The Zone of Doom

People.ai Editorial

While it may go by another name within your organization, the “Zone of Doom” is our reference to that moment when an opportunity goes unexpectedly quiet. You’re moving along through the deal stages, and suddenly there’s silence on the other side. Emails are unanswered; phone calls go straight to voicemail –you’re up a creek without a paddle. When we find ourselves in these situations, it’s often a question of what more could be done. If you’ve found yourself chasing down deal ghosts, consider running down the checklist below.

Qualify, Qualify, Qualify

Deal qualification methodologies are the first line of defense against the “zone of doom.” Regardless of your preferred methodology, each system is designed to ensure proper alignment between the buying and selling team. It’s important to ask these questions, but equally important is capturing these details in a structured way. With deal scorecards that are automatically embedded within Salesforce Opportunities, teams can instantly recognize gaps and take the right action.

It’s Not What You Know

The people involved in the deal are what truly matter, and without a complete view of the stakeholders involved in the decision process, you can’t possibly prepare for outcomes. With relationship maps, stakeholders can be displayed visually thanks to a native integration with Salesforce that allows reps to mark decision-making power and relationship lines. Relationships between critical stakeholders can be positive or negative – recognizing potential conflicts early and modifying your approach can make the difference between closing a deal or losing it.

Follow The Path

Sales Events reflect the critical sequence of events that every deal should progress through from opportunity to close. When you get out of sequence, you create unnecessary risk. How often have you had a stakeholder progress a deal into contract negotiations only to have their development teams pull the plug? They didn’t panic because the product was bad; they stopped the deal because they were out of the loop and felt uncomfortable. Sales teams can prevent issues like this by strongly encouraging technical reviews before contract delivery.

Sales teams routinely deal with complex environments that bridge personal priorities, team dynamics, and business objectives, and it’s unfortunately rare that those rarely align. Yet when you manage against a tight process with tools to identify the critical people, events, and knowledge for each opportunity, you’re giving yourself the best probability of success.