Lose a Sale? Here's the Post Mortem Your Team Needs to Do

November 13, 2017 Nick Rini

The deal seemed to be going so well. Yes it was a complex sale with many agendas and personalities involved, but the prospects all seemed to be on board. When suddenly, your rep reports that the emails stopped flowing, the return calls stopped, and meeting requests went unanswered. Have you been there?

There is nothing more devastating than being at the finish line of a big deal, only to watch it - and your commission - go up in smoke. While you can’t go back in time to repair the sale breakdown, you can assess how the sale failed and what you can do next time. Here’s the post mortem you need to do:

Was the Sale Doomed from the Start?

Initiating a sale should get just as much of a rep’s attention as closing a sale. But for a lot of sales teams, that just isn’t the case. Sales expert Don Mulhern says this about sales organizations that struggle to close deals: “It’s actually not that they have a closing problem, they have an opening problem.”

Your sales development rep may not have the training he/she needs to pass on leads that close. Plus - if the heat is on them to generate a certain number of leads, they certainly won’t be focusing on the quality of leads.

Closing the more “complex sales” deals starts during the prospecting phase. Ensuring SDRs have the proper training to qualify leads, and are granted the time it takes to qualify any inbound prospects and outbound leads can raise sales closing rates for the entire sales organization.

Remember: Don’t focus your time trying to figure out why the sale didn’t close, spend time with your team working out why the sale didn’t open.

What Did I Do Wrong?

A complex sale requires your rep to look at macro and micro view - the latter being multiple independent sales processes that each require attention and for the process to conclude in support for a buying decision.

There are a lot of moving parts - and relationships - in a complex sale, and it can be tough to point to exactly where the sale went off the rails. Imagine if a person had a failed personal relationship. A therapist would encourage them to look at their own behavior to identify patterns that led to this outcome.

Complex sales normally breakdown when the rep does not apply fundamental sales skills/techniques, which happens to both experienced reps and new hires with no sales experience. Taking periodic self-assessments can help sales professionals of every level stay at the top of their game.

Even veteran sales reps will find the profile resulting from a sales assessment fascinating. It could be that a complex sales deal was lost due to a flaw within the sales organization completely outside of the rep’s control, or it could be the rep has some selling behaviors that could be change and some sales skills that could be improved. A self sales assessment is the only way to know for sure.

The sales reps who are open and flexible to changing aspects of their personal sales approach will be the ones who win sales. Reps who feel they have nothing to improve on are destined to be left behind.

What questions does your team ask when sales go wrong? Share your thoughts in the comments! Interested in taking a sales self-assessment and discovering your Sales IQ? Check out UPtick, our free sale assessment that analyzed your selling behavior, assesses your selling skills and provides a path for sales improvement.

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