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New Research Reveals Top Reason Customers are Taking Longer to Make Buying Decisions and What to do About It

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 | Category :

BTS White Paper Provides Important Strategies for Organizations Engaged in Sales Transformation

BTS, a leading strategy implementation firm, today announced the release of Turbulent Skies: Why Customers are Taking Longer to Make Buying Decisions and What to do About It, a new study by Lou Schachter, Global Leader of the BTS Sales Practice and author of The Mind of the Customer (McGraw-Hill; 2006) and Rick Cheatham, Head of the North American Sales Practice at BTS. The white paper addresses the lengthening sales cycle and provides sales leaders with actionable insights to navigate the headwinds of this critical challenge.

The research finds that most sales leaders believe their sales cycles have increased over the past two years, which the authors argue is an instinctive reaction to turbulent times. The pace of change has become so fast and bumpy that customers can no longer rely on previous experiences to anticipate outcomes. In response to this uncertain environment, they are staying put — decisions don't get made, innovation stalls, and risk avoidance becomes the priority.

Turbulent Skies explores how to get the sales process moving based on the authors extensive experience in partnering with hundreds of sales leaders. "Successful salespersons seek to reduce the pain of uncertainty for their clients in uncertain times," said Rick Cheatham, co-author. "By planning for success through simple actions, sales managers can accelerate the sales cycle and even jump start a seemingly intransigent prospect."

Cheatham and Schachter summarize the details for success as follows:

  • Make the potential losses from inaction explicit
  • Bring in experts
  • Leverage social pressure
  • Manage stakeholders
  • Keep choices simple

The white paper is the fourth in the series from the Sales Transformation Practice at BTS. Earlier papers: Learning from S'Mores: Lessons for the Future of Sales from FMCG, Salesperson as Navigator, and Bridging the Value Gap are all available at

Picked up by the Wall Street Journal, read the full article here.

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