What can you learn at the end of the sales cycle?
I recently helped plan my own wedding. And as many of you know, it is an exhausting task. There are hundreds of details to go over and lots of checklists to complete. Let’s also not forget the dreaded seating assignments! Thankfully, my future wife handled most of the difficult tasks. However, my main responsibility was to interview and select the vendors for our big day. Of course, this involved sitting through a fair share of (sometimes painful) sales pitches.
After everyone was hired, I was surprised at the one question no one seemed to ask: why? What factors contributed to my decision to select one vendor over another? Did certain sales pitches resonate with me more than others? Were references influential in my decision? Was my final decision based on price? It was curious to me that, after spending the time (and money) trying to win my business, these small business owners wouldn’t want to better understand my thought process so they could leverage this knowledge in future pitches.
This begs the question, how often are you asking why a piece of business was won or lost at your company? Shedding light on the reasons your company is selected or passed over is important. The answers that decision-makers provide can be illuminating, particularly when patterns and trends are identified over time. Additionally, these insights can help clear up misconceptions and hone in on the many considerations in the selection process.
What can you learn from the lost opportunities?
Great sales teams, like hall of fame athletes, regularly review the game tape in order to identify opportunities for improvement. In other words, use your losses as playbooks for obtaining insights to help you win more in the future. In my situation, had one photographer I interviewed tried to learn more about my wife and I as a couple, as other vendors had, the outcome could have been different. In this case, evaluating the loss of my business would have provided the evidence the photographer needed to refine their sales approach: asking more meaningful questions and building a strong relationship is important to buyers. Conducting a sales win loss analysis can also reveal the decision-making criteria, help you assess your value proposition, or uncover market perception.
What can you learn from the deals you win?
Pinpointing the factors behind your sales success is the key ingredient for winning more deals. Did your new customers appreciate your flexibility? Did they connect more with a certain member of your team? Don’t miss the opportunity to leverage this new relationship by engaging in an active dialogue to uncover sales intelligence. You may be surprised at what you can learn, like how a competitor prices its products and services.
Truth be told, an independently conducted sales win loss analysis program can gather the necessary intelligence to empower your team to close more deals. Don’t settle for a simple yes or a no answer like my wedding vendors did – it won’t help you win your next pitch. It’s the why that will propel your team to success.