May 22, 2020

How to prevent deals from falling apart at the finish line

Mark Fershteyn
CEO & Co-founder

You’ve spent the last six months trying to close a deal. After countless back-and-forth emails and zoom calls, you’re finally there. This is it!

But at the last minute you hit an unexpected delay. That slight delay turns into weeks. Suddenly, you’re no longer a top priority.

And just like that...your deal is dead.

We’ve all been there. In fact, studies show that nearly a third of all deals fall apart after a verbal agreement.

Now more than ever, you simply can’t afford to lose a deal. Especially in the last mile after months of hard work.

We compiled our top 5 tips to help you during this difficult time, so you can take control and prevent deals from falling apart at the finish line.

#1 - Keep the momentum going

After analyzing more than 20,000 deals from discovery to close, the Recapped team found that momentum is the single most important metric for predicting a deal’s success.

We found that once momentum is gone, for any reason, your chances of closing a deal drop exponentially.

You can keep momentum going by ending every interaction with clear next steps, and a calendar invite. Every meeting should end with another meeting scheduled and planned, even if it’s tentative.

But just showing up to these meetings isn’t enough. You also need to drive value every interaction.

This means no “just checking in” or “just looping back around”! Share articles, case studies, or news stories that your buyer can benefit from.

#2 - Make it ridiculously easy to say "yes"

Why do you think Amazon, the e-commerce giant, has been so successful? Not only do they have a great selection of products, but you can literally buy something with one click.

Buying your product should be as easy as humanly possible. Can you imagine providing that level of care and support through the entire buyer journey?

Friction is created every time your buyer has to search through their inbox, look through slack, or get information from another stakeholder. This friction kills deals!

Harvard Business Review concluded that teams who simplify their buying process will close up to 62% more business!

Consolidate everything in one place so it’s as easy as possible for your buyers. Every contract, every case study, and every piece of collateral should be in one place and easy to find.

#3 - Map out the entire buyer journey

Remember that this could be the first time your buyer is making this kind of purchase. The entire process could be new to them, and they could have a million questions.

To really prevent deals from falling apart at the finish line, you need to work with your buyer to collaboratively create a “Mutual Action Plan” or “Mutual Success Plan”.

By creating these plans collaboratively with your buyer, you’re holding their hand and guiding them through the entire process. This lets you easily map your sales process to their buying process.

Misalignment between buyers and sellers is one of the biggest reasons deals fall apart at the finish line.

Collaborate together and create a checklist of next steps that need to be done by both parties, with clear owners and specific due dates.

Create tasks for prospects to complete in

Our data shows that buyers are 65% more likely to complete a task when their name is assigned to it with a deadline.

Don’t just map out the next few steps! Walk buyers through the entire journey. Guide them all the way through successful onboarding, and success with your offering.

Creating Mutual Action Plans is especially vital in complicated deals with multiple stakeholders and moving parts.

#4 - Figure out every possible roadblock

By creating a Mutual Action Plan with your buyer, you’ll inevitably figure out some potential roadblocks and objections.

But it’s important to dig deeper and figure out every possible pothole that could come up along the way. Who else needs to be involved? When do they want to go live? What needs to happen for this to be successful?

“Hope for the best, plan for the worst.”
- Lee Child

Feel free to use these questions the next time you're speaking with your buyer:

  • “Could you see anything potentially derailing these next steps?”
  • "Is this initiative supported by the executive team? Why or why not?”
  • “The last time you implemented a solution similar to ours, did any unforeseen roadblocks come up?
  • or simply… “What could go wrong?”

#5 - Multi-thread your stakeholders

In today’s environment, the average B2B deal has 7.2 stakeholders that have to sign off and give their approval.

That means it’s your job to create consensus between the different stakeholders and departments.

Having only one point of contact is one of the most common reasons deals fall apart.

The larger the deal, the more stakeholders you want to be in contact with. This means asking for introductions early on in the process, and being diligent about having multiple conversations in parallel.