As we have discussed in previous blog posts, there are a variety of ways that external research and analysis can support a sales team. For example, prospect intelligence can assist in identifying potential customers to target. Further, when contact has been made and a sales situation identified, battlecards can help sales teams better understand competitors, and how to position against them.
But what about later in the process? How can intelligence help you better understand your company’s own strengths and weaknesses and give you concrete recommendations on how to position your company against your competition? Win/loss intelligence can provide you with granular deal insights to help you succeed.
A thorough win/loss program is a must-have part of any company’s intelligence playbook. It not only helps with sales enablement but also provides valuable insights into how you should develop your product and offering to better align with customer needs and edge out the competition.
Why conduct win/loss analysis?
Win/loss analysis allows you to go behind the scenes and truly understand what your company does well, and where it can improve.
Win/loss analysis can tell you:
- Why you won or lost a particular deal
- What criteria customers were evaluating during their procurement journey and what their needs are
- How your sales process compares to your competitors
- How your product offering compares to your customers
- How you can adjust your sales process to win more deals
- How you can adjust your product offering to better align with customer needs
- Where you sit in the market relative to your competitors
- Which customer personas are more or less likely to purchase from you
Overall, win/loss analysis is an excellent way to obtain insights that will support sales, product, and strategy teams and allow you to identify shifts in customer needs, or in the competition’s offering or approach.
What does a win/loss analysis program look like?
A formal win/loss program looks different from company to company – depending on their products, go-to-market strategy, and the customers. An example program might involve the following:
- Interviews on a quarterly basis with 15 new customers, and 15 prospects you did not win (the suggestion is to target very recent wins/losses, so their thought process is still fresh)
- Interviews will be ~30 minutes in length
- Contacts are sourced via your CRM, in conversation with sales team leads, or can be sourced independently of your sales team (for example, via HelloInfo’s recruiters)
- Interviews are analyzed both individually, as a group, and over time
- Insights are shared throughout the different parts of the organization that will benefit from the findings (e.g. sales, product, marketing, strategy, etc.)
Output of win/loss:
A win/loss program output can be structured in a variety of ways. HelloInfo strives to create a format that will make it easy for your teams to gain insights from the findings.
HelloInfo recommends incorporating both deal-specific findings as well as an overview of trends in the output. In the example program outlined above, the deliverable might include a brief overview of the findings from each interview (this can be anonymized) to provide deal-specific context. In addition it would contain analysis on the overall findings such as:
- Why your company wins
- Why your company loses
- Recommended product and sales improvements that could be made to improve, based on feedback
- Competitor product insights
- Competitive differentiators and unique sales propositions
- Indicators of competitor sales strategy shifts
- Impacts recent changes in your sales strategy or product offering have had on deal success
- Customer needs and opportunities
Generally, a win/loss output should make clear recommendations for improvements geared towards your relevant audiences. It should also contain clear metrics backing up those recommendations. Further, if this program is conducted quarterly, the analysis should be cumulative, ensuring longer term trends are identified.
Benefits of using HelloInfo for win/loss analysis:
Often win/loss data is collected by sales teams asking for insights after a deal closes, but how confident are you that they are asking the questions in an impartial way? Are they being accurate in their assessment/reporting back of feedback received? Are sales representatives looking for feedback from all potential respondents? And are these respondents providing them with accurate insights?
Using a third-party such as HelloInfo takes the guessing game out of the data collection and analysis:
- Interview questions are asked in a consistent way, meaning data can be compared across interviews
- Respondents are more likely to open up about potentially sensitive topics to a neutral third-party that will anonymize their feedback
- Analysis will be impartial, and all insights will be considered and presented in the reporting out of the findings
- The targeting of respondents will be impartial, meaning bias in selecting respondents will be removed
- A third-party can avoid company politics, and will present the findings, no matter how uncomfortable or unwelcome they might be
And of course, by using HelloInfo, you are getting experience and guidance from a company that has supported other leading companies in setting up win/loss programs. As with any intelligence program, working with HelloInfo will help keep your program insightful, impactful, and have meaning for your organization.
We are at the ready to support you with your win/loss program, helping you better understand where you succeed, and where you could improve in your sales processes. Schedule a meeting with us to learn more about how we can support you in building an insightful win/loss program.