Top Reasons Sales Proposals Are Rejected

By John Honovich, Published Apr 22, 2015, 12:00am EDT

A survey of 100 security sales professionals named 3 top reasons sales proposals are rejected:

  • Price
  • Larger integrators
  • Existing relationships

In this note, we break down each of these 3 reasons, sharing color commentary from the sales professionals surveyed.

Price Dominant

The most common reason, by far, was price - a combination of buyers objecting to price and them having much lower cost options:

  • "Cost. Did not expect it cost that much."
  • "STICKER SHOCK / WAY LOWER BID FROM COMPETITOR."
  • "Usually, it's on price when they are ignorant and think Costco is all that's needed."
  • "Most of our customers want to do project, but many of them are schools and just don't have the money to do the project the way it should be done."
  • "They can't afford it... Because they didn't realize we were selling more than a Costco system."
  • "They did not budget enough funds for the investment they need to complete the goals they have."
  • "The number one reason is cost. With the large influx of Asian cameras and accessories it can be a challenge."
  • "There are a lot of single truck companies out there that just want to make a days pay for themselves. They are doing the customer a great injustice by not providing the right solution but their price is lower and many times that is all the customer is looking at."
  • "Price, is the obvious answer, although I feel I have failed as a salesman when I get this answer as it means I did not sell the value of my solution."
  • "Our pricing, we are a big corporation and we can not compete with "Mom and Pop" shops that have no overhead."
  • "It cost more than we thought it doesn't meet our budget."
  • "Very competitive market so pricing is a typical rejection reason."
  • "Great, thanks, we'll put that in next years budget. We found another system for less than half what you proposed."
  • "I've been asked 'Can you do it for their price', and in most cases my response is 'only if I do their quality'..."

Other Besides Price

Some mentioned the strength of larger integrators:

  • "They want to go with a bigger company."
  • "Name recognition" for some reason some people think because they see an ADT advertisement in the Super Bowl they must great! McDonalds makes the most Hamburgers in the world, but they certainly aren't the best!"
  • "Even though we are large enough to take on the big jobs some customer just seem to think they have to go with a large national company. Most of the time their prices are higher but the customer feels they will be getting a better job and better service from a big company."

Similar numbers cited appeal of customers staying with who they know:

  • "Customer decided to go with a legacy integrator."
  • "Prior business relationship with a competitor."
  • "Desire for a specific product line, past experience with competitor."
  • "Going with someone they are more familiar with."

Finally, a few other notable reasons were offered:

  • "Usually because there's not a good relationship."
  • "If we get rejected that means we have not done a good job through the purchasing process to understand the prospects "pain, budget and timeline".
  • "We get rejections on bigger projects because we do not have impressive reference record, and we do not have so convincing offer for complicated technical solutions."
  • "Corporate decision rather then local decision."
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