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Stuck in the middle

My salespeople seem to be frustrated very often as they are always stuck in the middle of a deal. They typically sell to Fortune 500/100 by way of Ad Agencies and or brokers and facilitators. Either way, when they are brought in to quote their part of the deal, everything is in motion.

After the proposal goes out, the activity dies, they they are stuck prodding their contact for results.

Problem is, that they (the sales people) have no direct influence over the decision, and feel they are just irritating their customer (Agency, Broker) asking about it. The waiting game is frustrating, and finding out you didn't win - when you had no way to influence it yourself - is worse.

Any suggestions on how to move a deal along that you have little or no influence over? - by TommyMac5
I too deal with "brokers" that sometimes disregards the value I bring to the deal. What has worked for me and my colleagues is we "set the stage" in the early part of our sales cycle to "partner" with the broker to close the sale. This is not a "quote & buy on lowest price" approach and takes additional time to develop relationships and trust with brokers that you will not sell direct to their customers. I work with several "outsourcers" in this capacity and they are "relieved" not to stress over this part of closing the sale - they want to "package" deal, so if I close, they get the buisness and I get the business. Win, win! - by bok6104
I always try to make a relationship with one of the influencer's within the organization if at all possible. When you have the relationship you can find out what is going on without aggravating the person.

They can also see if they want to go to lunch or out for a social event and let them know it is not about business. Usually the person will almost feel obliged to tell you what is going on whether you or your reps ask them about it or not.

Also, you could give them a call and let them know that you are their manager and the rep has had their account on their list for quite a while and you just wanted to see what was going on or that you are doing your forcasting for the next month,quarter, or whatever.
This will catch them off guard and if they like the rep they will more than likely give you the truth.

Just some ideas,

Chris - by MrTs Friend
Any suggestions on how to move a deal along that you have little or no influence over?
Prodding isn't recommended and crossing your fingers doesn't work.

Relationships are essential however the middleman is going to do what is best for her company and client.

What in-house resources can you put in play to improve your conversion ratios? Can you provide sales training to assist the middleman with your offerings? - by Liberty
I was having difficulty selling carpet deodorizer (customers are mainly concerned with appearance, not smell and there was never a sale to help motivate). Since customers were concerned with appearance, I then told them that steam cleaning activated deodorizer. This resulted in my quadrupling my deodorizer sales and putting an end to putoff excuses (there may even be more involved - you'll need to analyze your situation deeply). - by Wonderboy
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