Is win/loss analysis for you?
“You win some, you lose some.”
Do you know WHY?
Even if sales are at an acceptable level and meeting their goals, you might still want to know what is or is not differentiating a win from a loss.
How is Win/Loss done?
Start with objectives or specific goals that are measurable (metrics are invaluable since a baseline should be created and monitored).
The process then requires development of a comprehensive plan which will ask and seek answers to questions about wins versus losses. At this point, a framework for analysis of findings should also be created.
Topics and questions that might be addressed to explain win/loss conditions include:
Is it the product or service itself?
- Features, ease of use
- Past performance
- Terms and conditions
- Pricing, or discounting
Is it the salesperson?
- Behavior, appearance, actions
- Joke teller, humorous
- Pushy, aggressive
- Listening and fact-finding skills
- Consulting and advisory skills
- Professional or amateur
- Came prepared
- Properly attired
- Knowledge of the industry/business
- Use of language, buzz words/acronyms
- Reliable – called, visited, delivered on time, kept other promises
- References, testimonials
- Positive, neutral or negative
- Word of mouth
Is it your company?
- Impact of website – available and discoverable pre sale information
- History with prospect or customer
- Current supplier or alternative/backup
- Customer service
- Tech support
- 24/7 availability
- Available locally or outsourced
Is it the buyer?
- Right prospect(s)
- Change of decision maker(s)
- Economic or other market conditions
Last, but certainly not least, is it due to the (winning) competitor? Even if their name cannot be elicited,
- What did they offer?
- What did they say?
- WHAT ONE THING COULD HAVE CHANGED THE OUTCOME?
- What are their perceived strengths?
- What are their weak spots?
- Was there a territory or regional impact?
Do you need help?
Since there are elements of traditional market research techniques along with competitive intelligence tools, an outside firm can be useful in the gathering and/or the analysis of vital and sensitive information.
Often a consulting firm can approach customers, prospects and internal teams (your sales, marketing, engineering, production groups) in a less threatening manner.
While you may very well have the resources and capability to do most of this yourself, generally the most difficult information sought is obtained directly from your competitor!
- How can you ask that company to tell you how they beat you? (You cannot!)
- So here too, you will need external assistance.
Another benefit of engaging a third party is that it brings a certain objectivity to the process and makes it easier for insiders to commit to the common goal of winning more business.
Be sure to share results with sales staff and significant shareholders.
Apply what is learned via sales meetings, collateral and training.
Since questions and their answers will generally lead to even more questions, periodically return to your baseline metrics and repeat the process as needed.