Losing is only temporary and not all encompassing. You must simply study it, learn from it, and try hard not to lose the same way again. Then you must have the self-control to forget about it.
– John Wooden – Basketball coach and player
Many of the best salespeople in the world look to champion athletes and sports stars for inspiration. We respect their hard work and dedication, value their endurance and tenacity and in our more reflective moments, occasionally see aspects of our own feats in the corporate world reflected in their achievements.
To be the best at something you have to work hard and be singularly focused, but you also have to leave nothing to chance. The level of preparation, research and attention to detail that most successful athletes and sporting teams undergo to ensure victory is extraordinary. In my experience, the one area where most businesses fall down by comparison with our sporting peers, is our lack of scrutiny of the ‘post-match tape’.
Too often it’s like the contest never took place, we mentally erase the tape, bury the pricing documents and RFP responses in some deep dark network drive, lick our wounds and move on to the next opportunity. Well I’m here to tell you that’s a mistake! Analysing your wins and losses may be the single quickest, most cost effective and impactful decision you could ever undertake to grow your sales base, reduce your cost of sale and learn when would be a good time to qualify out.
If you or your business regularly spend time speaking to customers at the end of your winning and losing sales cycle, as a means of extracting specific and actionable insights, I’d love to hear about your experiences? Equally if you don’t do this and you don’t think its a valuable step in the sales process, I’d be interested in your perspective as well?