The Dead Deal Autopsy: 19 Questions To Ask When Conducting A Lost Deal Analysis

The Anatomy Of A Lost Deal Analysis

Your salesperson gets word from a prospect that they bought from your competitor. It happens.

You can just get P.O.’d or you can reach out to the buyer to determine what went wrong to perform a lost deal analysis with your salesperson. Maybe you do both. I’m going to recommend you don’t do both at the same time, though.

At any rate, in my experience, most salespeople hesitate to reach out to prospects to do a lost deal analysis to determine what they could have done better in the sales interaction. Maybe because doing a lost deal analysis isn't a commissionable activity. Maybe they’re worried they’ll get negative feedback that will feel too “personal.” Maybe they simply don't care about doing a lost deal analysis. Maybe it’s because they already know why they lost.

The important thing for a sales manager, though, is to find out for yourself. A prospect who bought from your competitor can be a phenomenal resource to use to do a lost deal analysis. You can also gain some valuable insight into marketplace perception of your product, service or company.

It can be difficult to get a buyer who went away to spend time with you; however, I've been surprised at how many people will actually be willing to spend a little time on the phone chatting about their sales interaction.

Use the list below as a starting point to develop questions specific to your competitive environment, product, service, marketplace, sales cycle, etc.  in short, this is your guide to conducting a lost deal analysis.

19 Questions To Guide A Lost Deal Analysis Conversation

  1. How did you become aware of our company in the first place?
  2. What did your vendor sourcing process look like?
  3. What was the one, single reason you decided not to buy from us?
  4. What did we do to earn the right to proceed as far as we did in your buying process?
  5. Do you feel as though you were given a clear understanding of our company, what we stand for, and how we could help you?
  6. What was most confidence-inspiring about our company? The least confidence-inspiring?
  7. What was your first interaction with our sales rep like?
  8. Did the salesperson clearly articulate our value proposition?
  9. If applicable, was the sales experience in line with your expectations?
  10. What did the salesperson do well? What could our salesperson have done better?
  11. Was the salesperson adequately prepared for the call? Why do you feel that way?
  12. Did the salesperson have information readily available on your website or other publicly available source of information?
  13. Did the salesperson ask thoughtful, strategic questions about the business impact of our product or service?
  14. Did you feel that the salesperson’s recommendation was on target? Why or why not?
  15. What, if any, testimonials, references, trials, etc. did the sales rep offer you?
  16. At the end of each interaction, did the salesperson ask about next steps? If not, what did he or she do?
  17. What did our competitor offer that we didn't, which compelled you to go in another direction?
  18. If you were managing this sales rep, what would you tell him or her as being the reason you bought from the competition?
  19. Is there anything else you’d like to share?

You may also be interested in this briefinar: Make Lost Deals Work for You: 5 Steps to an Effective Postmortem

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Published on February 13, 2014

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