June 28th, 2010
Learning from Losing
In most of our client consulting engagements we strongly recommend that “win/lost” reports are completed. This is a process of reviewing all sales that occur and those that don’t! We suggest this action is performed in two steps.
The first step is between the sales manager and the salesperson, during this phase the sales leader simply probes as to what the salesperson believes are the reason the prospect purchased or did not purchase your solution. Questions are asked regarding levels of communication, perceived benefits, pricing and competitive situations. We normally recommend this conversation takes place during a sales meeting-it is NOT a grilling. This is a group coaching and training experience, the review should be designed to help the salesperson and the members of your sales team to share experiences or ideas as to what worked or what did not work.
The second step is a conversation between the “X-prospect or new client” and either the sales manager, president or an independent source. If the sales manager was active in the sales process with the salesperson, then the President/independent source should conduct the interview. Most people may not be as honest or straight forward with an individual that had been involved in the process. During this conversation more detailed questions should be asked to uncover the reasons you won or you lost. I like to find out: When did the prospect really make up their mind? What was the perceived benefit of your firm? What did we do? Or what could we have done to win the opportunity? Who won the opportunity? What were the price points?
During this research we have uncovered areas for additional sales training, enhancing marketing messaging and more closely monitoring the sales actions and strategy during the sales opportunity. In most situations the salesperson did not establish trust & confidence early in the sales process, skipped a step in the sales process or they failed to prove your value proposition during the sales process.
If you would like a copy of a Win/Lost Report template, send me an email. Ken@Acumenmgmt.com
What have you learned by losing?