Win-Loss Analysis to Drive Sales Results:

Stu Perlmeter

A checklist for companies considering a Win-Loss Analysis Program

Many Sales leaders are thinking strategically about their “win-rate” and how to improve it. Once a focus only for Enterprise companies, now mid-market firms are exploring the benefits of a Win-Loss Analysis program. Here’s a quick review of what you need to know:

First, get focused. As with anything of value, a successful program requires a focused effort. Start with a statement of your business goals, in very specific, measurable terms. Once goals are spelled out, here’s your checklist:

Someone must own it. If you’re a Sales, Marketing or Business Development leader, you’re a logical choice to lead the effort. It should be someone who has the time and bandwidth to play that galvanizing role.

Change agent mentality. The mindset of the Win-Loss effort must be one of promoting change in the organization. It’s not about satisfying curiosity or salving the wounds about a big deal recently lost; it’s about learning success patterns that can be repeated in the future. Remember, even in a lost deal, there’s a success pattern lying beneath the surface – just not yours, this time.

Sales team must be on board. The sales team should understand that the introspective focus is about making the entire team more successful; it’s not a witch hunt.

Managing data vs. insight. Some Win-Loss efforts look like quantitative surveys, where the customer rates every aspect of your value proposition and sales performance, along with that of your competitors on the usual scales used in surveys. Other efforts key on insights, with minimal quantitative measures. There’s a place for both; you will decide what’s important.

Be careful about who does customer interviews.  As you know, buyers are humans and humans are funny creatures. They don’t like to give or take rejection. Breaking through that to get to the game-changing insights you need requires more than simply skill and advanced methodology; it requires that the interviewer not be one of you. That points to a professional service provider that’s done a lot of this kind of work.

It’s worth it. Let’s face it; you truly care about winning and improving performance. You understand that you can’t achieve your performance goals without critical introspection. What better source of customer insights can you find than those that came from buyers who recently chose you, or a competitor in a close, head to head contest? It’s the perfect laboratory for customer-driven change.

About the Author

Stu Perlmeter

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Stu brings 30 years of marketing and research experience to 1st Resource, which he founded in 1996. Stu’s primary expertise is in understanding the market insights that tie to success formulas for companies seeking to grow their business in strategic ways.