As a Sales VP, one of the common challenges you may face is the issue of your teams spending too much time on deals that they ultimately cannot win. This can happen for a variety of reasons, and it’s important to understand the different scenarios so you can take the appropriate action.
One situation that may arise is when your team is that you are the second or third vendor invited to bid on a deal. In these cases, you may be considered “column fodder,” meaning the buyer is simply comparing you’re offering to that of the first vendor to see if they can get a better deal with the same level of value. While it may be tempting to enter a price battle, it’s important to remember that it’s not always worth it for your brand, unless it’s a strategic move to gain a foothold with the customer.
- In situations where you are considered column fodder, it’s important to differentiate yourself by working hard to be equal before becoming different. This means changing the requirements, adding more value, and aligning better with key stakeholders in the opportunity.
Another common scenario is when your solution is a bad fit to solve the buyer’s problems. While it may be tempting to pursue any opportunity, it’s important, to be honest with yourself and your team and to focus on opportunities that are a good fit.
- To ensure you are a good fit, it’s important to conduct great discovery in your first interaction with the potential buyer, discussing their goals, current environment, potential solutions, and your ability to drive the right outcome.
Finally, there may be situations where the opportunity simply isn’t qualified. The buyer may be shopping around, but doesn’t have the authority, budget, or need to make a purchase. These situations can be dangerous to enter into because of the time and effort it takes to establish whether the opportunity is a good fit.
- In such scenarios, it’s important to ask yourself whether there is enough value in the opportunity to help the buyer create the budget or whether you will be able to access the power holders. One way to gauge this is to use engagement as a tool to see if the potential buyer will champion your solution.
In conclusion, understanding the different reasons why a deal may not be winnable can help you make more strategic decisions and avoid wasting valuable time and resources. It’s important, to be honest with yourself and your team, be aware of your standing in the deal, and always strive to add value and be the best fit for the opportunity.
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