If you have been following our win/loss analysis series, you now have a solid idea of the importance of analyses and how to go about doing them. However, it’s one thing to take the advice of a sales enablement company—it’s another thing to see the industry research to back it up. So let’s dive into a study conducted by research firm Aberdeen to see how best-in-class sales leaders approach the process of win/loss analysis.
Current Adoption Rates
First, let’s look at how popular win/loss analysis actually is. According to the research, 42% of survey respondents reported that they conduct analyses on a regular basis. However, best-in-class teams (who had performance metrics in the top 20% of companies) were 10% more likely to take advantage of win/loss analysis than the industry average. It’s not as clear cut as 100% adoption, but the statistics do show that a win/loss analysis is something worth considering if you want your company to be best-in-class.
Sales Results Compared: Analysis Users vs. Non Users
Across the board, teams who used win/loss analysis on a regular basis outperformed those who did not have any sort of analysis process. Here are a few of the key sales metrics for analysis users:
Team attainment of sales quota: 5% higher than non-users
Customer retention rate: 12% higher than non-users
Year over year improvement of corporate revenue: almost double that of non-users
Year over year change in lead conversion: 1.6% improvement versus -0.6% drop among non-users
You’ve Got the Data, Now What Do You Do With It?
Every company has a different process for handling the results of a win/loss analysis. In fact, having a clearly defined process is something that puts you far above the average company. But it’s also what’s in that process that matters. Aberdeen research has highlighted some key activities that complement win/loss analysis, and how best-in-class companies pursue them…
Structured Sales Performance Feedback:
The goldmine of data you glean from the analysis won’t do anyone any good if it just sits on a spreadsheet on someone’s computer. That’s why best-in-class companies are 44% more likely than under-performers to formally communicate feedback to sales reps about their past performance. With a formal feedback process in place, you increase the likelihood that sales reps will actually absorb the guidance and improve, while also having more structure for tracking sales rep performance.
Sharing Knowledge and Content:
80% of best-in-class companies have access to a centralized repository for all of their sales data and content. The advantage of this central access point is clear: it creates an easy way to share information and best practices among sales teams while also cutting down on the time-consuming and often frustrating task of searching for that one fantastic sales presentation you swear you put together for that one client four months ago.
Use It to Motivate Sales Performance:
As effective as monetary incentives may be, teams that use win/loss analysis have found an equally effective method: praise. Best-in-class companies are 57% more likely than all others to use the feedback gained from the analysis to provide recognition and praise for strong performance. The psychological effects of praise are powerful—without any real investment from your company, you can use verbal commendations to boost sales performance significantly.
Structured Onboarding Programs:
When the win/loss analysis reveals areas that need improvement, it’s quite often a smart idea to address those problems right from the start—during initial hiring, onboarding, and training. Compared to non-users, win/loss adopters are 33% more likely to have a formal onboarding process, and the analyses provide the needed data to keep that onboarding methodology sharp and on point.
The gist of the research on win/loss analysis is that it can be a powerful component of your sales strategy, especially if you follow best-in-class practices to put the data you collect to good use. If this quick glimpse into the research has piqued your interest, why not do your own study? Give win/loss analysis a try within your own sales organization, and be sure to track your sales efforts before and after so that you can accurately gauge its effectiveness.