“No thanks I am not interested…”
That ‘no thanks’ reply- once again.
It is not very nice, is it?
You invest your time, money, and resources for weeks or even months to build a relationship and convert a lead into a potential deal and then, the deal falls through.
Do not worry you are not alone.
Or are you the one who is looking for ways to respond to lost deals then you are not alone because many are doing the same and even today I struggle to crack deal and sometimes find it difficult to respond to lost deals.
In a recent report by Implisit on B2B Sales Benchmark of Implicit, it has been found that:
- Only 13% of the leads are converted to opportunities, and it takes in an average of 84 days to convert a lead into an opportunity.
- Only 6% of sales opportunities convert from opportunities to deals, with an average conversion time of 18 days.
- The overall lead-to-deal conversion rate is around 0.8%, which means you need 128 leads to close just one deal.
Moreover, in a study by Marketing Metrics, it has been found that only 5 to 20 percent of prospects turn into a customer.
The stats are not very encouraging, is it? Hence, the only option that you have in front is to keep your pipeline always full by prospecting.
Now, what do you do if any of these scarce leads slip through your fingers?
Well, here is some good news to cheer up your spirits.
This might sound like an oxymoron, but deals that you have lost just could turn out to be the best thing that could have happened to you.
So let us look into the five most important steps as to how you can turn your lost sales into reopened sales opportunities:
Analyze your Sales Process
We all know B2B sales is just a number game. And it is exactly the reason why it really makes sense to look back and quantify the numbers of your “lost deals.”
The fundamental necessity for great analysis comes from documenting detailed sales records of all your sales opportunities. So that, when any of your potential sales slip through, all the information related to sales of that opportunity is available readily at your fingertips.
For this, if you develop a habit of creating notes at every stage of your sales in your CRM, you can gather all the information needed for evaluating your activities.
Using a CRM platform, whereby the system aids you in tracking your activities, helps you also to search through any sales timelines and view where deals were acquired or lost and what were the issues that are needed to be harnessed right away,
Additionally, analyzing your data by taking a step back may also help you to exactly pinpoint at which stage of the sales process the sale fell off so that you can make necessary amendments in your existing sales processes.
Refocus on winning sales opportunities
Here are two scary facts.
- In a research done by TAS Group, it was found that it generally takes 50% longer to lose a deal than winning one.
- Around 50% of sales time is lost and wasted on unproductive prospecting.
Hence if you think that you are spending more time losing deals, ask your sales reps not to spend their valuable time managing prospects those who simply will not buy.
Do not spend time on opportunities that are destined to lose. Sales are not about finding people to sell, but finding the right people to sell your products to.
Start by understanding your ideal customer profile and work on how you can reach as many prospects as you can which meets your requirements.
To do this, here are a few questions that you may ask, such as:
- What are the needs your products or services are most successful in addressing?
- What are the people you are most successful at selling to?
- Which companies are your competitors and have the best solution to fit your prospects needs, and why?
Once you answer these questions to yourself and get a clear view of your ideal customers, you will be able to remove the unfit prospects from your sales pipeline and rather refocus on the deals you can win instead.
Understand why deals are lost
Finding and then recognizing why a deal was lost is invaluable and priceless information.
The biggest lesson that you can learn from your prospects who says “no” can help you not to repeat your mistakes in the future.
According to a report published by Griffin group, 60% of sales reps admit that they do not conduct interviews with their lost customers.
Hence, take advantage of this sales opportunity. Ask your lost prospects for feedbacks on questions, such as:
- What stopped you from buying from us?
- Why did you choose our competitor?
- Did we miss anything that if not could have changed your mind?
However, before asking any questions let your prospects know that you have accepted your loss and that you will not try to change their mind, for this way you will be able to put your prospect’s mind at ease. Also, remember to hear carefully, without acting defensive, as this candid information from your lost prospect may help you a lot in the long run.
At the least, if not for other reasons, just by doing this exercise your lost prospects may also appreciate your efforts and speak well of you to others.
Keep up the conversation
According to research done on purchase matrix, Marketing Donut found that approximately 63% of prospects who have requested information about your products and services from your company today, will not purchase for at least the next three months, and furthermore 20% will take more than even a year to buy.
Hence, once you lose a deal, according to Marketing Donut’s survey, it might also just be that your prospect was not ready to buy right at that time.
Therefore, it is important that you keep your losing prospects stay on the top of your mind, which can help your prospects to select you as the first company they will think of, once they are ready to buy.
As a strategy for keeping up your conversation with your lost customers, you can implement social selling skills to keep your prospects engaged with your brand by providing them with relevant content when they need it. Doing this will really create a difference when you will be trying to close the sales opportunity in the future.
This technique of keeping prospects engaged with your brand’s products and services using drip marketing is known as lead nurturing, which has proved to be most effective for bringing a positive impact on your lost sales.
According to Market Donut, it has been noticed in another survey that on an average lead nurturing strategy brings in 20% more sales, in comparison to non-nurtured leads.
Now, if you are using any CRM software, you can use an automated email marketing campaign with your prospects for promoting new contents or conduct events, webinars and seminars to keep your prospects engaged till the time are ripe for them to buy.
Reconnect with lost prospects
The final say is- Do not give up.
It is always worth reaching out times and again to lost opportunities, allowing time to pass. For, you never know what has changed over time.
Hence, keep a record of your sales opportunities by building a follow-up system and for every lost opportunity schedule a check-up call. Here CRM for small business brings a more cohesive approach to keeping records in order.
For example, if you are selling a yearly subscription-based service and have lost the deal, make sure you call back on your prospect after 9 months, since if you reconnect with your prospect after another 12 months, you have every chance that you will probably lose the deal once more.
None of us likes to lose deals.
It can always be that your prospect’s needs were not addressed at the appropriate time, or their finances and requirements or some other reason could have led to the sales opportunity slipping out of your hands.
Hence, every time you lose a deal, do not just forget it and move on but take the time to analyze and reflect on your lost prospects and deals. In other words, try to find out what you have done wrong and then create an outline of what you can do to make it right in the future for reducing the number of your lost deals.
Do not lose hope. We know several people who have won back many deals that they initially lost primarily because they stayed in touch with their prospects. Along the way, these people have helped their prospects with free guidance and directions on how to resolve some of their nettlesome issues, and now they have become trusted partners to their customers, trying to increase their prospect’s confidence in them and their brand every day.