You Lost the Sale, Now What? Perform an Autopsy

The importance of conducting a post-mortem on your sales process

Written By: David Lewis

There are a myriad of different sales techniques that exist such as The Seven-Touch Principle of Sales, or concepts such as Situation, Problem, Implication, and Need-Payoff (SPIN) that help guide any sales or marketing professional. 

These frameworks exist for a simple reason: sales can be a difficult game.  How difficult?  Let’s take a look:

According to a study by Marketing Metrics, “the probability of selling something to a prospect is only about 5-20%.”

Sales is an emotional process, and as sales professionals, it’s easy to allow our attitude and feeling toward sales to live and die within each deal – especially when it takes a long time to harvest and generate relationships.  However, it is important to remain objective as we work to land deals, even when we lose them.  As a communication skills firm, Pinnacle understands just how critical communication skills (both internally, and externally) are when it comes to the loss of a sale.

So, you lost the big sale, the one you’ve spent months working on.  You’ve given yourself a day to mourn, so what are the next steps?

  1. Call an all-hands meeting internallylisten to one another to identify why it is you feel you lost.  Was it pricing? Process? Solution? Take note, and use this collective feedback for the next time you find yourself in a situation to bid.

  2. Schedule time with the client – similar to your internal meeting, use this time to listen to your potential client to understand exactly what it is and why you were not selected.  Is there opportunity to restructure your bid, your offer, or you pricing?

  3. Review your offer – communicate internally with your team to review your presence in the marketplace, and modify the presentation or structure of your offer to best accommodate your client-type. Involve marketing in this discussion.

  4. Get back on the horse, and seek a similar deal – this time, win it. Use the tips and tricks above.

Communication is key in all of these endeavors, and as a professional communication skills training firm, Pinnacle can help you learn to best communicate your intention internally and externally for your sales, marketing and business development teams. 

Pinnacle’s AIM for Sales Training program goes beyond the traditional process-oriented sales models and focuses on what matters the most: THE CLIENT INTERACTION AND ENGAGEMENT.

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