Sales Training Article: Bad to Worse

By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

If someone were talented enough to finish second in every PGA tournament they participated in, they’d have several mansions, a private jet and sportswriters wondering why they can’t win.

If a salesperson were to come in second on every transaction he or she competed for, it would mean having to live on their base salary until a sales manager decides to replace them.

I’ve said for years the worst possible outcome is to go the distance (an entire sales cycle) and lose, either to another vendor or to no decision.

Recently I came to realize going the distance and losing is worse than I suspected. Research done by the TAS Group concluded that it takes 50% longer on average for sellers to lose deals than to win them. At first blush that seemed hard to believe, but would you agree most sales cycles that you win tend to have a fairly good pace to them?

One of the CCS® core concepts is: “Bad news early is good news.” By that we mean as soon as a seller knows he or she isn’t going to get the business, they should consider withdrawing. It’s hard to do, but I hope the realization that if it takes you 4 months to win transactions, you likely will spend 6 months losing opportunities that will help give you courage to walk. Hopefully the found time can be spent finding winnable opportunities.


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