Everyone wants to win. Companies love tracking sales growth. But what about the losses? Don't overlook them. They are important to your company as they are a learning tool.
In the MediaPost article, "9 Metrics Every Company Should Use," writer and senior vice president of strategy and solutions Martha Bush, suggests:
As the number of sales channels continues to increase, so has the need for organizations to get a strong, metrics-based grip on all that data to maximize their successes and learn from their failures.
Even though most people hate to dwell on their defeats, experts note, "moving on without reflecting on why you lost a sale can be a mistake." As Susan Greco discusses in her Inc. article, "How to Set Up a Sales Tracking Process," it is only through the analysis of losses that a company can identify their underlying weaknesses and determine how to improve.
For Greco that means finding out not only why you lost, but also why the other guys won:
It's useful to get a price-to-value comparison of your company, which lost the business, versus the winner. You can also ask open-ended questions about competing products. What features did a rival product have that ours lacked? Was another product perceived to be a better value? A sales loss driven by pricing concerns may have nothing to do with the sales rep's performance.
Finding out why a customer didn't buy can give you valuable insights into your competitive positioning, value proposition, pricing model, and sales process.
Just because you lost a sale does not mean you fire the sales person. Work with the team to learn about what when right and what went wrong to avoid the same mistakes. This is on the job training, and sometimes it is painful. I have learned more coming in second than I have in winning the deal.
Don't stop talking to the customers who didn't choose you. Talk to them. Continue to build a relationship. Continue to send them valuable information that makes them better business people. Maybe the company that won the first deal stumbles, and you want to be there to catch a new customer. The long-term goal is to get them as a customer. This takes time, but good customers require a long-term commitment.
A successful sales team can learn from the misses. Each sales person should celebrate their wins, and discuss their losses. Have the team strategize why the company lost a deal will help everyone to come to grips with problems that can be corrected next time. If you have turn over in your sales team, tracking loses as well as wins helps the new sales people to come up to speed. Learn from your interactions with customers. The customer will like it, as you will be more responsive.
George Tyler, a serial entrepreneur, has developed the only consulting practice that focuses exclusively on strategic alliances and the implementation of the powerful Alliance Compass™ to accelerate global revenue growth. He helps companies find new routes to market and revenue growth.
Chances are the answer to the above question is easy: we all do. However, what exactly is the benefit of having a business collaborator? Many of us just don't like other people getting involved in our own business. Too many people having a say in how a business is run can slow efficiency and even detract from business quality. This does not include any personal frustrations from working with people with whom we simply do not like. But small business collaboration brings advantages to the table that make it worth the trouble. That's why it's so important to choose your business collaborators carefully.
A business collaboration is a relationship two or more businesses have with one another that benefit everyone. Perhaps one business specializes in peanut butter and wants to reach out for many new customers. Another business making jelly provides a solution to the same customers, but together they expand both of their markets with BP&J sandwiches. By collaborating with one another, these two businesses can spare high resource expenditures and increase the quantity of products each provides.
Are you a café owner looking for a great location to start your small business? Wouldn't it be fantastic to collaborate with a locally owned bakery to make an appealing breakfast option for many commuters in the early morning? Childcare providers would benefit a great deal from knowing where the local pediatricians are. Simply letting parents know that you work closely with local health care professionals is going to make them feel safer leaving their children with you, and it's going to help the local collaborator because it's essentially free advertising.
There's more to collaborators than just pure location practicality. There are also collaboration opportunities in the supply and production chain, deliveries -- both local and global, and time-saving shared office space. Consider a pet sitter who also offers grooming services.
Where would Apple be without collaborating with software companies? Without Apps, the iPhone is just another mobile phone. With the Apps, you have a mobile computer that makes phone calls. This is the same strategy used by Microsoft for the PC, which was used by the major manufacturers of computers for years.
No matter what business you are in, chances are you, just like the rest of us, would gain substantially from involving practical collaborators in your company. The only real remaining question is this: how do you choose a business collaborator? Find a trusted advisor to guide you and provide you with assistance.
George Tyler, a serial entrepreneur, has developed the only consulting practice that focuses exclusively on strategic alliances and the implementation of the powerful Alliance Compass™ to accelerate global revenue growth. He helps companies find new routes to markets and revenue growth.
- In todays world, there are a lot of people who looks towards the mainstream media to inform them about what is taking place in the world.