Fail Friday


I heard a great fail story this week from a CRO at a $100m ARR SaaS firm

The company had been going after one of the biggest deals ever with a pharmaceutical giant. The fit was fantastic, and they had their most experienced, highest performing rep leading the campaign

The rep even had a long-term relationship with the business executive sponsoring the project

Procurement led evaluation and after an intense 9-month cycle with RFI’s, RFP’s, even a short POC – the CRO thought they had the deal in the bag. The quarter was hanging on it..

But after shortlisting to two, they finally got the news that they had lost the deal

When the dust had settled, the CRO and the rep met with their sponsor to debrief and find out what went wrong

Their sponsor told them it was really, really close. Pricing and functionality were very similar. He said the ultimate reason they lost was their competition crawled all over our organization and built relationships with the majority of key stakeholders

The rep replied ‘but we were explicitly told that were not allowed to do this and that we would be excluded if we did not abide by your procurement process’

There was silence in the room

This is one of the reasons I started Selling Outcomes – Don’t be the seller who lost the deal ‘because procurement said we couldn’t talk to the business’