What Are Deals Gone Dark?
So what is a Deal Gone Dark and how is it different than other stalled deals in your pipeline?
Imagine this scenario: your team has been in regular contact with a prospect and things seem to be going well. They’ve demoed the product, supported their pitch with case studies and data, and effectively communicated the value proposition. The prospect has expressed interest; maybe they’ve even given a verbal commitment and now you’re just waiting for the deal to close.
Then the prospect goes dark. The day your rep was supposed to have a follow-up call to finalize the deal, the prospect doesn’t dial in. Your rep follows up with an email to make sure everything’s okay, but they get no response. A few days later your reps send another email to confirm a new day and time for the call, but still no response. A week goes by, and then another week goes by. You’re getting to the end of the quarter, and you’re starting to ask your rep where they are with this sale that they forecasted. Eventually, you step in yourself. You call the prospect and leave voicemails on both their business and personal lines. You even like all their posts on LinkedIn and Twitter, anything to let the prospect know you’re still there. But no matter what you do, the prospect remains obstinately silent, forcing you to finally accept, sometimes months later, that you’ve lost the deal.
A Deal Gone Dark is characterized by a sudden and unexpected halt in communication and engagement from the prospect. Whereas other stalls involve rescheduled appointments or excess reasons (read: excuses) from prospects about why they’re taking so long to close, Deals Gone Dark come on without any clear explanation. These are not cold leads that signed up for your newsletter on your website and then never interacted with your company again. These are prospects that your team has spoken to and received positive indication from. At one point, they seemed like they were sure things, until one day they go silent to leave you wondering what went wrong.
Deals Gone Dark can be incredibly frustrating for sales leaders. Whereas other delay tactics give salespeople an opportunity to assuage concerns and offer compromises to get the deal, the Always Be Closing method doesn’t work if your prospect refuses to engage with your team. When deals go dark, they can mess up sales forecasts, stagnate pipelines, and ultimately cost lost earnings and wasted time hunting down silent prospects.
As frustrating as Deals Gone Dark are, they happen for a reason. Understanding why they happen can help prevent prospects from going dark, keeping deals moving swiftly through your pipeline and keeping your sales quotas on schedule.
According to research by LinkedIn, 24% of forecasted deals go dark. That means at any given time, almost a quarter of the deals in your pipeline are in jeopardy of stagnating without any clear explanation as to why. Unless you’re betting everything on a handful of big deals in your pipeline, that 24% can have a detrimental effect on your ability to hit your sales goals. Reducing the number of deals that go dark or reviving them after they’ve gone dark is critical to maintaining a healthy sales pipeline.
Want to learn more about how to protect your stalled pipeline from Deals Gone Dark? Download our free ebook and start reviving your Deals Gone Dark today with highly personalized outreach strategies!
Posted on June 8, 2017