Today, let’s adapt the Anna Karenina Principle. From author Tolstoy’s original setting of the happy-unhappy family, for Sales;
happy familieswon deals are alike; each unhappy family is unhappylost deal is lost in its own way.
I was recently reminded of this principle via the three ingredients for an enduring relationship.
Apparently Aristotle in similar vein previously suggested that ‘it is possible to fail in many ways, while to succeed is possible only in one way’.
When applied onto selling travails, we can certainly say that reasons for defeat may indeed be manifold. And when we prevail, a common set of circumstances are evident, every time.
I recommend that viewing potential business through an AK Lens – a flag perhaps of AKP on your systems – will have a transformative effect on your ambitions.
You will focus only on those accounts likely to come home.
Yes, it is tough to start with. wondering what might have been with deals forgone. Yet the discipline will soon pay-off. Sustainable, repeatable target-beating performance will follow.
Begin with examining all deals won before.
What links them? What traits did they share? Which activities unique to them occurred?
Then the flipside.
Lost Deal Analysis is a fraught drive within some salesteams.
I have my own experience of why such efforts are doomed.
Objectivity often obfuscated.
Yet one or two genuine showstoppers, insurmountable barriers that simply do not visit won bids, may exist.
If it helps politically, where you can’t temper the ‘lost’ obsession, a mini-step could be pulling out where these may strike. And runaway when on your patch.
The aim is to pursue only opportunities that share characteristics of all the successes of the near past.
Anything else – an Anna Karenina “deficiency” – cross it out, and get another prospect into your funnel that complies.