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Dec 20, 2016

2 Ways to help you evaluate lost managed services deals from 2016 and revamp your sales prospects for 2017

"It's fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."

- Bill Gates

As December comes to a close, it’s a good time to take a step back and reflect on just how far you’ve come this year! When celebrating success, it’s easy to focus on the wins, but what if you spent some time focusing on the losses?

Here are two things you can do to revisit your lost managed services sales from 2016 and take action on your new opportunities for 2017:

1. Keep Your Sales Pipe Clean

You must have accurate data before you can take action. This allows you to identify where in your sales process things breakdown, ask why, and find a solution to move forward.

One thing you can do is evaluate your current CRM strategy to determine what processes need to be in place to consistently develop and monitor your sales process. For example, we see “Lost Opportunity” as common field in traditional sales CRMs; however, this field doesn’t allow for further elaboration. Implementing a custom sub field documenting why the sales opportunity was lost can have several advantages, including:

  • A systematic approach to readdress the opportunity in perhaps a lost deal campaign.
  • The ability to continually tweak the sales process and potentially avoid breakdowns in the near future.
  • Financial forecasting is data dependent. The more data you have, the better the forecasting.
  • Tracking losses to develop a winning culture. No longer accept excuses, only valuable information to draw actionable conclusions.
  • Further develop your sales team by understanding their strengths and weaknesses, and by identifying winning habits and traits.

2. Learn from Lost Sales Opportunities

Reflecting on lost business is always encouraged. You can typically narrow down the reason for the loss into five buckets:

  1. A recognized need: The prospect didn’t have a need, or you did not uncover their “need behind the need.” What is really driving their purchase decision?
  2. A viable solution: Perhaps based on your understanding of their need, you presented an unsuitable solution?
  3. Value justifies cost: Price is one of the most common objections. Were you able to justify the cost of your solution?
  4. A sense of urgency: Timing, although vague, is all too common of an objection. It just wasn’t the right time. How can you create urgency with your prospects and encourage them now is the time to buy?
  5. Authority to buy: An understanding of your buying process is crucial, and a harmless question to ask if presented correctly. Did you have all the decision makers present?

Leveraging the Application to Present ensures these five prerequisites of a sale are met and is a great start to developing an understanding of where and why you are losing your managed services deals. Gather up your lost deals this past year, and spend a few moments categorizing them into one of the five buckets above. From there you can develop a follow-up strategy, ensuring this time around you eliminate your prospects known objections right up front!


A critical piece of any successful sales engine is creating and maintaining an accurate funnel. Of course, sales will never achieve a 100% hit ratio. However, you do have the ability to review your sales ratio, and the factors driving it to understand what managed services deals you are losing, and why. Circumstances can change for your prospects, and revisiting your old leads from 2016 can resurface new sales opportunities for 2017.

Tags: prospecting
Category: Sales

About The Author

Jake Wagner

Jake Wagner, an Account Manager for Collabrance, is responsible for sharing, coaching, and training partners on Managed Services best practices. Jake is a great resource providing value to help partners achieve greater success in their business. Jake graduated from the University of Dubuque with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing.