How does a done deal come undone? After looking at thousands of win-loss reviews and talking to salespeople and sales managers, our experience has found that in most cases these last-minute surprises are caused by one of two problems:
- The salesperson did not have the full picture of how the decision was being made, who was influencing the final decision, and what the decision maker(s) thought of the salesperson.
- The salesperson was unaware of actions competitors were taking behind the scenes to undermine his or her competitive position.
To build a foundation of knowledge for an effective competitive strategy, salespeople need to understand and anticipate the decision process, how the customer defines value, and the actions competitors are taking.