The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 2 months ago

Why Are You Losing?

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

All sellers occasionally go through rough periods. Maybe you’ve had some bad breaks or customer shake-ups. John Kaplan explains why you might be losing and offers suggestions for how to move forward after low periods, including attaching to the prospect’s biggest business issues, influencing decision criteria with your differentiation, and having reliable Champions and Coaches to support your opportunities.

Here are some additional resources

Enable Managers to Make an Impact on Future Deals Using Win/Loss Insights 

Sales Best Practices: Attach to the Biggest Business Problem 

Overcoming Sales Challenges: Change the Decision Criteria 

Beyond the Win/Loss Data with Tim Caito | Video  

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And if you're not influencing the decision criteria with your differentiation, don't just go along and play anyways, bad things are going to happen to you. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your teams sell more faster. will feature sales leaders sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team atforce management, a leader in B two B sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Hello, I'm Rachel Clatt Miller, and thank you for joining us on the audible ready sales podcast. Today we're going to talk to specifically to some of you who may have been down in your luck and that sales game lately. We've all been there. Maybe you've gotten a few bad breaks, experience some customers, shake ups. Don't get down, get better. John Kaplan joins me today to talk through reasons why you may be losing. Hi...

John, Hey Rachel, how are you good? Good? Um, John, I wonder if you could share maybe just some stories of when you went through some slumps in your career? Um, well, let's we'll get to that as we this entire podcast is going to be about that. I just want to share everybody, Um, I, of course I've gone through slumps and uh, it is a Um, it's a it's a major part of selling in your pursuit for success. So I'll share those stories throughout this conversation. Okay, well, good, good. Even the best experts have slumps in their careers, right, John Ye? So the first thing to do, Um, if you find yourself in this situation, is to really look broadly at what you can control moving forward. There's some things that are just going to happen that are out of your control, um, but what?...

Let's look at what you can control. So the first want I want to talk about is really assessing the business problem that you're linking to. Yeah, so you know, first of all, I'm a big believer in learning, no matter what the circumstances are. So I try to, you know, do post reflection on every opportunity, win or lose, and I think if that's something you can take away from this conversation today, you'll be better for it. So some of my greatest growth has come from losses. So, no matter if I win or I lose, I know certain things to be true. The most elite sellers are always doing a couple of things very purposefully. First, they're constantly looking to attach themselves to the biggest business issues that are facing their prospects. So, Rachel, way too often we settle in the comfort zone of the technical pain, and I want to be clear. Technical Pain is not a bad thing and and many of the technical solutions that...

...people are selling out there it's a must have. But it's just not enough. You have to connect that technical pain to the business pain and many of us have fallen short on this and deals, Um, you don't always lose, but you'll start to see things like lack of urgency prospects, talking about budget limitations, and you know, we typically don't get to an economic buyer without the business issue and the pain. So, you know, the other issues that I've seen with sellers, including myself, is when we fail to influence the decision criteria with our specific differentiation, which means the criteria is just too general. You know where everyone can play and therefore the lowest common denominator, as price or the decision criteria, is just not set up for you to win, and this means, you know, it's probably be more favorable...

...for the competition, and Rachel always amazes me when this situation exists. It amazes me that some people still choose to play anyways. And so I just want to give a little reality check. If you're sitting there today, you're looking at a couple of things. You're looking at your are you attached to the biggest business issue? If not, you need to attach yourself to the biggest business issue or those other symptoms will come up. And if you're not influencing the decision criteria with your differentiation, don't just go along and play anyways. Bad things are going to happen to you. Yeah, so that's a good explanation of the what to assess. The next up, I think, is to look at the WHO in your deals. Yeah, yeah, so I like the way that you you set this up. So all these issues I'm mentioning are much easier to deal with when you have champions and coaches and your opportunities. So ice specifically remember learning about the concept of a champion when...

I was at PTC and I felt immediate relief because I knew that if I built champions on my deals, I would never be alone. Someone else on the inside cares just as much about me connecting the technical pain to the business issues and making sure that the decision criteria is influenced by my differentiators. So we got to remember champions. In the definition of champions, they have power and influence, they're actively selling on our behalf and they have a vested interest in our success. So think about what that actually means. When you realize that you have a problem in a deal, something's going to miss, something's going awry, it's not just you who has the problem, it's we or us. That's very, very liberating for me and I hope that you find it liberate for yourself. So the only way you're gonna do that is you've...

...got to hold yourselves accountable to the strict definition of a champion. Then formulate your action plan early to gain access and build the relationships you need to move things forward. So get some spirit from knowing that there's power when you realize it's not I, but it's we, when you have a champion. Oh I love that power in it's not I, it's we. When you asked Um, what is the definition of a champion, John, I thought you were asking me and I just would like you to know that I was ready with. That's awesome, but you know, when we think about this topic, why are you using losing a lot of times, John, we lose late because we did not prepare early in our sales process. And that goes back to what we talked about a lot, even with negotiation, establishing that value in difference an early and throughout the sales process. Yeah, that's why...

...we try to give people simple frameworks when they're thinking about, you know, executing sales conversations, executing opportunities. We call this the value framework and if you recall, if you listen to this podcast, you'll know that we are constantly gathering positive business outcomes, required capabilities and metrics. How the customers going to measure success? These are all from the customer's point of view and we're doing this early, during and post. We're using this framework and then, you know, we've earned the right to kind of flip and talk about how we do it, how we do it differently or better and where we've done it before. So we're constantly validating this framework early and often throughout the process and it helps us keep the customer grounded on our value and our differentiation throughout the process. It also enables you the you know, to utilize what we...

...call the internal cell with the champions. So reminding the champions. A great exercise today is to ask a champion, Hey, you know, let's say you're late in the process and you're getting ready to, you know, to to move forward and for them to go internally and and sell this thing. You know, do this with the champions. said, hey, before we do that, let me just ask you a question. Why US AND BE SILENT? And what you're looking for is for them to talk about the business impact of your solution, how the required capabilities that they have are really solidified by our solutions, with our differentiation, and how they're going to measure success, and then talk about how, specifically we do that, how we do it differently or better and where we've done it before. That's a great framework to have in place where all of these things come to fruition. That's great.

I mean, John, we could go on and on. There's a lot of factors that come into play into why we lost. Some of them, like I said at the top, are out of our control, but we want to Um recognize what is in our control and if we're in a slump and we're continuously striking out. It may be time to look at some of these broader skills and figure out where we may need to brush up. Let's go ahead and end it there. Yeah, you know, Rachel, I wouldn't wait for the slump. It's gonna come. Like when you look at when you look at baseball players, you know the people that are in the hall of fame. They back three hundred, which means they strike out seven out of ten times. So you know, if you're doing your job and if you're really pressing and you're pressing your opportunities, you're pressing your marketplace, you're building pipeline, you're gonna have. You're gonna have these situations where you're winning and losing. So let's just know that that's coming. But here's...

...what I want you to do. I want you to wake up today, I want you to wake up tomorrow with these following thoughts. Today, it's my job to attach myself to the biggest business issues facing my customer. Today, it's my job to influence the decision criteria with my differentiation. And today I can make all of this easier with a champion. But I'm going to hold myself accountable that that champion is defined by power and influence and they're actively selling on my behalf and they have a vested interest in my success. Go get some go get some way, go, John. Awesome. All right, thank you. Thank you to all of you for continuing to listen to the audible ready sales podcast. At force management, we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and...

...fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US AT FORCE MANAGEMENT DOT com. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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