A lost sales deal isn’t really a loss it all… it’s an opportunity. Below are a few key takeaways that you can retain from a lost sales deal.
You Made It to the Consideration Stage
Depending on how far you progressed in the sales cycle, it’s likely that your product/service was at least considered for purchase. If you were one of the final contenders, there’s a lot to be proud of. You beat out other competitors, which shows that a lot things are working in terms of the sales pipeline, sales and marketing tactics, etc.; it also shows that you weren’t the perfect fit for the business. Acknowledge the efforts put into the sale, and look for room to reflect, analyze, and grow.
Sometimes, making it to a short-list or strong consideration stage of the sales process means that you’ll get a good reference as a result. Perhaps the account just wasn’t the right fit, but you were the best candidate. The lost account can give a good reference to their partners or similar companies who might find a better use out of your product.
You’re More Knowledgeable Now Than Before
By going through the sales process with the potential customer that was lost, you’ve come a long way – if you’ve done your job correctly, you now know so much more than before. When learning about the account, you likely did some research about their competitors, research about your own competitors and their selling strategies, the industry in which the account belongs to, and much more. By already having done this research and familiarizing yourself with these industries and companies, you’ll be that much more prepared and knowledgeable for the next sales prospect that comes around from the same niche.
Some Things Worked, Others Didn’t
There’s bound to be a few reasons why the sale didn’t work out as you’d hoped. Perhaps your company simply didn’t provide the solutions that the company was looking for in terms of your product’s features; in other cases, the actual presentation and sale of the product wasn’t executed as well as it could have been, or maybe follow-up wasn’t strong. Regardless of what the case may be, now is the time to analyze and revise the sales process. For example: if you find that the account was lost after a sales presentation, it’s wise to look closely into what might’ve went wrong in the process. But sometimes the product just wasn’t what the account was looking for, and that’s ok too.
Reevaluate the Sales Pipeline
To really amplify the value of the lost sales deal, you might consider taking another look at the entire sales process (having a customer relationship management (CRM) tool will make this much easier) that the account went through to find pain points. The account might’ve gotten pushed away in a certain stage of the sales pipeline, and finding where exactly that took place will be extremely beneficial, not only to your own personal growth as a salesperson, but also to the rest of the sales team as they continue reaching out to prospects and working within the pipeline.
Chalk It up as Selling Experience
Regardless of how the sale turned out, you can chalk up the time and energy you put into the account as valuable selling experience. Every sale, regardless of outcome, is more practice and experience that you can learn from to better yourself and your sales team.