Navigating Buyer Indecision: Overcoming FOMU in SaaS Sales
Is your sales team frequently losing deals at the last minute? You're not alone. In today's uncertain economic landscape, this is a common issue. But the question is, are we focusing on the right problems? Let's explore this in detail.
Our sales teams face an uphill battle in this volatile market, with win rates declining across industries. A key factor causing this downturn is a new challenge that buyers face, one that we've struggled to address successfully until now.
⚖️ The Conundrum of Lost Deals
Renowned author of The Challenger Sale, Matt Dixon, in his latest book The Jolt Effect, utilised AI to scrutinise over 2.5 million sales call transcripts. This investigation unearthed a fascinating discovery that completely upended conventional thinking about sales.
Generally, late-stage deal losses occur for three reasons:
1 - Competition: Buyers choose a solution similar to yours.
2 - Substitution: They decide to solve their problem differently, bypassing a SaaS solution.
3 - Status Quo: They opt not to solve the problem at all, sticking with their existing situation.
However, Dixon discovered a fourth cause—indecision.
🤷 Understanding Indecision
The term 'indecision' accounts for a whopping 87% of at-risk deals. But what is indecision exactly?
Simply put, indecision is when buyers don't make a decision at all. Unlike maintaining the status quo, which is an active choice (albeit an unconventional one), indecision signifies a complete lack of action. It often occurs when a buyer questions:
1 - If they've made the right choice.
2 - If they've done adequate research and gathered the correct information.
3 - If the solution will deliver the results they're paying for.
Upon facing these queries, most salespeople resort to time-tested methods to handle buyer objections. They'll discuss FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt), possible ROI loss due to delay, or even FOMO (fear of missing out). Unfortunately, these techniques don't necessarily address the root cause of indecision.
🙈 The Real Challenge: FOMU
What if the actual issue isn't FOMO, but FOMU—Fear Of Messing Up?
In the current economic climate, the perceived repercussions of making an incorrect decision (reputational damage at best, job loss at worst) can appear more daunting to a buyer than not deciding at all. Consequently, they refrain from decision-making, and you lose the deal.
🛠️ Counteracting FOMU
The good news is that you can confront FOMU and leverage it to your benefit. It’s currently what distinguishes top-tier salespeople in today's economy.
When you detect signs of FOMU, as indicated in the three questions above, it's time to activate the JOLT method—a four-step strategy to mitigate indecision and advance the deal:
1 - Judge Indecision: Ask targeted questions to initiate a conversation around the buyer's indecision. Determine if they're lacking value, information, or a clear outcome.
2 - Offer Guidance: Respond to the concerns discovered during your questioning. Emphasise your daily interactions with similar solutions and their occasional dealings, leveraging your expertise.
3 - Limit Exploration: Excessive information can be as paralysing as insufficient data. Provide them with a single report or data point to assist them in making the correct decision.
4 - Take Risk Off The Table: To address concerns about not receiving the promised results, minimise risk and break down their commitment. For example, implementing a proof of concept at this stage could be highly effective.
Remember, no one likes to feel like they're being sold to, but everyone enjoys the process of making a confident purchase. Employ the JOLT method to instil confidence in your buyers about their decisions, and you'll find the benefits are reciprocal.
💪 JOLT into action
Navigating the labyrinth of buyer indecision can be challenging. Yet, understanding and addressing FOMU could be the game-changer your sales team needs to boost their win rates, even in today's economic uncertainty.
Remember, being in sales is not just about pushing for a deal; it's about understanding your buyer's fears and doubts, helping them navigate through those, and offering them a solution that truly serves their needs.
Stay tuned for more insightful updates to help you elevate your sales strategy and performance. You've got this!