When we speak to sales leaders, there is one learning technique many cite as the single most important method of closing sales: taking time to understand the context in which your prospects make decisions.
What’s the best way to do accomplish this? It starts with a Sales Win Loss Analysis.
First, What is a Sales Win Loss Analysis?
Simply put, a Sales Win Loss Analysis is an ongoing program that helps companies understand what decision makers think of your offering and its benefits, and the precise reasons you win or lose new business opportunities.
Typically, it begins with a revealing interview with the decision maker to discuss what drove their selection of your company or one of your competitors. Gathering this information directly from decision makers allows your company to make informed decisions on how to improve your sales process and better respond to prospects’ changing needs.
The key is developing a Sales Win Loss program which delivers value by understanding what your target customers think of your offering and its benefits.
Who Benefits from Sales Win Loss Interviews?
When conducted successfully, Sales Win Loss interviews provide objective, unbiased information that can used to improve all areas of your organization.
Sure, Sales teams can gain valuable information about which sales techniques are effective, which aren’t, and why. But the Marketing department can also learn about the competitive landscape or uncover lead generation strategies, for example.
Are your products and services in sync with the evolving needs of the market? Diligent analysis of Sales Win Loss interviews can be useful for Product Development and help ensure decision makers are not unaware of or misinformed about your full product or service capability.
Best Practices for Conducting Valuable Sales Win Loss Interviews
Conducting interviews with decision makers requires a well thought out strategy. For example, who will be conducting the interview, a senior member of your team or an independent 3rd party? How will you maintain a healthy dialogue with the decision maker?
Here’s some additional strategies for consideration:
- Before engaging in a conversation with the decision maker, you should be well prepared with the background information about the sales cycle.
- To ensure a strong participation rate, the outreach should be conducted shortly after the sales cycle.
- Be sure the interviewer is asking intelligent questions, listening for cues, probing to acquire insights ‘beneath the surface’, digging into all the factors – not just focusing on the top-level ‘go-to’ drivers (like cost).
Neglecting to design a strategy could lead to your team gathering information that won’t be valuable in closing your next deal.
Analyzing Results to Improve Your Organization
What makes a Sales Win Loss Analysis program so effective? The value it delivers to your organization. In this case, value comes from careful analysis of the insights gleaned. Here are some of the key points to look for when analyzing feedback from decision makers:
- Are there any common complaints and themes?
- Which strategies and sales techniques worked? Can these successes be reproduced in the future with new prospects?
- Are your perceived weaknesses surprising? Have multiple decision makers described the same perceived weakness?
- What conclusions can you draw from the data? Are the conclusions unexpected?
After your analysis is complete, it is vital that you get the information in front of the right people. That means making sure Management, Sales and Marketing teams, Customer Success, and Product Development all have visibility into the program.
Should You Hire A 3rd Party Expert?
You certainly could conduct your Sales Win Loss interviews internally. But in-house programs often miss a crucial component–objectivity.
It can be challenging for any company to objectively analyze its own decisions, which is why third-party consultants, such as Satrix Solutions, are often sought out to conduct an ongoing Sales Win Loss program. Additionally, third parties tend to obtain more honest, authentic responses from decision makers.
Think about it. Getting unfiltered feedback is key to improving your sales process.
A prospect might feel uncomfortable discussing their negative interactions with your sales team. Maybe a company’s reputation is less than favorable. We usually don’t experience this problem because we are viewed as impartial observers, so prospects feel more open to sharing the factors that influenced their decision.
Gather Actionable Intelligence
Whether it’s uncovering market perception, assessing your value proposition, identifying effective lead generation strategies, gathering competitive intelligence, or reviewing sales team performance – reflecting on the specific reasons you win or lose deals is a valuable endeavor.
Contact our team today if you are interested in learning more about our Sales Win Loss Analysis Program.