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Why Win / Loss? Because even SalesForce knows it’s not easy

 

SalesForce knows a thing or two about selling B2B. So when Marc Benioff, CEO of SalesForce, talks about the challenges facing enterprise sales, we tend to listen. Here’s what Benioff said in the latest annual report for SFDC about the headwinds facing his own company:

“As more of our sales efforts are targeted at larger enterprise customers, our sales cycle may become more time-consuming and expensive, we may encounter pricing pressure and implementation and customization challenges, and we may have to delay revenue recognition for some complex transactions, all of which could harm our business and operating results.”

These challenges are familiar to any company selling to other businesses. As markets evolve and selling becomes increasingly challenging, sales leaders are searching for an added advantage to give their business the edge it needs. With that in mind, here is how a Win / Loss program can help combat the challenges laid out above:

Longer Sales Cycles Requiring More Investment: Heads of sales are committing more dollars and more human capital towards growing sales. There is no better way to protect an investment in a salesforce than by arming them with the intelligence they need to elevate their game. The feedback into what works, what doesn’t work, and what sales strategies other vendors are bringing to the marketplace is invaluable for any sales representative in today’s landscape. Anova estimates that less than 20% of U.S.-based companies utilize Win / Loss as a feedback mechanism, making the knowledge gained through a formal program a notable competitive advantage.

Pricing Pressure on Products / Services: Whether it is a new or an established product line, prospects will almost always factor in costs to their buying decision. Win / Loss specializes in extracting pricing information about all competitors and products in the market, and assesses how individual competitors’ value propositions are perceived by customers.

Product / Implementation Questions: Are the product features effective? Is the interface user friendly? Is the implementation process effective enough to get clients up and running in the timeframe they need? Are our clients having buyer’s remorse? These are all questions that impact client satisfaction and retention, and ultimately keep executives up at night. The open-ended Voice of the Client feedback captured in Win / Loss studies has proven invaluable to business leaders as they launch new product lines or are checking in on existing services.

A Win / Loss study isn’t a magic antidote to sales issues, but can be an effective tool in helping business leaders understand how their prospects perceive their company. In a recent study, Gartner estimated that a comprehensive program can increase win rates up to 50%! Given today’s challenging sales environment, the question shouldn’t be Why Win / Loss? It should be How soon can we begin?

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