lost sales

Sales Loss Analysis.

By Chris Lott | Management | 6430 Views | 1 Comment    

I would constantly hear the term “a teaching opportunity” any time someone made a mistake. At first this kind of bugged me to be honest. It seemed like a kinder, gentler way of saying they screwed up without saying it. As an upfront guy this tactful approach seemed… well… weak. But then as I thought about it more it actually made a lot of sense. These issues/problems should be times for teaching opportunities, not scolding’s, if you’re truly trying to build the best sales team possible.


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My training’s typically consisted of announcements, training, reporting (accountability), and success stories. We analyzed what we did right so as to “clone” these success techniques if you will. During one of these meetings it hit me… what about deals lost? Wasn’t a “teaching opportunity” there as well? Of course there was and my version of Lee B. Salzs’ Quincy Reporting, sales loss analysis, was born.

“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” -Lou Holtz

Two Items to Consider

1.) Spirit of this Reporting: After using this process for a while I found that you don’t want to create an environment for others to criticize. Learn and share only. Criticism is for one on ones.

2.) Take Action: Make this part of your normal sales meeting. Discuss as a team.

Questions to Go Over in the Meeting

Where and how did they get the lead? – At face value this seems like an irrelevant question. It isn’t. It is important to understand the source, the hand off, the relationship of the lead source. These could have been contributing factors especially if the lead had been given out to multiple sources or there was a relationship there you weren’t aware of.

How long did the sales cycle take? Why? – Each industry has a different sales cycle typically. If this missed opportunity took longer than usual why?

Who were the contact people, their titles, and relationships? – Was the sales rep in front of the right people? Why not?

Who did you lose to? – This can be a little tough to get out of a prospect by the sales person. I suggest the manager or an assistant make the call to see who won the day.

Why do you think the sale was lost? – Always the toughest question. Especially if it was a tough loss. But it does need to be talked through no matter how painful.

“Remember, you only have to succeed the last time.” -Brian Tracy

While no one wants to talk about their failures the reality is we all have them. At first the team was hesitant but as time went on they all saw some real value in not making the same mistakes as others. The learning was much higher because it wasn’t me saying these things but their peers. Overall this has been a very successful program which I recommend to any sales manager wanting to get their team to the “next level”.

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