The Cacheflow Blog

How To Avoid Momentum Loss in B2B Sales Cycles

December 19, 2022 3:32 PM
James Urie
Partnerships at Close

So you just hopped off a demo and absolutely crushed it. You as the sales rep were spot on your game, the buyer was fully engaged, and the alignment between you, the buyer, and your product or service was just right. 

In the moment, it feels like this big-time momentum can't die. In reality? It can and it will if you don't maintain that momentum.

So, how do you make sure you keep moving forward and prevent the deal from slipping?

Did you and the buyer dictate what happens next? 

Yes, the classic “next steps” move in sales. As cliche as it may be, it's critical to make sure you and your buyer have established what happens next, especially when you have momentum and the stars have aligned for the close. 

A scheduled next call is necessary but not good enough. In fact, this could be the biggest momentum killer. “Let's get something on the books for next Tuesday to keep things moving.” Tuesday is going to come around and if nothing happens between then, there's a good chance the buyer has lost their excitement for your product or service and they reschedule because it's not a priority, then reschedule again until they are no longer responsive. 

Instead, be candid with your buyer, when the stars have aligned and acknowledge that. “I feel like this call went really well and the stars have aligned for both of us, how do we keep the momentum to get this across the finish line?” Let the buyer layout what maintaining momentum looks like and then you, the sales rep, should create an action plan to maintain that momentum. 

When I was a sales rep, one of my favorite lines was, “What will make this decision a no-brainer for you and your team, and how do we work together to make everyone else feel like it's a no-brainer?” This question will give you the golden ticket for maintaining momentum. 

Create an action plan after the demo and make sure you know what will help you and the buyer maintain momentum

When you and the buyer have agreed on what maintaining momentum looks like, follow up and follow through with what you told them the action plan entailed. 

In your follow up:

  1. Make the conversation with their team easy by sending material to the buyer that highlights the “no-brainer” elements of why they plan to move forward. These should be short bullet points, not a lengthy novel. A nice touch is sending along a recorded video (Loom, Vidyard, Sendspark, etc) that reviews your call, no brainers, and action plan to finish this project. 
  2. Pricing and the path to move forward should be clear and easy as well. 
  3. Keep the communication hot and don’t overthink the communication. Make sure there is a meaningful touch point within 1 or 2 days after the call. 
  4. Anything you promised in your action plan, acknowledge and deliver in your follow up. 

What is a meaningful touch point? A meaningful touch point is solid and drives your action plan forward. This touch point can be a phone call, an SMS, or an email. A move that I found effective, reply off your first email with another video recording. The body of email could simply read:

“One quick thing to point out” — Then embed your video recording in your email. 

Make sure that you point out how you continue to drive the project forward. Point out the pricing details in the proposal, casually mention where to sign, what happens after they sign, and how you plan to onboard their team. MAKE IT EASY FOR THEM. 

Did you schedule that second “Closing Call”? 

Yes, it is cliche and necessary to schedule a next step, the important thing is you fill the space with meaningful interactions between the closing call. You should also try not to push out that closing call more than a week from your first call. Make it happen as soon as you can in a non-pushy way. Ask the buyer, “Are you opposed to scheduling a second call 2 days from now, so we can keep this fresh in our mind and maintain momentum?”

If they can’t schedule that soon, simply ask them for the soonest that they would be available. You could say: “I’m in sales and I know how quickly momentum dies if we both allow it to, what's the soonest you’d be able to connect so this is all fresh in our mind still?”

What if I forgot to schedule a 2nd call after the demo? Call them on the phone right away, acknowledge that you forgot to schedule a 2nd call, and poke some fun at disregarding one of the fundamental rules of sales. It will make you look human and trustworthy. 

How do I maintain that momentum once I get to the 2nd call?

Assuming you have had meaningful touch points between this call, you should have a plan of what needs to happen on that call. You can also outline this action plan as an agenda in the meeting invite. 

Be precise and prescriptive on the call. Once everyone has joined the call, waste no time. Jump into and control the flow of the meeting. 

  1. Reiterate the agreed upon “no-brainer” points of why this decision makes sense. 
  2. Outline what happens next if they become customers. 
  3. Ask if they need to cover pricing. 
  4. Ask if they have follow up questions to cover. 
  5. Ask them if they are opposed to moving the project forward and moving to an onboarding plan. 
  6. If yes, guide them to sign the contract and/or outline next steps. Again, make this easy for them. 
  7. If no, make damn sure you get an answer why and what needs to happen next as a result of that objection. You can keep momentum by giving them a solid solution to the objection if you have them. Consider integration partners or solutions partners you can leverage to overcome objections if your product cannot. 
  8. If you don’t have a solution to the objection, then maybe they are not going to become a good customer and you say your goodbyes. This happens in sales and you do not want to convert unhappy customers that will churn. 

Wrap up 

When a demo goes well, it's your job as the sales rep to maintain the momentum from that call. 

  • Make sure to make an action plan of what happens next before the first call ends.
  • Schedule the 2nd call with an acknowledgement of why that call is happening.
  • Create value in between your 2nd call by making next steps and the path forward easy.
  • Be precise and prescriptive on the second call and make meaningful moves forward on that call. 
About the author
James Urie

James Urie is a salesperson turned partnerships leader, after he saw the clear need to establish a partnerships program at Close. Since taking over partnerships, James has been focused on growing the Close affiliate program, startups program, service partners, and expanding tech partnerships to help drive new leads to Close and support existing leads and customers.