AI Coach: find and fix deal issues before they result in closed-lost using AI

Prospecting for Leads

Selecting The Best-fit Closed Lost Opportunities

6 min
Average Score

Matt Doyon

Chief Executive Officer @ Triple Session

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In the previous sessions, we discussed the importance of having the right mindset and keeping the closed lost base active and warm. Now, in this session, I will walk you through the four key steps you need to follow to effectively select the best fit opportunities to work on. By investing your time wisely and focusing on the right opportunities, you can increase your chances of success and avoid spinning your wheels with deals that will end up in closed lost again.

Disqualify Before Qualifying

Before you start qualifying opportunities, it is essential to disqualify those that are not worth your time and effort. Think of it like a multiple-choice test; if you know that two of the four answers are wrong, cross them out right away. This way, you can focus your attention on the right opportunities and avoid wasting valuable time.

When considering disqualification, there are a few factors to take into account. Firstly, consider whether the lost reason is significant. If the objection or decision made by the prospect is so substantial that the chances of overcoming it are minimal, it may not be worth pursuing a conversation again. Secondly, evaluate the size of the opportunity. Even if you could potentially win it, if the revenue generated is too small, it may not be worth your investment of time and resources. Lastly, consider the competitor chosen by the prospect. If they recently signed a contract or made their decision months ago, the timing may not be favorable for reopening the conversation.

Remember, closed lost deals can still hold value and generate revenue if handled correctly. However, it's crucial to focus your efforts on opportunities where your chances of success are higher.

Qualify Based on Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Once you have disqualified the irrelevant opportunities, it's time to qualify based on your ideal customer profile (ICP). Your ICP represents the perfect fit industry, geography, customer type, and, most importantly, the problem that your product or service solves for those customers. These ideal customers are where you will shine and have the best chances of success.

When evaluating opportunities, consider whether they fit your ICP criteria. It's important to have the best sales enablement material and a proven track record of success within that specific customer segment. By focusing on opportunities that align with your ICP, you can operate with more confidence and increase your chances of turning "no's" into "maybes" and eventually into "yeses."

Measure the Size of the Opportunity

The size of the opportunity plays a critical role in determining whether it's worth your time and effort. As mentioned earlier, most opportunities worked on end up in closed lost. Therefore, you need to consider the revenue potential and whether it justifies investing your resources.

The size of the opportunity often depends on the value you provide and the impact you can make on the customer's situation. Evaluate the gap between the problem your product or service solves and the value your offer brings. The larger the impact and gap, the more significant the value of the opportunity. Focus on opportunities where you can drive significant change and deliver substantial value to the customer.

For further insights on this topic, I recommend reading the book "Gap Selling" by Keenan. It explores the concept of identifying and bridging the gap between the customer's problem and your solution.

Work Backwards from the Closed Lost Pipeline

When it comes to reworking closed lost deals, the timing of when you lost the deal is almost as important as why and how you lost it. Usually, later-stage deals in your closed lost pipeline yield better returns for reworking. These opportunities have already shown more buy-in and were closer to a "yes" before becoming a "no." By revisiting these deals, you have more information, a stronger relationship, and a higher probability of success.

Therefore, it is advisable to focus on the most recent closed lost opportunities and work your way backwards through the pipeline. As the saying goes, "the older the berry, the sweeter the juice." By prioritizing more recent deals, you can leverage the progress and momentum already established and increase your chances of turning them around.

In conclusion, selecting the right closed lost opportunities to invest your time and effort in is crucial for maximizing your success. By disqualifying irrelevant opportunities, qualifying based on your ideal customer profile, measuring the size of the opportunity, and working backwards from the closed lost pipeline, you can increase your hit rate and avoid wasting valuable resources. Remember, practice makes progress, so keep honing your skills and making strategic decisions to turn closed lost deals into revenue-generating opportunities. Good luck on your journey to success!

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