What Should you do when a Prospect Meeting does not Convert?
Finally, your sales representative secured a meeting with a prospect. After that hard work contacting and following up, your sales team is rounding third and heading for home prepared to have a successful prospect meeting.
But, something happens between third base and home plate. Perhaps the third base coach misread the play, the timing was wrong, or you were tagged out. It may feel like a big loss in the moment, but your sales team needs to learn what to do when a prospect meeting does not convert and how to utilize that information to your company’s benefit.
That information should always be recorded in your CRM to better understand prospects in your target market. Also, consider using the ProSales Connection Database Management service and take these actions to turn a loss into a win.
1. Prospect is Not a Fit
Unfortunately, there are times when your sales team discovers that a prospect is not a fit for your product or solution too late in the process.
At the prospect meeting, it becomes apparent that this particular prospect does not fit the target customer profile.
For example, if your company sells software that supports a service ticketing system for the IT department and you discover during the meeting that the prospect actually does not have an internal IT Help Desk, they are not a fit. Your sales rep should have discovered that information prior to setting a meeting, but there was an oversight.
This is not a wasted afternoon or lunch, though, if your team turns the loss into a win. Maybe this particular company plans to change leadership and restructure the IT Department, so it’s possible they will be a fit in the near future. The key is to record this information in your marketing database and either remove this client from future marketing programs or schedule a follow-up call for a time in the future when you think your solution may be a better fit.
You should always take advantage of the opportunity to build a better understanding of your target market. This deeper knowledge of your industry will allow you to ask more informed questions to future prospects in the same industry.
2. Prospect Meeting does not Convert due to Timing
In this case, you confirm the fit during the prospect meeting. But, something is off with the timing.
Carrying over our previous example, perhaps the prospect doesn’t have an IT Help Desk, but they are growing rapidly and could potentially have a need to establish that department within their company. They may even be interested in hearing some best practices about the employee to IT team ratio to properly create a business case for creating their Help Desk team and required tool set (i.e. software).
The key is to strategize a nurturing program to stay top-of-mind with the prospect. The prospect was a fit and showed interest in your solution, but they simply cannot implement it right now.
We have found that too many sales teams are not nurturing. In fact, statistics from MarketingSherpa via Hubspot indicate that 65 percent of B2B marketers have not established a lead nurturing program. If your team is not nurturing, consider making a change to increase the possibility of follow-up sales.
The second part of staying top-of-mind is developing an effective cadence to your follow-up program. Perhaps it’s an email next month, a phone call in two months, and a social media contact in-between. Make sure your team establishes multi-channel contact with the prospect.
The goal is to stay on the prospect’s radar so that when their business changes and the timing is right for your product, they will immediately turn to your company as the trusted provider.
3. How to Respond When a Prospect Chooses Competitor
So, you have confirmed fit and the timing is right for your product or solution. But, the prospect decides to choose a competitor. It feels like you were tagged out at the plate and your competitor is dancing on the field.
But, a true sales professional will form a response to turn this into a win for the company. It starts with not asking the prospect to reconsider, which could come across as desperate. Instead, your sales team needs to ask the right questions to get a better understanding of why the prospect chose the competitor.
Information that your sales team obtains from asking good questions should be placed in your CRM. This will sharpen your company’s approach to prospecting to have a better chance of converting the next prospect.
This also creates an opportunity to offer a solution the client may need just before or after the competitor’s product is implemented. Perhaps the prospect only thought about the specific event and not what needs to happen beforehand to have a smooth transition or afterward to ensure operational efficiency.
If your company does not specialize in a pre or post-implementation product, then consider bringing in another business that the prospect can utilize. Your networked partner will appreciate the opportunity to gain more business and likely reciprocate when the roles are reversed.
The Right Mindset is key when Meetings do not Convert
The sales team must understand that the sales process never really ends until your sales team hears a definitive “no” or until the prospect is converted to a client.
There is also a tremendous amount of information that can be gleaned from each step of the prospecting process. Even if a prospect meeting does not convert, the information will improve your company’s chances of converting the next prospect.
It’s about having the right mindset to see every interaction as an opportunity. If your sales team does not see it that way, make sure they understand the importance of learning when they do not make it to home plate.
As a sales leader, one of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to take the time to ask: “Why did we lose?” and “What did we learn?” This type of discussion can lead to giant breakthroughs in productivity and market awareness.
Overall, developing a targeted marketing database should be the foundation of your sales and marketing efforts. Take the opportunity to learn more about how ProSales Connection can help your company with Database Management. Our team of skilled experts will help you establish a database or leverage your existing database to build more effective marketing campaigns that will improve your prospect meeting conversion rate.