How would you approach this situation when a deal stalls?

Background: We met a CMO at a conference who was VERY excited about our tool. He's new to the organization and the organization has been in his words "bringing the company out of stone age when it comes to ecommerce"


Talks are going well with the CMO. He likes what he sees on the demo and sees multiple use cases for our tool. Until he brings in his Director of Ecomm and Digital Marketing Manager for a demo (both have been with the organization for 10+ years). For whatever reason the CMO is not on this call.


The demo was met with lackluster enthusiasm and the two didn't see value in our tool. Even though their website looks like it's stuck in the 90's. So this has stalled the deal for the moment.


Has this ever happened to you?


The task: My job is to set up another call with the CMO, which is straight forward. We obviously have the upper hand since the CMO will have final say but ultimately these two dinosaurs are gonna be using the tool, unless the CMO brings in new blood.


My main question is, how should my AE navigate this situation?



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9
antiASKHOLE
Tycoon
4
Bravado's Resident AssHole
Yeah, this happened a couple of times when I was meeting with some owners and then their upper-level execs/primary users. The owner really liked everything, but the other people on the call weren't exactly enthusiastic about it at all. The deal stalled for 6 months before they finally moved forward.
BTQ
Politicker
2
ex SDR
How did you move it forward? Just keep heckling the owners?
antiASKHOLE
Tycoon
2
Bravado's Resident AssHole
I had to get my sales vp in the mix and then send them little things along the way. honestly, I don't think it was anything I did that made it happen, it just finally fell through.
GDO
Politicker
0
BDM
Bring in some extra weight is always a classic
Sunbunny31
Politicker
4
Sr Sales Executive ๐Ÿฐ
I'm going to suspect that the director and manager have a personal stake in the existing technology - they either built it or chose it, and there may be some ego at stake.
Another high possibility is that there's change management required that they're going to need to be responsible for, and now they have to consider a new solution to learn, onboard, change, manage - and possibly having had bad situations before, they're understandably reluctant to take on the risk.
It would be interesting to discuss with the CMO and find out what he heard as feedback - it may or may not be as critical as you think - and also what he knows about who will own the execution of replacing the existing solution. Your AE could even say that he noticed there seemed to be some hesitation around your solution, and that he wants to be sure to get ahead of any concerns - and find out what those are. Because it's better to find out from your champion than to take my speculation above as gospel.
jefe
Arsonist
3
๐Ÿ
That personal stake piece is KILLER. So hard to overcome if the people are in the right (wrong?) position.
Sunbunny31
Politicker
2
Sr Sales Executive ๐Ÿฐ
Itโ€™s a trick. You have to balance the need to update and your solution against potential ego and lack of interest in change. Perhaps theyโ€™ve been responsible for keeping the site running all these years, and thereโ€™s concern that the new solution will impact their career. The trick is to be to make the adoption of a modern technology something that could raise their personal value within the company. Everybody likes to look good.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
2
๐ŸฆŠ
Ego MAY be involved or IS involved ๐Ÿค”
Sunbunny31
Politicker
1
Sr Sales Executive ๐Ÿฐ
Iโ€™m just speculating. Thereโ€™s often ownership (of the system) involved somewhere. Itโ€™s somebodyโ€™s baby, even if itโ€™s ugly.
Kosta_Konfucius
Politicker
2
Sales Rep
Think you need to have a disco with the two others, what drives them? What issues are they having?
Seems like what ever you presented to them wasnt hitting a key area for them, so the best way to find out is to do a mini disco with them
Also find out what happened to the CMO, why did they miss the meeting? Are they actually bought in?
Or do you maybe have sales happy ears?
kindagoodae
Executive
1
Account Executive
In the cases I have had this happen it's almost always because the middle mgmt/VP level is invested in some way in the old process.
change management is also on the table. Is there a heavy lift to onboarding your stuff?
BTQ
Politicker
2
ex SDR
No itโ€™s a light integration and itโ€™s not a rip & replace job either. Takes about two weeks to implement.
Pachacuti
Politicker
1
They call me Daddy, Sales Daddy
This is actually a good question for this forum.

The new guy, wanting to make a splash, saw the potential in your solution. However he hit the internal wall and my guess the deal is dead, or at least very much slowed.

This has happened multiple time to me throughout my career - meet someone at a conference, hit it off, discover several ways mt company can help with their vision, and then it dies. Itโ€™s happening to me right now even.

The CMO is NOT the decision maker. Someone else is. You need to find that person. Donโ€™t confuse title with decision making authority.

The CMO was told something he didnโ€™t share with your team. Your AE needs to prospect more widely is find out what it is.
SoccerandSales
Politicker
1
Account Executive
Seems your champion doesn't have the internal juice to get this done. TIme to work your people map, understand who is the most influential in the org, and understand what matters the most to that person
LambyCorn
Arsonist
2
A mfkn E
true ! its easy to waste too much time on a champion who can't own the fact that they can't buy
SoccerandSales
Politicker
1
Account Executive
Sometimes titles can be sexy too. I am working with a newer COO but she can't get shit done unless the long tenured front line manager is on board
Diablo
Politicker
0
Sr. AE
It happens to me often where I have an initial convo with someone and someone else is a part of the demo call. I find it very helpful when I spend a few minutes to ask them about their pain points and their aspirational ideal state so I can be more specific to the audience I am talking with right now.
ChumpChange
Politicker
0
Channel Manager
Looks like a change management discussion with both your champion and the other parties at odds with your solution. I always stress that inaction in itself is a choice. Unfortunately, problems don't go away when you ignore them.
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