Lost an Account? How to Refocus to Make Your Number


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You are in an appointment with a large customer. Things have been a challenge lately. Now you are in a full court press to get things back on track. You’ve got your ducks in a row and a plan of action to move forward. Then you hear “We are going another direction.” Your brain freezes and all you can think is “how am I going to hit my number?”

Unfortunately, losing an account is a fact of life in our profession. The goal is to have more wins than losses. But the losses can hurt—really hurt. You try to rationalize what happened in your head. You come up with retention strategies to keep from losing any more customers. But the fact of life is that you have to recoup the lost revenue – as fast as possible.

To hit your number, we recommend that you have at least 3x that quota in your pipeline. For a $1M quota, you should have at least $3M in opportunities. This means that with everything else on track, you need to account for an additional 3x of the lost revenue. This is more than a speed bump – but it’s not a road block. With the correct approach and planning though, you can make it happen!

Lost Revenue Replacement Tool

Planning your approach is about recognizing the factors that will impact your results. One of the largest factors in this situation is revenue possibility. Don’t focus solely on this though; you still have to include other factors to help prioritize. The factors may be different depending on your situation, but some items to focus on are:

  • Probability to close
  • Effort to close
  • Relationship in the account
  • Probability of future revenue
  • Customer solution timeframe

And the list goes on. Identify the factors that have the highest probability of moving the needle. Ensure that your criteria affect all of the open opportunities you have.

The next step is to determine how much each of these factors matter. Each factor must have a weighting to rank your opportunity approach. For example, how would you prioritize the following situations?

  • An opportunity with a high upside but will be require a lot of effort to close
  • An opportunity with a lower upside, with a moderate effort to close
  • An opportunity with a low upside, has a low effort to close, and has a high probability of further revenue
  • A large opportunity that may close after the next quarter or year end

There is no set answer unless you know how much each of these factors should weigh. Utilizing the Lost Revenue Replacement Tool makes this a simple process. Determine the revenue opportunity, weigh the top factors, and the tool calculates the rest. If you are working with a team, have each member complete this exercise as well. The more input available, the better the calculation.

Once you have identified where your revenue will come from and used the tool to prioritize, create your action plan. In a perfect world, we would be able to dedicate as much effort as needed for each opportunity. In this situation, this is not the case. Download the Lost Revenue Replacement Tool to get back on track. Use it to prioritize your future quota attainment as well!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michael Riksheim
Michael Riksheim serves as a Senior Consultant at Sales Benchmark Index (SBI), a professional services firm which focuses exclusively on sales force effectiveness. Prior to joining SBI, Michael spent over 12 years in the pharmaceutical and technology industries, holding roles in sales, marketing, sales operations and sales leadership. Most notably, Michael served as National Training Manager for Allergan Inc., a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and medical device company, where he redesigned both the sales process and all levels of sales training for a $1.2 Billion dollar sales division.


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