We’ve all heard of FOMO, or “fear of missing out.” In our personal lives, we worry about skipping that upcoming party and at work, we’re concerned about missing big meetings. And for B2B decision-makers, FOMO is a huge factor in selecting the platforms their teams will use to do their jobs more efficiently. They don’t want to miss out on a tool or solution that could deliver better results than what’s already in their tech stack. Many reps leverage this worry as a motivator during the sales process to close deals.
But there’s another factor at play. It’s called FOMU, or “fear of messing up.” And it means sales teams need to rethink their strategy with a greater emphasis on risk aversion. In this post, we’ll go through what FOMU is and share some tactics for overcoming it during the sales process.
Fear of messing up
Prospective buyers aren’t just driven by a desire to achieve personal and organizational success; they’re also constrained by their fear of failure and making the wrong decision.
FOMU (“fear of messing up”) worries come in two flavors: errors of omission and errors of commission. The former is not doing something that should have been done. For example, a B2B buyer might decide not to select a particular tool. However, that tool is later found to be driving a competitor’s recent success. This is a “coulda-shoulda” situation, and the blame usually doesn’t fall on any one individual. Since these decisions are usually made collectively, it’s seen as a misstep, but one that didn’t cost any money or require any process changes.
The latter, however, has the potential for serious consequences. An error of commission means a mistake was made due to a specific action. It’s more active than passive and tends to place blame on the person(s) who made the final decision to actually do/buy/sell something. For example, if a B2B buyer DOES purchase a particular platform that then sees low adoption, that buyer could now have their reputation and possibly even their job on the line.
FOMU and buyer indecision
With stakes this high, it’s not surprising that doing nothing is an attractive option, especially in today’s climate of B2B tech layoffs. But it isn’t just a desire to maintain the status quo motivating these buyers. It’s also a reluctance to be the one that makes a decision. After all, it’s their neck at risk if it’s the wrong decision.
Generally, there are three main sources of customer indecision: valuation problems (not sure which package or tier to buy), lack of information, and outcome uncertainty (not knowing whether the results will be as promised). Unfortunately, FOMU acts as a force multiplier for all three, increasing any reluctance in those areas. The good news is that once you’ve identified FOMU as a factor in your buyer’s decision-making process, you can take steps to manage it.
How to overcome FOMU
Fortunately, FOMU can be addressed. All it takes is a smart communication strategy, workflows optimized to overcome FOMU-related buyer objections, and the tools to make both happen. Let’s go through each below.
Remove the risk for your prospect
At its core, FOMU is all about risk aversion. By communicating that your platform is a smart and safe investment, you’ll reduce your prospects’ fears. So, how do you do that? By sharing real-world proof that your product will benefit their organization.
This can be done by sharing customer stories, case studies, and third-party research and reviews. The goal here is to build trust and demonstrate the value that your platform has already provided to current users. The more hard proof you can offer, the better.
Create optimized workflows
Now more than ever, you and your sales team can't afford to miss. Unfortunately, your reps have a lot on their plates. Anything you can do to make their jobs easier will allow them to spend more time easing prospects’ worries and proving your product’s value. And eventually, this will lead to higher conversion rates and more closed deals.
That means reducing hours spent on admin tasks and determining the next steps. By providing a tighter connection between insights and recommended actions, your reps will know the best way to move forward. Clear forecasting and prioritization are also key, allowing your sales team to focus on high-impact areas. Leadership can identify gaps earlier and allocate hours, resources, and activities accordingly.
Use the right tools
So, how can you provide your sales team with the data points, customer validation, and workflows that will let them overcome buyer FOMU? By giving them the correct tools.
Many sales applications don’t provide the best UX or functionality right out of the box, but it doesn't have to stay that way. With a low-code/no-code platform like Skuid, you can create seamless app experiences right on top of your CRM solution. Plus, you can do it in days, not weeks or months.
Also, there’s no code to maintain, and the platform has built-in playbooks and activity checklists. Whatever methodology you use— MEDDIC, BANT, Challenger, GAP selling, JOLT effect, or Force Management—you can use Skuid to customize playbooks for your team and tie them to each stage of the sales cycle. You’ll also improve reporting accuracy, map deal risk, and quickly adapt your go-to-market strategy.
Streamline your sales processes
Buyer FOMU is a real challenge, but one that your sales team can meet. Learn more about how Skuid’s Sales Process Excellence platform can help you close more deals, faster.