If you ask a sales person why they lost a contract, the common answer is, "our price was too high." Or "we don’t have an established relationship with the customer." According to Ken Allred, these answers are just excuses.
Ken is the CEO and founder of Primary Intelligence, a Salt Lake City-based provider of win-loss analysis and customer experience solutions, and has talked to several corporations over the years to analyze what goes into consideration when choosing a vendor. This is what he had to say about lost opportunities.
"In my discussions with tens of thousands of buyers over the years, fewer than six percent have cited price as the primary non-selection reason and fewer than four percent say relationship was the primary reason for selecting suppliers."
That came as quite a revelation to me!
Staffing Industry Analysts recently partnered with Primary Intelligence to survey buyers of staffing services about what are their criteria for choosing a staffing vendor. And it was very interesting to see that while price and relationships were important, they were far less important than staffing firms imagine. The most important factors for the buyers that we talked to were the quality of talent provided to them and the availability of skill sets needed. A good understanding of the client's business, too, was critical in satisfying the client's needs.
Analyzing why you win and lose is a critical component to improving your sales performance and avoiding missteps that are likely costing you opportunities. So next time when one of your underperforming sales people tells you that sales are down because your bill rates are too high, go ahead and show the person our report on "Why Staffing Firms Lose Prospects and Clients." Then ask them to go back to the customer and figure out what really went wrong.
And Ken is offering to pitch in and help you out as well. Primary Intelligence has agreed to offer SIA corporate members a free 60 day trial of their win-loss analysis solution. The free trial will include three opportunity profiles, 60 days of software access, stakeholder program and free sales analytics consulting. To take advantage of this trial, just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.