Don’t Lose Twice

Losing stinks. If you’re like me, you hate to lose an opportunity, especially to a competitor. But sometimes in our haste to move on and focus our efforts on the remaining deals on our plate, we fail to get to the bottom of the reason for the loss. I call this losing twice. Sometimes a loss can provide us a chance to learn something and to avoid repeating a mistake we may have made. The best salespeople take this opportunity to have a discussion with the selling team, and often the customer, to find out how they could win a similar deal in the future using a structured loss review. It’s sometimes difficult for sales teams to be objective in these situations and not just chalk it up to the fact that “the customer just didn’t understand our solution” or “the competition came in at a lower price.” We may have failed to uncover an important person that was involved in the customer’s buying process. We may have overestimated the strength of our position. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20 – but the point of this exercise is not to beat ourselves up. The idea is to figure out how we could improve our position in similar situations in the future. Sharing this information with the rest of the team ensures that we at least get some value for the time and effort that we invested in this opportunity. Interestingly, win reviews can be just as powerful. Are you regularly conducting win/loss reviews on important opportunities with your team? If not, we can show you a very straightforward process for how to accomplish this in a productive way without alienating team members.

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