Capturing loss information to use for strategic planning and pricing at the surface seems like a very simple task, which is why I was initially surprised it made the Top 10 list in our VP of Sales survey/study. To add a little clarity, the results indicate that strategic planning includes sales strategies, marketing strategies, value propositions, and target markets — a pretty extensive list.
It goes without saying that I am a big proponent of tracking this type of information in a CRM system. Loss data makes it much easier to aggregate and develop useful actions to improve the sales results. It is also important to accounts, opportunities, success in market segments, and particular customer types to help develop new strategies and initiatives.
The act of capturing loss data is quite simple; log the loss reason into a spreadsheet, CRM, or other outlet. The real challenge is making it meaningful.
Time to share a quick story! In my role as director of sales at previous employer, we had tracked loss data for a long time, first in Excel and then a CRM. Made no difference because the number 1 issue was always “lost on price”, probably about 95% of the time, followed closely by “designed canceled” at 4% and “other” rounding it out at 1%. Sound familiar? It’s the old can’t get competitive pricing out of marketing ploy…