Lost Accounts and Unsuccessful Proposals

Are Lost Accounts and Unsuccessful Proposals part of your sales plan?

In our work with clients over the years, we’ve always recommended that sales organizations identify the specific characteristics of prospective targeted accounts, lead sources and industry segments.  For example:  revenue size, geographic location, number of employees, your expertise, values (property and moral!), financial situation, etc.  Specific prospective account descriptions equates to a better prospecting approach.

Two categories of prospective accounts that may be overlooked are LOST BUSINESS and UNSUCCESSFUL PROPOSALS.

LOST BUSINESS, as a quick exercise:

  • Can you identify accounts that were lost over the past three years? The lost business was likely based solely on price.
  • Where does it make sense to go back and re-capture your business?

Now here’s the hard part – taking action:

  • We recommend that you set a goal for this process: Can each sales person, account manager, CSR, agency owner, (a) identify 3 lost accounts in the next 30 days, (b) determine if the accounts should be solicited and (c) what strategy should be employed to approach the prospect.
  • Incorporate this on a “rolling 120 day” concept, where you are identifying those accounts expiring 120 days from now. Do this monthly and you have your “rolling” process rolling.

UNSUCCESSFUL PROPOSALS – the business you did not win.  When you think about it, over the years this is an enormous number.  If a hit ratio of 30% is reasonable, 70% of the business you worked on is still out there as someone else’s client.  I know what you’re thinking, “man, this guy is good!”  You’ve already made an investment in these accounts – you have information, a file, you know why you did not win the business and can likely obtain an appointment with ease.

Here’s a Sales Truth:  Count on the fact that something has changed.

So, we recommend a similar exercise to that illustrated above:

  • Can you identify accounts that were unsuccessfully proposed over the past three years? Unsuccessful – probably price again.
  • Maybe that’s too much – how about those accounts that you did not land during Q1-2-3-4 of last year?
  • Where does it make sense to go back and re-capture your competitor’s business?

Now here’s the hard part again – taking action:

  • Same as above…in the next 30 days, each person is to identify 3 unsuccessfully proposed accounts, determine if re-solicitation is in order and what strategy should be employed to capture the business.

Both of these methods are examples of systematic approaches to new business development.


What is Needed in Our Recapture Process?

  1. Data: Do we have accurate records of The Lost and Unsuccessful? Digression alert:  Sounds like a soap opera – Welcome to the next episode of the Lost and Unsuccessful.
  2. Data: Are we certain of why we lost? (Honesty can be helpful)
  3. Research / Verify: Has anything changed?  At the client?  In the market? At their agent?
  4. Contact Strategy:
  • When should we make the contact?
  • Who should make the contact?
  1. Contact Dialogue: How do we communicate our intention, our objective? For example, one that we’ve used is: “Welcome to the re-solicitation of your account!”
  2. Contact Objectives:
  • Determine if Go or No Go
  • Appointment

As sales people, our job is to relieve our competition of the burden of their accounts (we made that up!).  As a result of landing lost and unsuccessful accounts, you will also be the recipient of what we like to call “psychic income” – an even sweeter win than usual!

For our clients who employ these strategies, this process resulted in the identification of “low hanging fruit” and an accelerated new business cycle.  Two of our insurance agency clients, won over $75,000 of new revenue in the first 90 days!

So, your marketplace is ever changing, the weather is whacky making insurance losses even more unpredictable, reinsurers are nervous – what a great time to be in the business of sales!

How can we take these seeming disadvantages and turn them into advantages?

Sales Coach Newsletter is a product of Redmond Group, Inc.  We are specialists in the systematic process of developing and retaining new business.  We design sales and retention process maps and unique measurement tools to track progress to meet business objectives.  We conduct Advanced Sales in-house workshops, webinars supported by individual and sales team coaching.
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