What are the 3 channels of win-loss insight?
At Clozd we help companies of all shapes and sizes (from startups to Fortune 500 companies) conduct effective win-loss analysis. As we help these companies structure their win-loss programs we often discuss the three main channels or sources of win-loss insight . . .
- CRM data.
- Sales team feedback.
- Buyer (decision-maker) feedback.
In an earlier blog post, I compared these three data channels. They are not all created equal. The richest insight always comes from buyer feedback. But, for companies looking to establish a comprehensive win-loss program, it may be helpful to bring all three data sources together as part of a single, cohesive initiative. That’s because . . .
- CRM data can tell you what is happening (i.e. win rates are lower in EMEA).
- Sales team feedback can tell you why it’s happening - from an internal perspective.
- Buyer feedback can tell you why it’s happening - from an external perspective.
Here’s an example . . .
The sales operations team at a software company was analyzing win rate data from their CRM. In the process, they discovered that win rates were significantly higher in their APAC region than the EMEA region.
This discovery came as a surprise and seemed counterintuitive to executive leadership. The company had multiple sales offices in EMEA and sales revenues were much higher there than in APAC. Nevertheless, as they looked at the data more closely it was apparent that they weren’t as efficient at winning sales opportunities in Europe.
Naturally, they wanted to learn more. The CRM was telling them what was happening, but not why it was happening.
So, as a next step they decided to rethink how they were capturing feedback from their sales team each time an opportunity was closed. In the past they had relied on poorly structured win/loss reason fields that were too limiting. The data quality was poor and there were no real-time, executive-level reports that made the data actionable.
Their new method was simple, dynamic, and reportable. After a short period of time, executives could see a trend that EMEA reps were frequently citing Security & Compliance as a problem. There was no such feedback from the APAC team.
To confirm this, the company started conducting win-loss interviews with buyers at recently won and lost EMEA accounts. The interviews confirmed that buyers there had legitimate concerns about the company’s information security practices. The win-loss interviews gave the leadership team confidence that investing in resolutions to these issues would enable a higher win rate. The rich buyer feedback also laid out the playbook for how to address the buyer’s concerns, improve messaging, and train the sales team.
Not surprisingly, sales win rates in EMEA quickly improved.
Although this example is clearly a success story, the company’s three-phased approach took significant time to carry out. Each phase of the project was a new initiative. Had the company already been running an ongoing win-loss program - consisting of CRM data, rep feedback, and buyer feedback - they would have been alerted to the issue much earlier and could have taken corrective action much sooner.
This is why so many companies are starting to invest in comprehensive, ongoing programs for win-loss analysis. It’s arguably the most important and valuable diagnostic tool that B2B companies can implement to help improve win rates, boost revenue, and increase their competitive advantage.
For help designing and implementing a comprehensive win-loss program, talk with us.