How to always win, even from deals you lost
Three steps to implement a tight and structured win/loss analysis program that generates usable sales, product, marketing, and strategy insights.
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Your sales team has been working hard on two particular opportunities. The first one comes back with a signed contract. There’s a sigh of relief, and after the celebratory gong it’s on to the next.
For the second, instead of a signed contract, you get a rejection email . You lost to a competitor. There’s a sigh of annoyance, and after sending a hail mary to see if the deal can be saved, you move on.
Sound familiar? Of course it does. 53% of opportunities are lost.
But if you’re just moving onto the next opportunity without having a framework to review and learn, you’re always going to be a step behind.
In this post, I’m going to walk through three steps to learn and improve with a simple win/loss analysis program. With this process, you’ll:
win more deals
drive higher average contract values
shorten your sales cycle
improve your positioning and marketing
improve your forecasting ability
better understand and react to the market
What is a win/loss analysis program?
The goal of win/loss analysis is to understand why an opportunity was closed and passing those insights back into the business. These insights can feed into product development, improve the sales and marketing process, and reshape business strategy.
From both won and lost opportunities, you’ll want to understand:
Why they chose you, or chose an alternative solution
What they liked / didn’t like about the sales process
How they think about the market, your competitors, and your product
What their buying process was like
How they think about the value your product is delivering
What’s going on in their business
It’s key that someone other than sales - preferably a product marketer - manages the win/loss program. A product marketer should be skilled at spotting patterns at different levels and thinking through to first- and second-order impacts.
How do I set up a process?
I’ve detailed three stages to think through when building a useful win/loss process, focusing on high-volume data, objective research, and utilizing insights.
1: Capture information in your CRM
You’ll want to ensure every opportunity has completed, mandatory fields at time of close that ask the rep to enter their understanding of why the deal did or didn’t progress….