“The decision came out of nowhere!”
You know the scenario … your company has been pursuing work, your sales team are telling you it is looking good, they are confident because they have “the inside track”.
When the decision comes down … you lose.
Your sales team are perplexed, they just don’t understand it.
Some things to remember in any sales situation.
You need to know who all the players are in the process. Typically there are several buyers, and each will have their particular need.
Who makes the final decision?
Who has the most influence?
Do you understand ALL of their motivations?
Do you know your competition and how they are positioned?
Do you understand the “hidden relationships” … the buyer who went to school with your competition; the buyer who is married to your competition’s best friend; the buyer who had a bad experience with your company; the buyer looking to make their career by negotiating a price that hurts everyone (client included).
You need to be clear on the client’s internal process. If your “champion” is trying to “game” the client process it should not be a surprise when you lose.
Are you sure that your sales team have actually been meeting the right people? Are there notes in your CRM? Calendar entries in the calendar?
How many people from your company have been involved? Just the account manager? Some of your executive? Some of your thought leaders?
The reality is that no sale is “a given” … but when a loss is a total surprise it is pretty clear that there is more to the story.
Learn your lessons, apply them into the future and make sure you get less surprises!