The Sales Enablement Guide to Win/Loss Analysis, Part 1: Why Bother?
We work with a lot of large B2B organizations, helping make their sales processes more efficient, effective, and intelligent. One of the ways businesses achieve improvements to their sales metrics is through tools, but often there is great room for improvement in the processes that sales teams follow every day. Win/loss analysis is a process that, if done correctly, can be incredibly beneficial to companies, so we put together this sales enablement guide to help businesses get the most value out of it.
Before we can get into the details of actually implementing a successful win/loss analysis process in your business, we need to address the elephant in the room: why bother with it at all? You may be thinking to yourself that your company has done just fine without going through that process for every lost opportunity or won deal. You may also be thinking that with so much B2B sales team time being taken up by meetings throughout the day, is yet another meeting to discuss something from the past really worth taking sales reps away from active opportunities?
Yes, yes it is. Here’s why we believe that doing win/loss analysis can have a big impact on your sales effectiveness…
A win/loss analysis is an opportunity to explore a treasure trove of information.
How does your company go about improving your sales process? Do you jump from one sales methodology to the next, hoping that your win rates rise with each change? It doesn’t work that way. You need clear data that can be analyzed and used to make strategic advances over time. Here are a few of the things that can be easily learned and taken advantage of:
- The Sales Perspective vs. the Customer’s Perspective: Anyone in B2B sales knows that just because a sales rep has a gut feeling that a deal will close doesn’t mean that it actually will. When you conduct a win/loss analysis, you can compare how the sales rep felt about the opportunity to the customer’s perspective on the buyer’s journey. You can look at the sales forecast and see if the initial assessment was accurate and if it stayed accurate over time.
- What Went Right and Wrong: By going through the sales cycling and pinpointing the exact moment where a lost deal started going downhill, you can more easily adjust the sales process to avoid those negative activities. You can see where communication failed, which sales materials had an impact, and when the buyer started losing interest. The same goes for won deals—identify the activities that work so that you can repeat them in the future.
- The Effectiveness of Team and Department Collaboration: Did sales and marketing work well together? With a win/loss analysis, you should be able to identify specific examples of times when sales and marketing collaborated together on the deal as well as examples of sales reps and sales teams working together. If you can’t find those examples, it’s time to question why that happened and how to improve it for the next opportunity.
It’s the perfect time for sales coaches to BE coaches.
The sad truth is that sales organizations are busy, and sales managers have a lot on their plates. The result is that managers struggle to get that one-on-one coaching time with sales reps in order to help them improve.
According to a study by the Training Industry, when compared with effective companies who provide consistent sales coaching, 73% of ineffective companies provide sales coaching only on an ad hoc basis, if at all. Corporate Visions found that only 34.6% of companies have a coordinated sales coaching process for asset and content development.
And perhaps the most staggering industry statistic is this: the Sales Management Association found that on average, sales managers only offer coaching twice a month for poor performers, new sales reps, and sales reps who request help. High-performing sales reps only receive coaching once quarterly. That’s not a lot of sales coaching.
There is plenty more to talk about when it comes to improving sales coaching, and you can read more about that here:
- How to Solve the Big Sales Coaching Problem
- 5 Areas of Visibility Every Sales Coach Needs
- Sales Training Reinforcement Strategies
- 10 Powerful Statistics on Sales Training
The point is that a win/loss analysis session is more than just your average “over the shoulder” coaching. It ensures that coaching actually happens, and it adds an incredible amount of data to use during that coaching session.
Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.
Your sales process should evolve. If you’re not basing changes to your process on methodical assessments of what worked and what didn’t in the past, what are you basing it on?
And if it’s not changing, it’s a problem. Your sales team will continue making the same mistakes over and over, not even realizing what they are doing. You run the risk of losing out on opportunities to improve your sales activities, finding ways to lower costs by making processes more efficient and increasing win rates through better sales effectiveness.
Your competitors certainly aren’t going to stand still, so you cannot afford to do the same. In a week filled with meetings and other non-selling activities, a win/loss analysis is simply not something that can be cut from the schedule.
So is win/loss analysis really that important?
We believe it is. To be truly successful in B2B sales, you need to be methodical, critical, and constantly improving. Win/loss analysis is a proven tactic to achieve that.
If you’re ready to embrace the possibilities of win/loss analysis, subscribe to our blog by entering your email address into the form below! We’ll be following up with the second part of our sales enablement guide to win/loss analysis, which outlines how to create a solid plan for your analysis sessions so that you can ensure they work well right from the start.