The Future of Win-Loss Analysis 2020

Transcript

Andrew Peterson:

Welcome, everybody, to WinLossWeek. We're excited to have you. We want to give a special shout-out to all of the sponsors that made this event possible. You can see them here on the screen. We also want to thank you guys for registering and for all the great brands that helped us out by contributing sessions.

Spencer Dent:

Today, you guys have the pleasure of listening to Andrew Peterson, co-founder of Clozd, and the not-so-distinguished pleasure of listening to me, Spencer, the other founder of Clozd. We're really excited. Thanks again for participating. We're going to share some thoughts here on some interesting things. Let me tell you a little bit about Clozd real fast. Clozd is a leading provider of services and technology for win-loss analysis. We work with companies all over the world across lots of different industries. We've been in this space for a little over three years, almost to four years at this point, and we love it. We're passionate about it. We eat, sleep, and think about it all the time, so we're super excited to have this week with all of you and to share some thoughts. Our session today is going to be about the future of win-loss. This is a rapidly evolving space that frankly is fairly immature and it's changing very quickly, so we're really excited to share with you some of the things we're seeing and the way we see this space evolving over the next little bit.

Andrew Peterson:

Before we jump too deep into it, we just want to stop for a second and talk about what is win-loss analysis. There's a lot of attendees this week that are going to be longtime practitioners that are just looking for tactics on how they can improve their current approach, but there's also going to be a lot of people who are new to win-loss analysis. For those who possibly are new to this, the definition of win-loss analysis is it's this practice of systematically capturing and analyzing the reasons why you win and lose sales opportunities.

Andrew Peterson:

The reason why it's such an important practice is because it helps you confirm and prioritize the strengths and weaknesses of your product offering so that you can improve product strategy. It also helps you have more empathy for your buyers and understand them better so you can increase your marketing effectiveness, train yourselves team better, improve sales productivity, and foster alignment across your whole organization and at the executive level about why you actually went in those deals so that you can win more.

Andrew Peterson:

We recently partnered with the Pragmatic Institute to conduct a study on the current state of win-loss analysis and we got 354 different companies to participate in that study and there were some interesting takeaways about the value or impact that win-loss analysis can have on an organization that implements it effectively. From the study, we learned that 90% of companies that are practicing win-loss analysis achieve a justifiable ROI on their investment and 98% of companies expect to either maintain or even expand or increase their investment in win-loss analysis. 72% of companies reported that they've improved their sales' win rates as a result of the practice. 61% have captured actionable competitive intelligence. 57% reported that they've improved sales processes, training, and/or performance. 51% have improved their product strategy and roadmap as a result of what they've learned from their program. 51% as well have improved marketing content and messaging, so it's becoming clearer and clearer to organizations nowadays that they need to have a systematic approach to capturing this insight so that they can then attain these benefits that we've highlighted here.

Spencer Dent:

What's cool about win-loss is there's an astounding amount of value to the practice, but that doesn't mean that there aren't challenges that come with it. As we went out and we surveyed this broad group of companies, we found some consistent challenges among practitioners and non-practitioners.

Spencer Dent:

Let's talk about the practitioners first. These are companies that are actually conducting win-loss analysis within their org. For 77% of them feel like they could get more value than what they're getting today, so they're getting enough value, and as Andrew mentioned, a lot of them are planning to keep the same investment or increase their investment, but they still feel like there's more out there that they could realize. 75% are only analyzing a fraction of closed pipeline. Most of them are analyzing less than 10% of opportunities that go through pipelines. Think about how much insight is not being uncovered because of the lack of coverage of the pipeline. 45% only share it with less than 10% of the org. The information's siloed to a small group of people. 75% wait for manual reporting before their leadership can access the findings, so think about that: Everybody's seeing a lot of value with it, but they know there's more value that they can get. They're not covering as much pipeline as they would like to. They feel like the data is... Well, it's clear the data's not being shared broadly across the org and it's being done in a very manual way. That's for the practitioners.

Spencer Dent:

For the non-practitioners, the companies that want to get started. 50% of the companies we talked to struggle to start or maintain and that number is broken about 25 and 25. They struggle to start, meaning, get up and move and get a program in place or maintain, they do a lot of starting and stopping, so they get something underway and then they get a lot of pushback, or they're not really sure the right methodology or how to scale it, so they struggle and then they stop and they start again after the next board meeting. Sound familiar? 66% of companies say methodology and the ability to scale the program are their biggest challenges in getting something going in an ongoing fashion over the long-term, so it's interesting, the companies that are struggling the most are the ones that to get going, they don't know what to do, how to do it, and how to do it at scale.

Andrew Peterson:

Since being founded, here at Clozd, we've had the opportunity to observe how really innovative companies are thinking about win-loss analysis, how they're tackling it. We've been fortunate to work with some great brands, great clients, and collaborate with a lot of great think tanks and thought leadership organizations about what works best when it comes to win-loss analysis and there's some interesting trends that we are seeing that are happening within this use case of win-loss analysis and that we believe will continue to happen over the coming three to five years.

Andrew Peterson:

In the past, companies had a tendency to treat win-loss analysis as a bottom-up initiative. There's maybe somebody in middle management, or someone, a product marketing manager, or a leader of competitive intelligence, or a sales operator, or even a leader of a sales team that look around the organization and realize, "Hey, we don't have good data on why we're winning and losing deals and that would enable me to do my job better," and so they have to make a business case and try to convince people above them in the organization to invest in win-loss analysis.

Andrew Peterson:

But that's beginning to change because executive teams and even boards and venture capital firms are starting to realize that we need this data and we need to enable all of our functions with this data so that they can all perform at a higher level, and so going forward, we're going to see more and more that win-loss analysis is a top-down mandate from the executive team and they're going to expect that something effective is put into place to address this.

Andrew Peterson:

In the past, we've also seen that because it's sort of a bottom-up initiative led by a certain function, they tend to be very siloed initiatives where only members of that function tend to see the data or have access to it and benefit from that data and there haven't been great strategies or tools for collaborating cross-functionally, but that's going to change as well where these initiatives, because they're top-down in nature, are going to be very cross-functional where the programs are going to be designed to meet the needs of various functions and all of those functions, sales, marketing, product, the executive team, et cetera, are all going to be engaged in helping to design a program that meets the organization's needs.

Andrew Peterson:

In the past, most programs, too, depending on who starts the program, tend to be single-channel programs. For example, if a sales operations team decides to implement a win-loss program, they have a tendency to go to the systems that they're used to, like the CRM system, to pull some data and try to analyze that for win-loss analysis, or they might reach out to the sales team and ask the sales team for feedback on why deals are being won and lost.

Andrew Peterson:

On the contrary, if it's a product-marketing-led initiative, product marketing team is going to say, "Hey, I really want to hear from the customer," and so they might implement a program or they're interviewing or surveying customers to capture this feedback. But in each case, they're just leveraging one single channel to capture win-loss insight, whereas in the future, as companies work cross-functionally to enable these programs, they're going to become multi-channel programs where they're going to tap into multiple sources of data to understand more holistically why they're winning and losing and to cover more of their pipeline.

Andrew Peterson:

In the past, there's been a tendency for organizations to treat this as discrete projects where the one team will implement a short-term initiative, invest in it heavily at one moment in time, one quarter, and uncover at that moment in time why they believe they win and lose deals, but they struggle to build a program that has longevity that's ongoing, that is operationalized as part of how the company operates, and going forward, companies are going to start to get a lot better at creating a approach that's ongoing in nature, that's somewhat automated, that allows them to capture win-loss data across a large portion of their pipeline on an ongoing recurring basis so that they continually have a pulse on why they're winning and losing deals.

Andrew Peterson:

In the past, these programs were also very service-heavy and manual in nature, where there was a lot of manual work involved in capturing the data in the first place, analyzing the data, reporting on the data, a very, very heavy manual service or effort. That's changing, that's beginning to change, and in the future, there's going to be much more tech enablement of the win-loss process to make it a whole lot easier to run a program and to make the programs more effective and more efficient.

Andrew Peterson:

Then the other trend that we see is the manual analysis piece, people building a one-off report and sharing it around the organization of here's why we win and lose based on the limited analysis we've done over the last few months. That's going to change as well as these programs become much more operationalized, there's going to be technology that's going to allow real-time reporting and automated push reporting so that all the stakeholders across all of these functions have easy, direct, ongoing real-time access to the win-loss data.

Spencer Dent:

That's awesome. What's interesting about this is is we've seen this before, and so I want to share with you guys a little bit a story of how this has evolved in other types of feedback markets. If you recall in the early 2000s, all of a sudden, a lot of B2C companies started to realize, "We don't understand our customers very well." At the time, he was a partner at Bain & Company. His name was Fred Reichheld and he came up with this idea of NPS and it was a methodology to enable you to help understand your net promoter score, which is basically a function of understanding customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

Spencer Dent:

What happened is this idea, it was initially called "NPS," voice of the customer, now it's evolved into an entire market called "customer experience," but it didn't get to customer experience immediately. The next step that happened was, as people realized, "Man, I should really understand how my customers feel about me in these B2C markets," service-based offerings started to come out and there were small boutique firms and bigger firms that began to run NPS surveys as an outsource solution to these bigger companies. Then over time, technology started to come into play, and so now you weren't just outsourcing it to a third party that would go handle it, but there was some technology and you started being able to even take some of the solutions in-house. Finally, today, there's entire companies, like Qualtrics and Medallia, that are built on being tech-first CX platforms that help you really, truly understand what's happening with your customers.

Spencer Dent:

Well, if you rewind, this same process is actually happening in win-loss. For several years now, companies have understood, "I have a lot of money invested, a lot of money invested in my go-to-market, I'm spending millions of dollars on product development, millions of dollars on a sales org, millions of dollars on marketing effectiveness, and I'm not really sure what's working and what's not working," and so what's emerged is there's been a handful of boutique-type consulting firms that have existed and they're heavy service-based and they do this great value-add outsource service for companies. Actually, one of the reasons why Andrew and I started this company is we saw this trend emerging back in 2017, where there was a huge value, but we realized that if you brought some technology to bear, to help particularly around how you analyze and share the feedback, you'll be able to add a lot of value, so you're starting to see tech-enabled services.

Spencer Dent:

But what's going to happen over the next three to five years is the technology is going to come into play and really help amplify the amount of insight you will get, the amount of pipeline you'll be able to cover, the amount of work that you'll be able to automate so that you can get better and deeper insight in more of an operationalized fashion, as Andrew was talking about. There's a huge shift that's happening in this market and companies are starting to realize that, and we're super excited to be part of it because this is actually one of the most valuable and important topics that a company can tackle is figuring out why they win and lose, so it's a complex problem, it's an exciting problem, and this is the shift that you're seeing that's occurring in this space.

Andrew Peterson:

At Clozd, we're excited to be leading this shift. We're in the process of developing a first-of-its-kind platform that brings together multiple channels that enables you to cover all of your pipeline, integrate directly with your CRM, and understand holistically across your entire business why deals are being won and lost at the deal level and at the aggregate level as a business and everywhere in-between, so be on the lookout. Come talk to us if you want to learn more about what we've been building for our clients and what we're going to be delivering here over the coming three to 12 months.

Spencer Dent:

This technology platform is awesome and it's going to be game-changing. We're super excited for it. We have a lot of beta clients that we're starting to move on to it. As Andrew mentioned, if you're interested, please feel free to reach out. Above all, though, if you're interested in learning more and learning how to approach this problem, we've developed this piece of content called The Definitive Guide to Win-Loss Analysis. You're welcome to download it for free, we'll send it to you, and at any point, frankly, if you're interested in learning more about win-loss and how to conduct it effectively, how to get value out of it, feel free to reach out to Andrew or myself, spencer@clozd.com, andrew@clozd.com. We're more than happy to help you and your organization, and frankly, just pick your brains and have you pick our brains and make sure that we're developing the best-in-class solution.

Spencer Dent:

Thanks, everybody, again for joining. We're super excited for this week and hope that you get as much value out of this as we expect you to. Thanks again to all of our partners. Thanks again to all of our presenters. Have a great week, everyone.

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