While there are many things that impact a sales cycle, indecision can be one of the most negative. Why? Well for a number of reasons:
- it often takes a long time to reveal itself
- it is often embarrassed about itself and so disguises itself with continuations that create a false sense of momentum in the sale
- it can strike unexpectedly at the very last moment of the sales cycle when the contract has cleared everyone including legal but never gets signed
- it is constantly heavily influenced by the dynamic nature of internal and external business conditions
None of the above is news to you, I am sure, so why am I highlighting INDECISION as your biggest competitor? Well let me take a quote from a Reuters news story that appeared online this morning at 10am:
"The benchmark 10-year Treasury note, flat in early dealings, rose modestly after news that new jobless claims last week were higher than forecast and firmed again on lackluster data on regional manufacturing and home sales. It was up 7/32 in price at mid-morning, with its yield easing to 1.95 percent from 1.98 percent late on Wednesday.
On the other hand, the March leading economic indicators index rose 0.3 percent. Economists had forecast a 0.2 percent increase. The index rose 0.7 percent in February."
Huh? A couple of weeks ago there seemed to be a lot of good, leading indicators that the economy here in the US was starting to improve but in the last few days there are signs of another slowdown. And yet the quote above seems to say that some indicators are down but another set are slightly up on forecast but down on the previous month...I hope you are following me as I am beginning to confuse myself!
The point of all this is simple; how do you make decisions in a climate like this? Its like riding on the roller-coaster "Space Mountain" at Disney (which for those of you who have not had the pleasure is completely in the dark) you don't really know until the last second whether you are about to go flying down, up or around.
So it is pretty obvious to see why INDECISION has taken over as our toughest competitor. What's the solution? It really comes down to whether your sales people have the skill and business acumen to be able to demonstrate to prospective customers the imperative for taking action and the value that will be derived from it. You can only overcome INDECISION if you are credible and knowledgeable and can demonstrate that you understand their business, the sector and the constraints they are operating under. Building upon that you need to be able to work with them to uncover the issues or opportunities that have enough urgency or upside for them to take action on and then you must follow through with speed and efficiency to ensure INDECISION doesn't get a chance to reinsert itself into the process.
Vigilance is everything so go into each sales cycle with your eyes and ears open, watching and listening for the tell tale signs of INDECISION because believe you me, it's lurking there somewhere...