Adoption rates of hosted telephony are increasing as SMEs look to reduce the costs and complexities of business telephony. Here are the top three reasons why you may see deals go from 90% on the forecast to 5% at the last minute.
They are still in contract
They have reviewed potential suppliers, had a demo and were pleased with the proposal, but realised that they are still in contract with their existing supplier. There were significant cancellation charges, which is why the sale was lost. This puts the existing supplier in a good position to negotiate a reduction in fees by upgrading the system themselves and takes you out of the running. When quoting a new opportunity, it is important, to check the existing supplier contract for penalties to save everyone time.
Decided to stay with the old platform
Customers are resistant to change and although the financials make sense, the team may not be completely on-board with the perceived hassle of moving phone systems. It is important at this stage to understand the resistance and where it is coming from. If it’s the Office Manager for example, sit with him/her and talk about their day to day concerns and see if you can allay fears. Demonstrate new functionality to encourage advocates rather than resistors. Ensure the new system meets all the requirements of the old system and involve the right people in the changeover process and the deal could be salvaged.
Beaten by a cheaper alternative
Alternative suppliers are invited to pitch at the latter stages of negotiation and have come in at a lower price. You are wondering if the customer is using them as a tool to get a better deal, but before you start chipping away at your margin, analyse the competitive bid. Often a cheaper price means less functionality. Check to see what functionality is included and if any ‘Must-have’ requirements have been missed. Often when competitive bids are broken down by feature, the lower price is more expensive when you factor in all the elements. By reassuring your customer that they have the best possible platform at the best possible pricing from you, the deal may be won.