Fixing Win-Loss Reporting in Salesforce: Part 2

Clozd Team

One of the most popular channels of win-loss insight is sales team feedback.

When done right, this can provide an internal perspective on why you win and lose. To explore all of the potential channels of win-loss insight for your organization - and the pros and cons of each - download a free copy of The Definitive Guide to Win-Loss Analysis.

This mini-series explores three challenges that organizations typically face when implementing a win-loss reporting process in Salesforce CRM.

Part 1: The data we are collecting is not insightful.

Part 2: My sales team is not participating.

Part 3: The insights don’t translate into action.

Part 2: My sales team is not participating.

In Part 1, we explored some of the reasons why the data you capture may not be as insightful as you’d hoped. But what if opportunity owners are reluctant or refusing to participate at all? If reps aren’t filling out your win-loss forms, you may want to consider changing a few things. You could always force them to participate, using a validation rule, but this may not always work for certain sales cultures. Here are some other ideas that can help solve the problem:

  1. Don’t ask too many questions, particularly open-ended questions. You want your reps to stay busy closing deals and generating pipeline. If you ask them to fill out a long questionnaire every time they close an opportunity, pretty soon you’ll notice that your participation rates drop. Ideally, you should aim for three to five questions on your win-loss forms, mostly close-ended. Also, reps shouldn’t feel like they have to write an essay every time they mark an opportunity as closed. Forms should only have one open-text field to allow reps to express what happened in their own words. Having more than one open-text field can also make your data set hard to analyze and consume at scale.
  2. Simplify the feedback process (form design, timing, etc.). Form design and timing matter. If the form looks long or complicated, reps will abandon it. If you interrupt their workflow at an inopportune moment, they’ll get frustrated. Build a feedback process that is simple and repeatable — something that feels like an operationalized part of their workflow — and they will fill it out. Rather than forcing them to respond right when they are closing the deal, consider automating invitations for feedback (via email or an internal messaging system like Slack) the next day after an opportunity closes. This allows the salesperson to provide a more thoughtful response at a convenient moment for them. Automate reminders in case they forget.
  3. Make compliance transparent. Sales reps are competitive by nature. Game-ify the win-loss process by making compliance (i.e., participation) transparent. Create a participation dashboard showing how many outstanding win-loss forms still need to be filled out. Highlight those that are falling behind in their compliance. Even if you don’t publish the dashboard to everyone, make it available to sales leadership so they can encourage repeat offenders to be more diligent.
  4. Share insights back with the sales team. Win-loss data is incredibly valuable to reps. They like hearing the stories behind other wins and losses, and can leverage the feedback to improve their own performance. Win-loss reporting is also a rich source of competitive intelligence that can enable reps to sell more effectively against key competitors. If you want the reps to buy into your win-loss process, then you should find ways to feed this information back to them quickly. For example, your internal rep-driven win-loss process should generate competitor battle cards. You should also give reps personalized win-loss statistics so they can see how they compare to the rest of the company in terms of win rate, pipeline composition, etc.

The Clozd app for Salesforce streamlines the collection and reporting of win-loss data from your sales team, and can help you apply the principles outlined above. For example, this automated report allows opportunity owners to explore win-loss data that they have submitted over time for their own opportunities:

Remember, lack of participation from your sales team is simply a symptom that indicates other problems. If your sales team is not participating, investigate the root causes and fix the problem. Rep participation should then take care of itself.

If your internal win-loss program does not give you insightful data — or if your team struggles to take action based on the data — read the other two blog posts in this mini-series detailing those symptoms and root causes.

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