Win Loss Analysis: What are the top 6 reasons for losing your deals?

Top 6 reasons why sales people lose deals

We reviewed the Win-Loss Analysis Programmes we had run over the past few years. We thought you may be interested in some of the top mistakes salespeople make. We think that these seem to account for most lost sales caused by sales people. There are of course, other reasons for losing deals.

  1. Salespeople relying on the features and capabilities of their product or service to win.
    Few companies have a completely unique offering to simply blow the competition away.
    And if they did they probably would not need sales people to sell it!!
    Winning sales people understand their client’s environment and circumstances well first .
    They use that understanding to differentiate their products or services in ways that convey value to customers.
  2. They’re afraid of calling on executive-level buyers 
    They rely on giving their pitch to their usual customer contact.
    This person becomes their surrogate sales person (with no training)
    They try to sell the idea inside the company
    Salespeople need to have the courage to work out who they need to see and meet them.
  3. They depend too much on too few relationships.
    Relationship selling usually isn’t enough anymore.
    Salespeople have to prove their value.
    Knowing the key buyer usually won’t close the sale.
    These days there’s usually a decision making unit not one person.
    Getting multiple people from your company to meet people from your customer helps.
  4. They don’t have a plan to win. 
    Poor Planning delivers Poor Performance (or you may have a similar phrase ?
    They have agreed no objective or agenda for each meeting.
    They have nothing to aim for, nothing to measure progress.
    That makes it very difficult to know you are winning or losing before it happens.
    It also makes learning from your mistakes almost impossible.
  5. They don’t really understand their customer’s business.
    They will therefore communicate to their customers that they don’t think that’s important.
    The customer will see  they aren’t passionate about solving their problems.
    Successful salespeople understand how what they sell helps their customers.
  6. They don’t have all the skills and experience required to win.
    Salespeople have to be better researchers and information gathers.
    Winning a sale today requires knowledge, planning and execution.

Here’s the opinion of the Harvard Business Review,

the 8 reasons Sales People Lose Deals

Click here to see the HBR Article

Or read on for just our edited highlights

1. Incumbent Advantage.

“It’s a pain to switch vendors. It’s a pain to analyze whether you should or not.
We naturally prefer working with our existing vendors.” —Vice President of Purchasing

2. Inability to Remove Risk.

“It sorts itself out pretty fast — those who will and won’t make it with us.
We are a big company, so there’s always a tendency to go with the big players.
Who are your proven big-time customers?
What resources do you have to get something fixed?” —Chief Operating Officer

3. C-Level Executive Access.

“Every salesperson is trying to get into my office and explain how their wonderful products will save me tons of money.
Very few do because most don’t understand what it takes to sit across the table from me.” —Chief Executive Officer

4. Business Solution Focus.

“What’s wrong with salespeople is they’re typically selling a product.
I don’t need a product unless it solves one of my business problems.” —President

5. Ineffective Messaging.

“We are a skeptical group, and they lost the deal during their presentation.
They said they were different and much better than what we have, but they didn’t provide enough proof.
What they said didn’t really apply to us.” —Chief Financial Officer

6. Poor Pre-sales Resources.

“The vendor we chose has a group of smart, dedicated, customer-oriented people.
To a great degree, I don’t think their products and services are different from their competitors’.
They distinguish themselves with their people.” —Vice President of Supply Chain

7. Lack of an Internal Coach.

“Anytime we had a question, the sales rep attacked it.
He would get their people on the phone within a day to answer how we could do something.
He listened to what we were trying to do and he knew his resources.
He earned our trust so we were much more open with him.” —Chief Information Officer

8. Out-of-range Pricing.

“Price is always important but we did not buy the lowest priced solution.
There are many other factors including the fit between organizations that render pricing to a secondary factor.
With that said, I never want to buy the highest priced solution.” —Vice President of Technology.

What do you believe are the top reasons why your sales teams lose deals ?

Do you agree with the views above? Do you have other reasons?

Do you run Win-Loss Analysis on your sales deals?

If so what does your analysis tell you?