Dear SaaStr: What Do You Do When You Lose a Deal?

#1: Put the company right back into your drip market campaign. But a special one for Lost Deals You Want to Win Back Later.

Because you’ll have at least 3 more chances to close them — if you go long:

  • 10 months out (Renewal #1). If your competitor really screwed it up.
  • 20 months out (Renewal #2). If your competitor doesn’t remain competitive and deliver enough value.
  • 30 months out (Renewal #3). If your competitor did an OK job but isn’t loved and you now are doing something much better (one thing) than them.
  • Anytime — if there’s champion change. I.e., if someone that loves you instead moves over to run the company / division / org you lost the deal at.

Lost deals are just deals you’re going to have to win later.

It’s harder to win them later.  But hardly impossible.  At least some of them, at least a material percent, you’ll get another shot if you stay close, and you stay in the game, and you keep adding value.

It just for sure takes longer.

But it takes 7–10 years to get anywhere in SaaS. You’ll likely have another shot at the deal. And it likely will be a much bigger deal then.

And a few other tips:

  • #2: Invite all your bigger lost deals to your annual customer conference, if you have one.  Let your customers convince the ones that come to switch!
  • #3: Invite them to any great industry leader webinars you do.  Not a ton of work, and reminds them you’re a leader, too.
  • #4: Think about buy-out deals, and offer them.  Takes one big piece of friction out of switching.

Later, even consider a dedicated win-back team in your sales org.

Buyout Contracts: At Least Think About Making Them Part of Your Sales Toolkit

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