With a win loss program in place, Cherwell Software and Primary Intelligence uncovered the root causes blocking sales wins.
In a nutshell
Cherwell Software offers a menu of IT service management and platform products to their customers. The Vice President of Product Marketing explained they lacked sufficient visibility into the reasons they were winning or losing. They had no process for gaining buyer intelligence from sales opportunities. Cherwell wanted to identify strengths to implement as best practices and eliminate weaknesses. The company worked with Primary Intelligence to adopt a third-party win loss program at Cherwell, and improve pricing models, ease product configuration, and develop competitive sales strategies and tactics. “Win loss has allowed all of us to get on the same page and be able to understand the issues we’re facing.”
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Growth sparks sales opportunity challenges
Since its launch in 2004, Cherwell has grown from a small software company in Colorado Springs, Colorado to a global player in the ITSM industry. Now Cherwell is a major representative in an intensely competitive market. With two main competitors vying for market share, winning sales opportunities became a challenge and Cherwell was concerned on how they were going to combat the competition.
The VP of Product Marketing said, “We’re a challenger in the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant. We’ve been in that challenger bucket for about four years running. It’s a good place if you’re the only one, but we’ve got company this year.”
He wanted to ensure Cherwell was performing the right strategies to win and eliminating the factors that were causing them to lose. He partnered with Primary Intelligence to improve win rates and sharpen Cherwell’s messaging. Once Cherwell engaged with Primary Intelligence’s win loss program, the root causes preventing them from winning began to surface.
“We’re a challenger in the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrant. We’ve been in that challenger bucket for about four years running. It’s a good place if you’re the only one, but we’ve got company this year.”
What Cherwell learned from Primary Intelligence’s win loss program
Even though Cherwell had only been working with Primary Intelligence for a few months, they had already seen outstanding results. The two biggest hindrances were lack of vision and the visibility that they needed. Cherwell didn’t have a clear enough understanding of its sales performance. Cherwell learned those things that were the most important to their customers. Competitors often lacked these capabilities. He said they discovered those factors competitors were touting were the least important
The VP of Product Marketing explained, “We looked at the performance from the product side, and my immediate takeaway as a marketer was, ‘These are the things that we thought were important in our message, and if you looked at our website this time last year, it talked about the wrong things.’”
“We wouldn’t have been able to understand where to start without the work we’ve done with Primary Intelligence.”
Win loss delivered actionable insights: price & value, ease of configuration, sales strategy & tactics
By using Primary Intelligence to speak with buyers, and discovering what customers truly cared about, the VP of Product Marketing shared, “We immediately made a change in the messaging, but that also validated what the product team needed to hear as far as their ability to deliver.”
Cherwell was also better prepared to describe the implementation process and let buyers know what to expect. The sales reps’ presentations resonated with buyers versus the competition. As a smaller company, Cherwell could provide more agile responses and more personalized service, which helped to differentiate them from the larger competitors. The VP of Product Marketing said, “We’re not a household name so we understand that brand awareness is an issue.” The win loss data provided opportunity to create more persuasive product messaging.
Cherwell worked closely with their Primary Intelligence team to uncover root causes and develop best practices. The win loss program revealed pricing strategies with options that helped shorten the sales cycle. The VP of Product Marketing shared, “The sales reps knew this was helping their win rates.”
“The CEO is saying we need more at bats, and I’m saying we need to learn how to hit a little better. We must figure out a way to do both.”
Win Loss Analysis develops competitive strategies
From a strategy perspective, Cherwell used the win loss data for competitive positioning. The sales reps created competitive battle cards, and product management had direction for the road map. For the next step, the solutions consultants were trained on articulating the product road map to buyers. The VP of Product Marketing shared, “We wanted to ensure our solutions consultants speak to our roadmap confidently so buyers are compelled to purchase our solutions.”
Next steps: Segmentation and referencing percentage to quota
The next steps for Cherwell is to build a better segmentation. The VP of Product Marketing shared, “Originally, it was title and location, but going forward we’re looking at tenure and level of expertise.” With win loss analysis, the company segments the data to identify the ideal sales rep for Cherwell for training and hiring purposes. He said, “We’d like to be able to connect high-performing, confident sales reps with a dollar value.” The VP continued, “When you think about transformation, win loss drives everything including the road map, your go-to market, and sales enablement. Win loss is a key pillar, and sales confidence enables how to use it to the