If you want to reach beyond revenue expectations and understand buyer decisions, then consider win/loss analysis as an asset for your organization. It is an essential ingredient to success in a complex marketplace. Many sales, marketing, and product management leaders recognize win/loss analysis as an important factor in fueling revenue growth and understanding buyer appeal.
Over half (57 percent) of respondents in the 2017 Primary Intelligence State of Win Loss survey said they’re
collecting feedback from both buyers and sales reps when evaluating why they won and why they lost in competitive sales opportunities. At Primary Intelligence, we applaud these results, since it gives company executives a clear picture of what happened in each opportunity.
How Sales & Marketing Can Drive Growth
Feedback that comes exclusively from buyers or sales reps can provide a unidimensional view, especially when “politics” was a factor or other extenuating circumstances were at play. Getting feedback from both parties gives you “both sides of the story,” so to speak.
Additionally, we can see that buyer feedback is more valued than feedback from sales representatives alone or from sales representatives and buyers collectively when trying to decipher competitor strengths and weaknesses. This is likely due to the perception that buyers have less bias when discussing other sellers, compared with potentially biased feedback learned from sales personnel.
8 Tips for Successful Win/Loss Analysis
1. Make sure your win/loss program collects feedback from buyers who were involved in the purchase decision and sales representatives who were involved in the sales opportunity. Getting feedback from both parties will ensure you’re seeing a holistic view of what happened in each opportunity.
2. Look for common themes and trends. Are there best practices some reps or account teams are using that can be leveraged across the organization? Are there training opportunities for sales reps who consistently receive low scores and/or unflattering feedback?
3. Calculate the addition of a five or 10 percent improvement to your annual win rates in your organization’s revenue. You may conclude that introducing or expanding your win/loss program is an investment you cannot NOT make.
4. Decide how win/loss information can be shared throughout the organization in a way that is easy for both distribution and consumption. Programs that have an ongoing stream of communication are more likely to be successful over the long term.
5. Determine ways to leverage your win/loss program to reduce the organization’s overall cost of sales.
6. Although some companies prefer to focus only on “losses,” it can be instructive to understand why you’re winning too; “wins” allow you to leverage key success factors into other competitive opportunities and help identify potential reference accounts.
7. While there may be a tendency to only focus on specific segments, such as strategic accounts, organizations uncover new markets when they cast a wider net in their analysis efforts.
8. Win loss programs with the highest degree of success evaluate all recent “wins” and “losses” to capture a true picture of the current sales environment. Programs that “cherry pick” specific opportunities may not be getting a full picture of why they’re winning and losing.
Our eBook Why Win Loss Analysis? When You Know More, You Win More offers key insights into the factors that increase win rates and leverage create competitive advantage. Get it here.