Focus on ROI: the high cost of doing nothing (1/2)

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Focus on ROI: the high cost of doing nothing (1/2)

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In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing – Theodore Roosevelt

It is well recognised that one of the top challenges (if not THE top challenge) faced by partners in a CRM sales process is “no decision”. It is in fact our biggest competitor. For a sales person, no decision” is in fact a worse outcome than an outright “no”, for two reasons:

  1. You can’t really kill the lead, as there is still the “possibility” it “may” close at some point in the future. Unfortunately this prevents a sales rep from cleaning up his/her pipeline and improving the “lead to close” conversion rate.
  2. Secondly, there is an obligation to return to this “prospect” and go through the whole process again! This is a time killer.

To get around this obstacle we are going to focus on ROI as the tool to drive a decision – one way or the other. In this first blog (of two) we will attempt to understand the reasons why some buyers are incapable of being decisive. What are the ingrained justifications for retaining the status quo? And how can we argue against them?

8 Reasons a buyer may say “pass”…for now

1.      Doing nothing means I won’t make a mistake

  • Diagnosis: You are allowing outside forces control the future.
  • Counter-argument: Doing nothing is a decision – by default. When under pressure, it may be tempting to run for cover, however it is crucial to remain master of your own fate. So why not take back control, today?

2.      If I do nothing, it will cost nothing

  • Diagnosis: This is no more than a rational conclusion reached by someone who wants to remain comfortable.
  • Counter-argument: By remaining in this position, the pain that may already exist in your business will get worse and worse, until eventually the decision you will have to make will cost more and hurt more than if you had made it early. You need to identify what these pain points might be and act today.

3.      If I don’t make a decision, and something bad happens, I can’t be faulted

  • Diagnosis: I don’t want to be responsible or accountable
  • Counter-argument: Wrong. You did make a choice. You chose not to act. Doing nothing creates a false sense of security. Doing nothing can turn out to be the worst choice for an organization. Market forces, competitor actions, changes in technology, key people moving on – any combination of these will happen to your business at some point. So what are you going to do about it, today?

4.      If I let things ride as they are, I save time. I’m too busy

  • Diagnosis: These are false savings.
  • Counter-argument: New initiatives will consume time, cost money, and take effort. The question is this: Is this new investment less painful or less costly than doing things exactly as you currently do?

5.      If I keep the status quo, everyone will know what to do / what the policies are / what programs are in place

  • Diagnosis: Doing nothing can in fact create more confusion
  • Counter-argument: Have you tested that the tasks people do, the policies that are in place, the programs that are running….make sense to begin with? Are these well understood by your team? Why not test these out and see if there are more effective alternatives?

6.      We’re in a leading position. Why bother to make a change now? We’ve got lots of time if necessary when the signs seem to point towards change.

  • Diagnosis: Living with a false sense of security. No competitive position lasts forever.
  • Counter-argument: This could be an expensive choice. Doing nothing can allow the organisation to drift aimlessly such that it becomes extremely challenging to react to a change in circumstances. It’s much easier to change a winning team than a losing one.

7.      If I make a choice to change, there’s no guarantee it will work

  • Diagnosis: You want the reward, without the risk. This isn’t realistic.
  • Counter-argument: Yes, there are no guarantees, however you must put yourself in the best position possible to take control over your own situation. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive.

8.      We must make our current approach/software/process work.

  • Diagnosis: This assumes that what you currently do is right, or the most effective.
  • Counter-argument: Why not test some alternative options? Firstly clarify assumptions and look at the decisions that have created the current situation. This could be based on strategy, operations, economic, cultural etc. Thereafter new decisions can be taken to move on.

As you can see, there is always a good reason “not to act”. In the next blog we’ll look at a straight-forward ROI tool to help focus the conversation on “value”. By focusing on tangible returns, it is much easier for buyers to reach a decisive conclusion on what’s best for their business.

How have you tackled “no decision”? Why not share below or elsewhere on the community.

Good luck!