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Top 9 Deal Alerts to Stop Losing Customers

Top 9 Deal Alerts to Stop Losing Customers

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Deals that seemed winnable go cold.

Renewal opps you were counting on for this quarter slip to next.

Customers you thought were happy suddenly churn.

Sound familiar? Sales managers and sales leaders deal with this all the time.

Early detection of at-risk deals is the key to turning things around.

Strong deal alerts provide timely and actionable insights into deal health and potential risks. That way, sales managers can stay on top of their pipeline, identify warning signs, and take the necessary steps to stop deals from slipping.

But it’s hard to get it right. What are the right alerts? How do you set them up? How can you trust them? 

Here are the top nine deal alerts that sales managers and leaders should consider implementing, as well as strategies for addressing each alert type. As we’ll discuss, something as simple as an alert can dramatically improve your sales performance management, your sellers’ meeting prep, and your ability to do real-time deal analysis according to your preferred methodology like MEDDPICC.

It’s easier said than done. It’s not as simple as setting up a notification in Salesforce.

As we’ll discuss, AI sales tools and a strong sales data foundation are critical components.

Let’s dive in.

The Top 9 Deal Alerts

Here are the top nine deal alerts that every sales manager and sales leader should consider setting up.

1. Delayed Decisions

The first deal alert is about delayed decisions. If a client is constantly pushing back decision-making deadlines, it may be a sign that they are second-guessing their interest in the deal. A strong indicator of this can be something as simple as a deal spending an above-average amount of time in a given stage. 

Other versions of this alert might include sentiment analysis or objections raised in a meeting. Those require a more sophisticated approach, likely including some sort of sales AI. But with the rise of ChatGPT for sales, there are plenty of sales tools capable of that kind of analysis in 2024.

2. Changes in Contact Engagement

Changes in the level of engagement from your contacts can be another crucial alert. If a once-active contact has significantly decreased their level of interaction, it might point towards diminishing interest.

To get this alert, you’ll need strong Salesforce contact management and sales data capture and Salesforce sync in place. Whether you get there with better processes or purpose-built tools, it’ll be well worth the investment.

3. Budget Concerns

If your prospect starts discussing budget issues or requesting significant price reductions, this could be an early warning sign. Budget constraints can derail a deal quickly if not addressed properly and promptly.

Machine learning in sales and natural language processing have helped detect these concerns without the need for manual data entry. Look to automate sales tracking like that wherever possible.

4. Competitive Threats

Another important deal alert is the sudden mention of or interest in competitors. This could suggest that your prospect might be considering other options or has already entered into negotiations with other vendors.

A MEDDICC analysis is great for keeping track of competitors in a deal. Revenue intelligence solutions that monitor deal health can help.

5. Changes in Stakeholder Engagement

Similarly, changes in stakeholder engagement can also be a sign of a deal at risk. If key decision-makers are disengaging or new stakeholders are brought to the table late in the sales process, it could indicate potential issues on the horizon.

This can be especially important to track with current customers. If your champion leaves or drops off in engagement, they could be at risk of churn. In addition to deal alerts, proper churn analysis can be invaluable here.

6. Negative Social Sentiment

Negative feedback or sentiment on social media platforms against your product or brand can also serve as a deal alert. Such sentiment may affect the prospect's perception of your offer and sway them towards your competitors. Because of that, it’s worth keeping an eye on social activity.

7. Prolonged Negotiation Phases

An extended negotiation phase can suggest potential issues with the deal. This alert signifies that there are unresolved matters that are preventing the deal from progressing. The alert can be entirely time-based, or it can combine time in a certain stage with a missing contact, like someone in procurement or legal.

8. Overlong Sales Cycles

If a deal is taking significantly longer than usual to close, it may be a signal that something isn't right. Overlong sales cycles could be indicative of lurking problems such as a lack of alignment or other internal issues from the client's end. Consider also setting up alerts about the lack of multithreading or reaching power, as those can be early warning signs that a deal will take longer than it should to close.

9. Misalignment Between Your Solution and Customer Needs

Lastly, if there appears to be a misalignment between your solution and the customer's needs, it's a powerful deal alert. This disconnect could be due to a change in client requirements or a misunderstanding from the sales team regarding the client's needs.

By triggering these deal alerts early, sales teams have a higher chance of tackling any arising challenges. Remember that data is key here. Good CRM data hygiene and sales activity tracking are often prerequisites to quality deal alerts.

III. Strategies to Effectively Using Deal Alerts

Harnessing the power of deal alerts involves more than just recognizing them. It's essential to implement effective strategies for responding to each alert type promptly and appropriately. Learn how to use specific sales tools for deal alerts and the importance of timely reactions, along with practical strategies for managing them.

Use of Specific Sales Tools for Deal Alerts

With AI sales tools everywhere, you can and should go beyond simple Salesforce reporting. These tools can monitor activities and issue alerts when they detect potential risks. Effective use of these tools allows you to maintain continuous surveillance of your pipeline and keep track of any deviations from the norm.

Importance of Timely Responses to Deal Alerts

Just like in medicine, early detection is key to rectifying a potentially harmful situation. Once a deal alert is triggered, you can respond swiftly to uncover the underlying issues and devise a solution. The slower the response, the more likely you are to lose the deal.

Here are the best ways to react to each alert.

Strategies for Addressing Each Alert Type

1. Reacting to Delayed Decisions

When decisions keep getting pushed back, sales teams should reach out to understand the reason. Offering clarification or assistance could help expedite the decision-making process. Ask careful questions to understand their reasoning and find solutions that will entice them to make a prompt decision.

2. Managing Changes in Contact Engagement

Decreased engagement from a contact warrants a tactful outreach strategy. Ask open-ended questions to draw them out and gauge their concerns. You could also try re-invigorating their interest with additional product information or offers. Or, you can try multi-threading and making new contacts throughout the organization.

3. Handling Budget Concerns

When budget concerns arise, it’s time to focus on demonstrating ROI. Give hard numbers on the expected return, and provide customer examples whenever possible. Otherwise, consider presenting flexible payment options, for instance giving discounts or letting them pay in intervals. You could also ask if the expense could come out of another department’s budget.

4. Responding to Competitive Threats

If your prospect is showing interest in competitors, double down on differentiation. You don’t have to overtly bash the competitor. But try to refocus the discussion on the aspects that favor your product. Also consider setting up a bake-off or providing customer references for companies that switched from the competitor to your offering.

5. Dealing with Changes in Stakeholder Engagement

Changes in stakeholder engagement can be scary. You never want to be ghosted by someone you thought was your champion. Take a deep breath and identify the new stakeholders, their roles and needs, and tailor your approach accordingly. You should also look at it as an opportunity to sell higher. Find out who their manager is and engage with them.

6. Reacting to Negative Social Sentiment

A swift and proactive response to negative sentiment on social platforms can help mitigate damage. Address concerns publicly, apologize where necessary, and outline steps taken to prevent a recurrence.

7. Handling Prolonged Negotiation Phases

During prolonged negotiation phases, identify sticking points and work collaboratively towards a resolution. Bring in senior management as necessary, and take advantage of internal resources like subject matter experts and solution engineers. Team selling can go a long way in smoothing out the negotiation process.

8. Addressing Overlong Sales Cycles

Overlong sales cycles can be tackled by identifying bottlenecks and working directly with the client to address these issues, ensuring the deal progresses at a healthy pace.

9. Aligning Your Solution with Customer Needs

In cases of misaligned solutions and needs, reevaluate your understanding of the client’s needs. Engage in further discussions with the client to better understand their requirements and adjust your offering accordingly. Don’t be afraid to pull the plug either. If there’s a fundamental mismatch, neither party should waste their time.

By mastering these strategies, sales leaders can ensure that they and their teams are taking advantage of their deal alerts and stop losing winnable deals.

Beyond Deal Alerts: Proactive Measures to Prevent Losing Winnable Deals

While deal alerts are critical in identifying and addressing issues that have already surfaced, proactive measures can help prevent these problems before they arise.

The Importance of Proactive Sales Strategies

A proactive strategy involves anticipating potential issues and roadblocks in the sales process and addressing them before you even need a deal alert. By being proactive, you can improve your sales efficiency, build stronger client relationships, and close deals faster.

Techniques for Early Identification of Potential Deal Risks

Early identification of deal risk is a crucial part of a proactive sales strategy. The better your understanding of the ideal sales process, the more easily you can spot when something goes awry. 

AI sales tools can be instrumental in identifying what the ideal sales process looks like for you. Then, you can track leading indicators that align with your sales process. That doesn’t mean you won’t need alerts. On the contrary, it means you can set more precise deal alerts that identify risk even earlier and even more precisely than a generic deal alert.

Tips for Getting Deals at Risk Back on Track

If you identify a deal at risk, early intervention can help get it back on track. This could involve re-calibrating your sales strategy, offering more flexible terms, or enhancing your value proposition. It's also crucial to maintain open communication with the client to understand and address their concerns effectively.

Stop Losing Winnable Deals

Deal alerts offer a powerful means for sales managers and leaders to identify risky deals and take action. Implementing proactive sales strategies on top of those deal alerts can let you get even further ahead.

The power of proactive sales management, coupled with a robust deal alert system, can significantly enhance your sales outcomes. By understanding the signs to look for and strategies to implement, you can stop losing winnable deals and maximize your sales. It's time to embrace deal alerts and proactive strategies to stay ahead of the curve in your sales journey. Remember, the early bird catches the worm. Stay alert, stay proactive, and win those deals.

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