MAY JUNE 2014 Prospects said... Offer more proactive ideas Offer value-added programs The big reveal Exposing details on why companies win and lose business Open sourcing and Big Data are two business trends that, for all their popularity, don’t seem appropriate for blending. The former is focused on universal access and free license to a product’s design or blueprint, while the latter is all about gobbling up as much statistical information as possible about a customer base or entire industry and analyzing it for competitive advantages that are to be protected at all costs. Improve presentation Respond to questions and requests in a more timely manner Better understand prospect’s requirements AskForensics (AskForensics.com), a sales Incorporate more consulting ﬁrm that uses a forensic science innovation/technology into the solution approach to sales, brought these two worlds together recently when it released its ﬁrst Annual SalesForensics Report as a downloadable white paper. For years, AskForensics has conducted investigations The top six actions overall that respondents to the AskForensics survey for Fortune-ranked companies to ﬁnd out mentioned when asked how sales slipped through their ﬁngers. why major sales or accounts are won or lost (hence the name). Up until now, the results were for clients’ eyes only. The data in the Prospects’ top requirements in 2012 and 2013 were similar, new report represents more than $626 million worth of sales but there was a noticeable shift from ﬁnancial performance transactions that were won or lost in 2013 and 2012. as the top priority in 2012 to service quality in 2013. (See the The biggest takeaway is that sales teams could have turned Glossary of Terms box for AskForensics’ deﬁnitions of these some losses into wins by proactively injecting more innovative terms.) The requirement to improve ﬁnancial performance ideas and by providing more value. One of the biggest culprits trailed off signiﬁcantly, from 26 percent in 2012 to only 14 for losing new sales is an insufficient understanding of a percent in 2013. prospect’s requirements. Overall in 2013, prospects were most interested in “The sales approach needs to always meet what the measurably beneﬁtting from providers’ capabilities and company’s requests are,” says AskForensics Senior Partner expertise. This was reﬂected in their comments about service Rick Reynolds. “In the accounts that become daunting, we see quality, program management, account support and ﬁnancial companies stop being innovative and stop throwing out performance. creative solutions.” Reynolds attributes some of this change to an improved economy and a better overall business climate in 2013. What happened in 2013 Corporate customers were more willing to invest in 2013 and In 2012 and 2013, AskForensics evaluated 57 lost sales not focus as heavily on price as they did in 2012. opportunities for Fortune 500-level corporations, representing $626 million in revenue. Since each sales opportunity averaged $11 million in total contract value, losing these contracts had a signiﬁcant impact on the selling companies’ sales ﬁgures and ﬁnancial performance. Primary reasons for losing Prospects’ perceptions of the bidding company’s service quality, account support and culture played a signiﬁcant role in why companies did not win deals in 2013. Price, while important, was 6 MAY/JUNE 2014 SALES AND MARKETING .COM SOURCE: ASKFORENSICS
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