Ghosting is a common problem in the sales industry. This term, often used in the context of personal relationships, refers to a situation where a customer suddenly ceases all communication and becomes unresponsive after the initial engagement. It occurs when a prospect suddenly stops responding to your emails, calls, or messages after showing initial interest in your product or service.
Ghosting can be frustrating for sales professionals as they invest their time and effort in building relationships with potential customers, only to be left without any response. In this blog, we will discuss ghosting in sales, its impact on businesses, and strategies to deal with it effectively to maintain a healthy sales pipeline.
The Impact of Ghosting on Sales
Ghosting can significantly impact a business’s bottom line. According to a survey conducted by SalesHacker, 79% of salespeople reported experiencing ghosting, and 71% believed that it negatively affected their productivity.
The survey also found that sales professionals spent an average of 2.5 hours per week following up with prospects who ghosted them, which is a significant amount of time that could have been spent on other tasks.
In B2B industries, ghosting is a common problem as the sales cycle can be longer, and decision-making processes are more complex. A study by Gong.io found that the average B2B sales cycle takes 102 days to close in any niche sales pipeline. With such a long sales cycle, ghosting can be detrimental to the sales process, leading to lost opportunities and revenue.
Examples of Ghosting in B2B Industries
Ghosting is prevalent in various B2B industries, and some well-known brands have experienced it. Let’s take a look at a few examples of sales prospecting gone terribly wrong worldwide:
- Salesforce: Salesforce is a leading CRM provider that offers a range of cloud-based software solutions. In 2019, Salesforce’s CEO, Marc Benioff, stated that he was frustrated with the number of prospects that ghosted his sales team. He mentioned that the company’s sales professionals were following up with prospects numerous times but were not receiving any response.
- IBM: IBM is a multinational technology company that provides a range of services, including cloud computing and AI. IBM’s sales team has also faced the challenge of ghosting. In a LinkedIn post, an IBM sales professionalshared his experience of being ghosted by a prospect who had shown initial interest in their AI solution. The prospect did not respond to any follow-up emails, and the sales professional was left without any explanation.
- HubSpot: HubSpot is a provider of inbound marketing and sales software solutions. The company has also faced the challenge of ghosting. In a blog post, one of HubSpot’s sales professionals shared his experience of being ghosted by a prospect who had agreed to a demo but did not show up for the scheduled call. The sales professionalfollowed up several times but did not receive any response.
- Cisco: Cisco is a multinational technology company that provides networking hardware and software solutions. A sales executive shared their experience of being ghosted by a prospect who had shown initial interest in their cybersecurity solution.
Despite multiple attempts to follow up, the sales professional did not receive any response, and the deal eventually fell through. They also mentioned that ghosting was a common problem in the cybersecurity industry, where prospects were constantly bombarded with sales pitches and were less likely to respond.
Strategies to Deal with Ghosting
Now that we have discussed the impact of ghosting and examples of B2B industries that have faced it, let’s look at some strategies to deal with ghosting.
- Have a Follow-Up Plan: One of the most effective ways to deal with ghosting is to have a follow-up plan in place. This plan should include a timeline of when to follow up with prospects and what communication channels to use.
It’s important to strike a balance between being persistent and not coming across as pushy. Using a variety of communication channels, such as email, phone, and social media, can also help to increase your chances of getting a response.
- Personalize Your Outreach: Personalization is key when it comes to sales outreach. When following up with prospects, make sure to reference previous conversations and show that you have taken the time to understand their needs and challenges.
This can help to build trust and credibility, making it less likely that prospects will ghost you. It is crucial while sales prospectingto show clients that you are listening to them and care beyond the financial aspect of the deal. Personalized responses and proof of thorough research always goes a long way.
- Use Sales Engagement Software: Sales engagement software allows you to schedule and automate emails and follow-up tasks, ensuring that prospects are not forgotten or overlooked. This can also help to ensure that your messaging is consistent and personalized.
- Address the Elephant in the Room: If a prospect has ghosted you, it’s important to address the issue directly. You can do this by sending a follow-up message that acknowledges their lack of response and asks if there is anything you can do to help. This can show that you are empathetic to their situation and can help to break the ice.
- Keep Your Pipeline Full: One of the best ways to deal with ghosting is to ensure that your pipeline is always full. This means continuously prospecting and reaching out to new leads, so you are not relying on a single prospect to close a deal. This can also help to reduce the impact of ghosting on your sales process, as you will have other opportunities to pursue.
- Change Your Approach: If you’ve been ghosted by a prospect, it may be time to change your approach. Consider trying a different outreach method, such as phone calls or social media messages, to see if that sparks a response. You can also adjust your messaging to be more personalized and relevant to the prospect’s needs and pain points.
- Seek Feedback: Sometimes, prospects may ghost you because they were not satisfied with your sales pitch or proposal. In such cases, it’s helpful to seek feedback on what went wrong and how you can improve. You can reach out to the prospect and ask for their honest feedback on why they chose not to move forward.
This strategy can provide valuable insights into what you can do differently to increase your chances of closing deals in the near future. Additionally, feedback can help you identify common issues that may be causing prospects to ghost you, which you can address proactively.
Ghosting is a common problem in the sales industry, and it can significantly impact a business’s bottom line. It’s essential to have a follow-up plan in place and keep your sales pipelinefull to deal with ghosting effectively.
By implementing these strategies, you can increase your chances of getting a response from prospects and ultimately close more deals. Try to understand your company as well as the client’s needs and work towards reaching the sweet spot in between! For more tips and robust qualification process, reach out to us.