Fighting Zombies & Bringing Deals Back From the Dead

Aaron Sun Avatar photo

Stale opportunities are officially haunting your Solutions team.

According to The JOLT Effect, “anywhere between 40 percent and 60 percent of deals today end up stalled in “no decision” limbo. To be clear, these are customers who go through the entire sales process only to end up not crossing the finish line.” These opportunities represent both a significant amount of effort (opportunity cost) from your sales org as well as a significant amount of revenue potential. For all the focus placed on demand gen and pipeline creation, *this* is a growth opportunity sales teams should be targeting.

At Vivun, we categorize stalled opportunities as “Zombies.” They represent revenue opportunities that lost traction along the way and are either ripe for unearthing, or it’s time to put a nail in their coffins. In short, they are dead now but maybe not forever.

It’s not always easy to spot a Zombie, but Solutions teams have a strong sense of where opportunities stand. That’s why Hero by Vivun gives you a clean, configurable, fully integrated, digital workbench where (among other things), your team can track their perspective on deal status and any deal concerns easily. Some Solutions Consultant (SC) concerns that could easily foreshadow a Zombie deal might include:

👻Ghosted: as in our contacts stopped responding a while ago, and we’re going to look creepy and desperate if we continue to reach out without a revised strategy.

🙀Weak Champion: we have not *yet* found or developed someone on the account who is willing to do the legwork to get the solution, even if they recognize they need it.

🫣FOMU: Fear of Messing Up. Your prospect may be lost in the wasteland of No Decision because they fear they lack enough information or they are concerned things won’t work out / they could lose their job. 

🕰Timing: we all know that time is the enemy of deals, but the Solutions team will be able to face the reality of a buyer not being ready faster than their Sales counterparts who are banking on pushing the opportunity into the quarter.

🕸Misalignment: maybe there are disagreements across the account about priorities, possibly a result of politics, reorgs, or other internal issues.

💣Competitors: this can be tricky as today’s sales-proof buyer holds their cards close when evaluating multiple solutions but a good SC can deal can smell a competitor coming from a mile away.

Solutions Orgs at leading companies like Zoom, Okta, and Snowflake use Hero to manage every opportunity starting with the deal assignment through every stage (e.g. Technical Discovery, Demo, Proof-of-Concept, etc.) which are named and mapped to reflect their team’s bespoke processes. The stages defined in Hero serve as a great source of comparison against the Sales stage. Vivun suggests adding a stage called “Zombies” as many of our customers find it extremely helpful for forecast hygiene and making sure that low-hanging fruit is not left on the vine to wither away.

Technical Funnel

The first step is acknowledging you have a Zombie. From there, you can put a plan in place to address the problem. Solutions leaders at companies like BlueYonder have clear charters for their teams to go after these deals with Vivun:

“We take Zombies very seriously at Blue Yonder. Moving an opportunity to this stage puts our full GTM team on alert. When we identify a Zombie, the mission is clear: we need a plan to either resurrect or terminate it. Our opportunity cost otherwise is just too high. So my Halloween decor clearly reflects this philosophy!” –Susan Beal, CVP of Presales at Blue Yonder

Susan beal

Susan Beal’s Zoom Background

Once you’ve acknowledged the Zombie, it’s the job of the opportunity team to be proactive. Waiting for the right person at the prospect’s company to reach out to you leaves the door open for competitors. Staying on top of Zombies means that whether the deal has to be closed or gets reactivated, we’re being the best possible stewards of our company resources and that there will be no loose ends. 

Hero also makes Zombie reports available in Salesforce to provide visibility to other revenue-facing departments like Sales, RevOps, Marketing, and Customer Account Management. Armed with real-time intelligence, we can all be on the watch for stalled opportunities, identify what’s preventing the opportunity from progressing, and work together to move them out of Zombieland.

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s time to address your Zombie problem. Gather your army for battle.  Vivun can help. Request a demo to see Hero in action!

Zombie Report in Salesforce CRM

In addition to helping you identify your Zombies, Vivun can proactively notify you when a product feature ships that can resuscitate deals in your patch. Deal Revivals®, automate reminders for the Solutions team to reactivate opportunities when Product ships what the buyer needs. To learn more, read up on Deal Revivals.

Aaron Sun Avatar photo October 5, 2022