other. Without this, it becomes complex and difficult to make changes between systems. Transparency and visibility across unified systems are vital for a timely product launch3, as they reduce the risk of product delays, improving time-to-market, sometimes even from months to days.

Bottom line, organizations lose deals when they are unable to launch new products and provide sufficient pricing to the market quickly. 


5. Excessively complex processes

An overly complex business and pricing process will often blur the ability to measure the true profitability of a deal.

The lack of clarity and control in the overall sales processes and pricing management forms a major roadblock. Once again you are faced with a dilemma; delay the quote in order to manually calculate the profitability at the risk of losing deals, or allow reps to have more freedom at the risk of a higher quantity of unprofitable deals. Neither is satisfactory. 

So why can’t you have both control and flexibility?


So what is the solution?

The answer lies in the BSS/ sales tech stack. An organization’s CRM, CPQ and commercial order management system will determine the level of control, clarity and efficiency they have when it comes to pricing and quoting.

Whilst having the correct tools in place is important to go-to-market fast, and ensure your deals don’t collapse or fail, having the latest and greatest technology only goes so far. 

Maintaining a motivated sales team is just as important as giving them the tools to ensure deals don't collapse. Current trends in the market are showing that telcos and techcos are moving away from having to use several different applications to simplify their processes. Sales teams want to minimize the number of touchpoints they have with systems in order to create quotes quickly. 

Organizations need to ensure that they not only have the tools that can provide useful insights, but that said tools are motivating sales teams and encouraging your customers to continually grow and be loyal with your business. 

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Sources: 1, Linkedin, 2017; 2, Gartner, 2019; 3, Forbes, 2019