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Win / Loss: Gearing Up for Q4

Here we are. It’s fourth quarter and your sales goals mean everything right now. It’s go time. Are you wishing this task was easier?

You’re not alone. Recently Salesforce published an eye-opening statistic: 57% of sales reps missed their sales quotas last year. What a huge impact falling short has on salespeople, sales teams, and entire organizations. Jim Rohn, one of America’s most regarded entrepreneurs and motivational authors, offered a different perspective on the problem when he said, “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.”

The truth is sales is hard. It is not easy to find a prospect, establish rapport, understanding your prospects business and needs, and then pitch your solution against your top competitors. Many people just reading that narrative would walk away. But salespeople are called to the challenge and the best salespeople and best sales organizations want to get better and better at selling. They just need the means in order to do so.

Win / loss analysis will help you sell better. Consider a case study of one of Anova’s clients which demonstrates how a sales team reached its goals by learning what they needed to improve:

Anova’s client was a large, institutional financial service provider, but was experiencing a declining sales win rate. The firm was receiving informal feedback that it was losing in new business situations because its sales efforts were lacking compared to those of its primary competitors. Senior management wanted to establish the legitimacy of this feedback and understand the true depth and contour of any associated sales process problems so it could make the necessary adjustments.

The company utilized Anova’s Win / Loss Analysis program to re-vamp its sales training and to re-engineer its approach to sales presentations. The interview transcripts were used as an ongoing feedback mechanism and coaching tool for sales personnel. Additionally, the company changed how it structured and prepared presentation content by formalizing an internal review process, which included “dry runs” with senior executives, who offered critiques and advice to the company’s sales staff on presentation style, flow and how to respond to tough questions by prospects. Competitive intelligence gained from the program helped the company train its sales force on how to position, package and promote the firm’s capabilities and value proposition against top competitors. Within two years, the frequency with which the company’s sales team and sales approach were identified as a major factor in lost business fell by more than 30 percent.

As the Salesforce studies indicates, too many sales teams are falling short of their ultimate goal. In order to better enable them to hit their targets, organizations should be providing them with the invaluable feedback and coaching made possible by capturing the voice of the prospect in post-decision debriefs.

Win Loss Analysis will not make selling easier, but it will make you better at selling.

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