Identify At Risk Deals Before They Slip

Published on August 5, 2023 by David Zhang

Identify At Risk Deals Before They Slip

In today’s fast-paced business environment, a deal slipping through the cracks can happen to anyone. However, if you’re in B2B sales, the stakes are higher, and preventing deals from slipping is not just about vigilance—it's about strategy, insight, and proactive risk management. This is where identifying "at risk" deals before they slip becomes not only a skill but also an indispensable practice within any robust sales process.

Within this article, we will dissect and explore effective methodologies to identify at risk deals, enabling sales teams to intercede before opportunities dwindle—and thereby solidify the path to achieving quota and driving business growth.

Recognizing the Symptoms of At Risk Deals

Recognizing the early signs of a deal becoming at risk is akin to diagnostics in medicine—a preventative step before issuing a prescription. Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Inconsistent Communication Patterns: A change in the frequency, tone, or method of communication by a prospect can be a warning sign. When enthusiastic, regular email exchanges or phone calls become sporadic or vanish, it may indicate waning interest.

  • Extended Decision Timelines: If a prospect continually pushes back decision dates or remains indecisive even after multiple discussions, consider the deal at risk. Procrastination can be symptomatic of deeper hesitations or competing priorities.

  • Price Fixation: A sudden shift in conversations to focus exclusively on price, especially after terms have been discussed, is often a red flag.

  • Low Engagement Metrics: Modern sales platforms provide engagement metrics such as email opens, link clicks, and document interaction. Low engagement may reveal a lack of commitment from the prospect's end.

  • Minimal Stakeholder Involvement: Fewer stakeholders present in discussions or a key decision-maker withdrawing from the conversation is a concerning sign.

Analyzing Deal Health

The next step is to analyze the vital signs of your deals. This involves establishing your criteria for deal health and routinely measuring every deal against this standard. Consider aspects like sales stage duration, number of customer interactions, and depth of customer knowledge. Employing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can help you to keep track of these metrics.

Implementing Predictive Analysis

Leveraging data-driven predictive analysis can provide a significant advantage in identifying at risk deals. AI and machine learning algorithms can analyze historical data to spot patterns that often precede a deal falling through. Predictive models can evaluate complex variables ranging from market conditions to buyer behavior and offer an objective assessment of deal risk.

While specific AI tools for these analyses exist, Aomni provides a streamlined approach by integrating such intelligence directly into your sales workflow. It harnesses real-time data combined with historical insights to flag at-risk deals, enabling your sales teams to prioritize their efforts effectively.

Fostering Open Communication

One of the most effective preventative measures for avoiding slipping deals is to foster open lines of communication. Regular check-ins with prospects, where you actively listen to their concerns, can uncover issues before they escalate. Encouraging prospects to voice their reservations can turn potential problems into opportunities for deeper engagement.

Cultivating Strong Customer Relationships

Strong relationships with customers can mitigate risks of deals slipping by creating a mutually invested dynamic. By understanding your prospect's business, anticipating their needs, and delivering consistent value, you create a partnership that extends beyond a mere transactional association. Sales teams must nurture these relationships throughout the customer lifecycle to minimize the risk of unanticipated drop-offs.

Tailoring Solutions to Customer Needs

One size seldom fits all in B2B sales. Tailoring your approach to align with customer pain points and aspirational needs underscores your commitment to their success. Custom solutions generally face fewer roadblocks and are less susceptible to market competitiveness that can deter standard solution pitches.

Training Your Team on Deal Qualification

Training sales teams to accurately qualify leads and opportunities mitigates the risk of pursuing ill-fitting deals. Enhanced qualification throughout the sales process ensures that sales efforts are aligned with customer readiness and intent. Knowing when to walk away can be just as valuable as spotting a deal at risk.

Continuous Learning from Lost Deals

Treating lost deals as learning experiences is fundamental to preemptive risk management. When a deal does slip, a post-mortem analysis can reveal crucial insights. By understanding the discrepancies between your perception of the deal's health and the outcome, you can refine your strategy and better anticipate risks in the future.

Implementing a Culture of Responsiveness

A proactive culture is not one that merely reacts to problems as they arise but anticipates and adjusts preemptively. Sales teams should be encouraged to identify sustainable practices, such as immediate responsiveness to prospect queries, that nurture this culture.


Preventing deals from slipping isn’t just about identifying at risk ones—it’s about transforming your sales methodology into a strategic, insightful, and proactive operation. Recognizing the signs, embracing technology like Aomni, promoting clear communication, nailing customization, cultivating strong relationships, and committing to continuous improvement are all integral to this transformation.

Through these practices, sales teams can shift their status quo from reactive damage control to proactive deal security, ensuring that opportunities are not just captured but also retained and grown. As eloquently summed up by Sun Tzu, “The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” In the context of sales, the greatest deals are those secured through foresight and strategic action before they slip into the realm of risk.

Take your workflow to the next level