Closing Deals in 2024… Mission Impossible? (How to Sell to an Uneducated Buyer)

This blog was written by Zach Golden, Director of Client Management at Anova.

The single biggest challenge of selling today is not selling, it is actually our customers’ struggle to buy.”

That quote from Gartner probably sums up a lot of what B2B sales teams are currently feeling.

Sales leaders that Anova talks to are constantly scratching their heads over an increasingly frustrating phenomenon: the no decision.

Why is that? What is causing more sales processes to stall? The list is long, but a few key factors are:

  • Too new to be confident: Rampant employee turnover over the past few years has left many “decision makers” in a situation where they are too new in their organization to feel comfortable deciding what is best for their new team.
  • Too many cooks in the kitchen: There is safety in “group think”, and so those new decision makers have tried to de-risk their decision making and divided up their responsibility amongst multiple stakeholders. It is not uncommon for prospects Anova interviews to admit to buying committees at their company of more than ten people.
  • Too many choices: Deals are increasingly competitive for a variety of reasons. The increasing influence procurement departments have in evaluations means more vendors need to be considered, and competitive landscapes in many industries are rapidly expanding with new entrants. All of this means more sales teams are getting an opportunity to talk to buyers, leading to massive indecision.

For an individual seller though, all those factors are out of their control.

Still, the first thing a seller needs to recognize is the importance of accountability. As the old saying goes: it isn’t about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand.

A seller can’t make the buyer more experienced in their role, but they can help the buyer be more confident in moving forward by clearly outlining what the risks of not making a decision are.

A seller can’t tell a buyer to limit the number of people in their buying committee, but they can build trust through impressive business acumen and understanding of the buyer’s company / business problems so that the buyer doesn’t feel like they need to bring in other perspectives as well.

A seller can’t tell a buyer not to evaluate their competition, but they can differentiate effectively and share social proof of customers who have switched over to their product from competitors a buyer may be interested in.

There is always something in the seller’s control they can do to guide and empower a buyer to feel confident in making a decision. Ultimately, building confidence and de-risking a buyer’s decision are key factors in overcoming the dreaded “status quo” that so many deals are being lost to.