Why did we lose that deal? Jonathan Viney of JV Consultancy Group
Why did we lose that deal? It's often a question asked and one that you antagonise over for some time wondering what you did wrong.
I rarely find that lost deals are carefully reviewed with full objectiveness.
If we were a sports team, we would have reviewed the last game we lost to find out why. We all know what to do but, in the sales environment, do we always follow every step?
If this was a factory and we missed a step in the production line, we wouldn't get the end product that was expected. So why do we think we can do this in the sales process?
If you have lost a deal, we would use our phrase: "You only win and learn, you do not lose. Let's use those lost deals to help make the changes to improve the win ratio."
The advice is to review as many lost deals as you can to establish what needs to change to potentially win more deals.
When you do the review, ensure you make everyone feel comfortable that is it not about the individuals. It is about learning and developing. There may be some individual coaching needed, but that can be taken after the lost deal analysis.
Top tips for looking at what went wrong in a deal:
1. Try and step back and see what the potential new customer is seeing.
2. Do not make excuses for why something did not happen, note the change, and make the learning experience.
3. Did you have control of the sales process? Was there a competitor that was closer to the prospect and potentially guiding the prospect to their solution and highlighting your weakness?
4. Was the decision-maker the actual decision-maker? People do not like to admit they are not in charge especially to people outside the business.
5. Did you understand what the prospects real needs were in this example?
6. Was your solution right for the prospect? We do see people who try to sell something that is not right for the prospect (but lots of prospects on the pipeline keep the manager away!)
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