The difference between a won and a lost opportunity is sometimes very narrow. The good news is, we don’t lose all of our opportunities. But we don’t win them all, either. Understanding why opportunities are lost is vital to winning more of them.
The Pipeliner CRM Archive
It is for that reason that, with Pipeliner CRM, we make it possible for you to fully understand lost opportunities, and we are the only CRM to do so. The Pipeliner CRM Archive is arranged exactly like the active pipeline view. Leads and opportunities contain all information that was present when they were archived, including documents, emails, notes, social media interactions, tasks, and activities. If a deal comes back to life, it can be restored to the active pipeline with one click.
Through the Archive, you can conduct analyses of lost opportunities, and discover vital factors such as:
- at which sales stages you are losing the most deals
- which sales reps need mentoring and coaching, and in what areas
- which products or price points are losing you the most deals
- accuracy of close dates and lead scoring
and much more.
Within the Pipeliner administration interface, the “loss reason” field for opportunities can be customized. Reasons could include price, competition, a missing feature, or even some kind of clash between the salesperson and the prospect.
Conducting such analyses makes it possible to completely understand losses, and for particular types of losses to not happen again. Through that understanding, changes can be made to your processes, and steady improvements can occur.
As a Pipelinerpreneur it is very important to understand why you lose so that you can adapt that information to a better strategy for winning. If you could increase your win rate by 1 percent per month, that would be 12 percent per year. If you kept this increase up, it would be 24 percent over 2 years—that would make you a master!
A bigger company would really benefit from such increases, even if they were 2 to 3 percent per year—such percentages are astonishing when you’re dealing with large sales figures.
Whether you win or lose, there is always a lesson either way. With a win, you can take a lesson on how you can sell more to that customer, or how they will provide referrals or even an introduction to an investor. You service them well so that they will renew wholeheartedly at the end of the year, and they even become an ambassador for you.
A lost opportunity is never a total loss. You have stored all of that opportunity’s information in the Archive, and that information is always valuable. It could be, for example, that several deals were lost because of a missing feature or benefit. When that benefit or feature is finally added to your product, you can revive those opportunities and offer them what they were missing.
Follow-Up and Maintaining Relationships
It is therefore critical that on both sides—wins and losses—you have processes in place for follow-up. With Pipeliner’s powerful Automatizer functionality, you can make such processes automatic. For example, you could set Automatizer to send a personalized email every 3 months to customers inviting them to a short meeting. Some will take you up on it, some won’t, but having that “reach out” from you is always meaningful.
That follow-up should be part of an overall strategy of building a relationship with the customer. That relationship helps you obtain more business from the customer as well as reviews and recommendations. Of course, that relationship building should be there from the beginning. In that first moment when they have signed up, the customer has the most motivation to speak highly of your company and products, and you should take full advantage of that. Always ask for a recommendation at that point, and then regularly from then on.
Maintaining a relationship is especially important in SaaS or any kind of remote business. In SaaS, most people cancel contracts because they don’t have any kind of relationship with the company, so they don’t care about renewing. It’s much harder to cancel a contract when you have a real relationship with a company and think highly of them. As a Pipelinerpreneur, I highly recommend that, in your local area, you even pay customers personal visits. This is another way you can show them appreciation for being your customer.
To Sum Up
- Fully understand your losses, so you can strategize better wins from them.
- Analyze losses using the Pipeliner Archive, so that this understanding is always present, and loss reasons can be corrected.
- Use that understanding to continue and strengthen relationships with customers and prospects.