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Management: Learn from process

Management: Learn from process Q. How can I best help a sales person who is in a slump?

A. As a general rule I don't believe in “slumps” as it pertains to sales people. I've always believed that if you have a sales person that is not closing deals, he/she is not getting involved in enough transactions.

With that in mind, when a sales person does “lose” a deal, it's important to understand why and how he/she lost and what we can do to learn from the process.

Were we selling to the true decision maker?

In every business deal, there is usually one person who has the “juice” to make the decision to buy.

Do we know why they are buying? 

Most of us have been trained to think of customers and ourselves solely as rational decision makers who use logic and reason exclusively. However, in health care, most purchasing decisions can be sourced to one of these factors:

Survival: Buyers want to keep their jobs and for their companies to prosper.

Pain avoidance: Buyers want to solve their most painful problems immediately and completely.

Self-preservation:  While we want to be recognized for our unique talents, we still want to be part of a group.

Self-gratification: Ego often can be the primary driver that results in the purchase of your solution or service offering.

Do we have a champion in the account?

If you want to win new business, you need an internal advocate within the customer account to sell for you when you can't be there.

Mike Strange is vice president, Emerge Sales. Reach him at


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