“How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win.” ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton
Like most transactional endeavors, selling software solutions to the legal industry has its ups and downs. Sometimes, one of our products simply isn’t the best solution for meeting a prospect’s specific challenges. Other times, even though we do in fact offer the ideal solution, we may fail to tell our product’s story in a convincing enough manner. In either case, the result is a lost sale – but certainly not a lost opportunity.
Resolved to learn what’s working and what isn’t, we conduct post-mortems of our wins and losses as a matter of routine. Follow-up calls with the key contacts at accounts we win and the ones we lose provide valuable insights into the attractiveness of our products’ feature sets, the effectiveness of our sales messaging and, in the case of losses, the factors that went into the decision not to purchase our product.
The insights we gain can range from humbling (when a LexisNexis product honestly doesn’t measure up to a competitive offering in some respect) to frustrating (when we lose a sale not because of a legitimate product weakness, but due to a misperception on the prospect’s part). Yet, whether positive or negative, such feedback provides the intelligence we need to improve not only our products but also our marketing and sales processes.
Meeting Customer Needs
Our goal is to develop products that sell because they meet our customers’ needs, not because our marketing and sales efforts happen to be pitch perfect. The nexus of the two scenarios is the sweet spot, of course, and the target we aim for every time we engage with a prospect, successfully or otherwise.
This brings us full-circle to the observation of the oft-quoted 20th-century thinker and writer, G.K. Chesterton: When we lose a sale at LexisNexis, we think about leveraging the experience so that we – and our potential customers – can benefit in the future.
Nobody likes losing a sale, but at the end of the day, loss-derived learning is the fuel that drives the development of better products, better services, better customer experiences and ultimately, successful sales.
Outside Opinions Matter
The more open and candid the feedback we collect in our win/loss calls, the better able we are to assess, and when necessary, improve, what we do. If any of you in our reader community has participated in such a call in the past, we thank you for your input.
And for those of you who have either purchased or have formally reviewed a LexisNexis product recently and ultimately decided not to purchase it, we hope you’ll be receptive to sharing your opinions when we contact you to follow up on the experience. The information you share regarding your encounter with LexisNexis will help guide our product development decision making.
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