It’s inevitable – sometimes, bad quarters happen to good sales managers. For whatever reason, your team just doesn’t look like it’s going to reach its bookings quota for Q1, wrapping up in just one short week.
Is it time to throw in the towel, wave the white flag and give up any hope of making up that deficit in the next week and hitting your number?
Even when things appear dire, there are always ways to turn things sharply around at the last minute. For our money, one of the best sources of last-minute (or late-quarter) miracles is to dip back into the well of a closed-lost campaign.
If at first you don’t succeed…
What is a closed-lost campaign? – In Salesforce.com, all of your past opportunities that have been lost should be tagged with the appropriate status (Lost or Dead). However, beyond just simply logging opportunities as lost, your reps should be required to select from a normalized list of lost reasons.
A closed-lost campaign is centered around revisiting these previously “lost” opportunities, in a bid to resuscitate them and work on selling them again. Of course, some “lost” opportunities will never come back as an opportunity again. However, there is the possibility that others will. This is where the setting up of lost reasons in Salesforce will pay dividends.
Sifting through lost reasons to find the right ones
The key is to sort through your lost opportunities to find the “right” ones for a closed-lost campaign. For example, if price was a huge concern for Opportunity X 6 months ago, and your pricing hasn’t changed in that time period, it would be a waste of time to expend more effort following up with that opportunity again.
But what if timing was the most frequently cited lost reason, as in this example above? These opportunities simply weren’t ready to buy when you first contacted them – perhaps they’re singing a different tune today. Running a closed-lost campaign on some of these opportunities might prove to be a lucrative vein of gold for the end-of-quarter crunch.
You’ve already established contact with this prospect. Any sales rep will tell you that a warm lead – no matter how warm – is more receptive than a pure cold lead.
You’re listening to the prospect’s instructions to “check back in six months.” Now that the six months has elapsed, the prospect might’ve largely forgotten about you and their request for you to follow-up – they’ll be impressed that you remembered.
Both parties might have already gone through the time-consuming slog of a product demo or a trial. That makes a Closed-Lost Campaign centered around the “timing” lost reason to be a particularly effective one to help you make your end-of-quarter number.
Closed-lost campaigns don’t have to be built around ‘Timing’ either – there are other lost reasons that would make sense for a follow-up some time later. For example, the opportunity might not have a need for your product six months ago, but with substantial growth over that time, might need it now. Your rep might not have gotten in touch with the right authority on first-touch, but since then, your CEO has actually run into the opportunity’s CEO at a networking event.
These things happen. It’s on you and your team to capitalize on them when they do.
Feeling lost at the end of the quarter or a month? The right closed-lost campaign just might be the Hail Mary play you need.