In sales, you win some and you lose some, but what many sales organizations don’t know is why. If a rep wins a deal, why did the customer buy your product versus the competitor? Which features were the biggest selling point? If they lost the deal, what did the competitor offer or showcase better than you? Were there any other factors at play?
These are all areas where win/loss analysis can help sales organizations tremendously. Win/loss analysis involves interviewing prospects or new customers after the sales process to get real-world, unfiltered feedback. The analysis may be conducted by either a “neutral” internal party not involved in the sale directly or an outside firm. The discussion should focus on the buyer’s perceptions, including:
- How they came to know of your offering
- The experience working with your sales team
- Your product’s fit for their business needs
- The tipping point of what ultimately led to their decision.
It also may be helpful to do a debrief with the rep to gain their perspective.
For sales enablement leaders, a win/loss program is a chance to gain insight into how to best create and iterate on sales readiness initiatives so training and coaching is truly addressing the challenges that reps face in real selling situations.
Here are 5 benefits of win/loss analysis for sales enablement leaders.
1. Hone sales readiness programs
In order to create useful readiness programs for reps, sales enablement leaders should have broad knowledge about their product, value proposition, messaging and more. Win/loss analysis helps sales enablement leaders get up-to-date information, including how messaging is resonating with prospects. With that first-hand intel, sales enablement leaders can make tweaks and additions to onboarding and training material, as well as come up with new ideas to best serve reps’ current needs.
2. Continuously learn about personas, target industries, competitors and more
The sales environment is constantly changing – new products may be released, new competitors will enter the market and new business challenges will emerge. Win/loss analysis is designed to collect specific information from prospects or new customers to get a better sense of buying trends, such as asking about key stakeholders involved in the buying process. Over time you’ll get a sense of who is instrumental in the decision-making, who controls the budget and who will oversee the technology once it’s implemented.
3. Get a handle on rep performance
Sales enablement leaders may already have a good idea of the A and B players because of training and coaching situations, but hearing feedback from the prospect or customer can be eye-opening. Pointed questions about the delivery of the demo, their discovery approach, the knowledge and the response to objections can be an indicator as to whether onboarding, training and coaching are sticking with your reps. You can also get an accurate look at the top performers as well as reps that may need extra help. For example, if multiple buyers provide feedback that the demo didn’t capture their attention, you know you should work closely with that rep to improve their demo presentation skills.
4. Generate ideas for just-in-time training and coaching
By reviewing win/loss reports, sales enablement leaders can get fresh new ideas for just-in-time training courses and coaching challenges. For example, if multiple interviews indicate that reps are having trouble with the same objection, you can quickly spin up a new coaching challenge where they are asked to role play and respond to that objection. Or let’s say the reports are showing that reps aren’t quite up to speed on how to communicate the value of a new product feature. You could create a just-in-time training that goes over the feature in more detail and drills down into the value propositions.
5. Identify trends among buyers and your sales force
What happens in selling situations is not something that the whole organization is always privy to — but win/loss interviews give you an inside look. By conducting interviews over a period of time, you can pull together some statistics and common themes that show how well reps are performing and if they’re connecting with buyers in the right ways to close the deal. For example, over time you may be able to identify that you’re losing deals to a competitor that wasn’t on your radar. Now you can do some research on that competitor and inform reps on what they need to know about their product and company.
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