How the company behind The Challenger Sale uses DecisionLink tools to take control of their own customer conversations.
Win/Loss analysis is a great way for a Chief Sales Officer to understand where barriers to growth might be hidden. But progressive CSOs are starting to pay closer attention to one type of loss in particular – ‘no decision’.
Recent research from Challenger revealed that 38% of B2B purchase attempts end in ‘no decision’. Looking at this number from a seller’s perspective, that’s more than a third of would-be customers taking calls, attending demos, putting out RFPs, and potentially even budgeting for purchase… who ultimately choose…not to make a purchase at all.
For over a decade, Challenger has helped hundreds of clients around the world transform their sales approach, improving seller performance and productivity. In late 2020, they engaged DecisionLink to help them build what they refer to as “confront” content.
- Confront Content: web-based tools that allow customers, as part of a learning journey, to calculate or assess the size and scope of a particular business problem or risk.
Appropriately confronting customers around their status quo thinking is central to the Challenger approach. Rather than lead with information about their products and company, high performing, “Challenger” sellers provide their customers with surprising insights about how they, the customer, can save or make money.
In this case, Challenger aims to share surprising insights with their customers (CSOs), who should be but are often not, focused on quantifying the full cost of a ‘no decision’ buying journey.
“The 38% ‘no decision’ stat is a troubling finding.” says Mike Randazzo, Sr. Marketing Director at Challenger. “A ‘No Decision’ loss reason in a CRM is common and is generally viewed as a cost of doing business for most companies. But the reality is that most ‘no decision’ cycles take nearly as long to close as a win but without a payoff. It’s pure cost. When you add up the prep, calls, requests for solutions engineering support, manager oversight, marketing support, product team support…the cost to pursue goes through the roof. Many sales leaders don’t consider what these hidden costs due to margin, cost of sale, EBTIDA – all the critical measures in this environment.”
With today’s virtual sales motion, every prospect interaction counts. The ValueCloud® Web Value Calculator from DecisionLink helps both sides of a sale, giving prospects the tools they need to quantify their pain points, understand a seller’s unique differentiation in the market, and set the foundation for a value-based conversation. On the selling side, engagement with the Web Value Calculator results in a more qualified lead, a more seamless handoff from marketing to business development and sales, and more effective and productive conversations with buyers.
ValueCloud® Web Value Calculator is a web-based, interactive value selling tool that is customizable based on a company’s unique selling situation. Prospects can generate a quantifiable report (like in the case of Challenger) that demonstrates the cost of maintaining the status quo or can quantify a project’s ROI, cost reduction, productivity improvement, or revenue growth.
All it takes are four simple inputs into Challenger’s Cost of No Decision Calculator (total # of sellers, Avg. annual bookings goal, Avg. deal size, and Avg. opportunity win rate) for the ValueCloud® Web Value Calculator to reveal the total pipeline needed to hit a revenue target…and how much of that pipeline will likely be closed-lost ‘no decision’ without some form of intervention. A custom report further breaks down the pipeline impact and total cost and provides recommendations on how to mitigate the impact. This usually involves helping sales leaders scale skills, behaviors, knowledge, and strategy to win today’s complex sale across their teams..
“High-performing sellers are more effective at pursuing the right deals and creating the right amount of urgency in the buying process to drive customer decision-making. But the average seller can struggle to build a compelling business case,” says Mike Randazzo. “That’s when you see customers revert to status quo and decline to make a decision. The cost of the solution was still greater than the perceived cost of the problem. DecisionLink allows us to better quantify and prove that status quo, accepting 38% of pipeline lost to no decision, is no longer acceptable.”
Jim Berryhill, CEO of DecisionLink, says, “Companies need to understand that they have to win two sales to win a deal. First, they must beat their competitors. Next, they have to win the internal competition. If a company has ten internal projects under consideration but can only do three, which three will they do? The one that brings the most value to the business. So, marketing and sales have to be better. Better means aligned to customers, to the value achieved, and the potential your solutions bring, and the value they lose by continuing to operate business as usual. If you can quantify that for the buyer early in the sales cycle, the business case speaks for itself.”
Are you a sales leader interested in learning how ‘no decision’ affects your pipeline? Check out Challenger’s Cost of No Decision Calculator, powered by DecisionLink, to download a free custom results report.
Challenger is dedicated to driving exceptional growth by changing behaviors in Sales, Marketing, and Service teams. Their commercial transformation programs, including message creation, skill development, and implementation support, have provided performance improvements and significant financial results to hundreds of clients around the world. Each program is supported by ongoing research and backed by our best-selling books The Challenger Sale, The Challenger Customer and The Effortless Experience.
DecisionLink’s ValueCloud® is the leading customer value management platform that supports end-to-end customer lifetime value management – from initial sales call, to realization, to renewal and beyond. The ValueCloud® self-service interface helps sales and marketing teams establish value metrics at the top of the funnel and during initial sales engagements, empowering sellers to refine, measure, track, and communicate customer value throughout the customer journey. Trusted by companies like ServiceNow, DocuSign, Marketo, VMware, CrowdStrike, and Caterpillar, DecisionLink turns customer value into a strategic asset.