Accepting Lost Deals | Sales Strategies

I was working with a CEO and his management team recently and the CEO said, “If you’re batting 300, you would be in the hall of fame.” It was a great reminder to salespeople that we don’t win all the business.

In fact, closing ratios in North America are somewhere between 30-40%. I’ve worked with companies to take them up as high as 47%, but that’s still less than half and these are top performers.

Why is it key to remember this? Because we have to get losses out of our mind quickly and self-assess like we did last week. Ask yourself early on in the cycle if this is a deal you should be working on. Wouldn’t it be great if you had a 47% close rate, but the 53% you lost was mostly because you walked away? That way, if you made a mistake, you can walk away from a deal and refocus on new leads that might have a chance to grow. It’s always better to do the breaking up than it is to be broken up with. That is the power of realizing that we’re never going to close all the opportunities.

I see salespeople get stuck far too often and not close the business they should because they are determined on focusing on leads that will never close. Our competitive spirit gets the best of us and then we exert energy on someone that’s never going to buy and ignore the people who genuinely want to buy from us. When we ignore the people who want to buy, they go to someone else.

So get rid of the gunk in your pipeline that you know deep in your gut is never going to close. Remember, you can’t win them all, so make some decisions now. Whoever is most likely to buy is where you should focus your energy. I promise you, doing this will dramatically improve your close rates and your profits.


One response to “Accepting Lost Deals | Sales Strategies

  1. I agree with you. We do get stuck with the deals which are unlikely to close and takes too much of energy out of us. Right time, right place, right customer, right deal BUT honestly it comes with experience.
    There is no point in focussing on the deal just out of competitive spirit. Competition must deserve you as well.

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