This is our third blog of the widely used SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to assess the value of Win/Loss analysis. Strengths (Blog 1) are HERE and Weaknesses (Blog 2) are HERE. This blog outlines the opportunities and threats of Win Loss analysis.
Win/Loss Interviews Provide Deep Insight
In our digital age, these in-depth conversations are a rare opportunity for a personal connection with your customers and those who choose a competitor. Your customers and prospects share the detail and motivation about how decisions are made. Win/Loss analysis from these conversations give you the ammunition to further develop your buying personas.
Win/Loss Analysis a 360 Degree Assessment of Your Company
The opportunities for learning from Win/Loss are as great as your imagination for capturing customer information coupled with how good the interviewer is at probing and pulling out valuable tidbits and trends from these customer conversations. For example, you can learn how prospects find your company. You don’t just learn about your sales process, but also where and how to provide better information about your company’s reputation, products and customer service in places where potential customers are shopping for solutions before they call your sales force. Win/Loss results often indicate how to be considered for more business.
Win/Loss Analysis Doesn’t Just Help Wins
Probably the most profitable opportunity is customer retention as you uncover opportunities to sell more products and services to your customer base by making improvements to your existing product line, sales process, and overall professionalism.
If No Win/Loss Analysis, Blind Spots?
What opportunities might you be missing if you don’t conduct Win/Loss analysis? What critical thinking will your miss out on since you don’t get Win/Loss data from any other source? You can uncover revenue opportunities such as an unintended use of your product or new markets for your products that you hadn’t targeted where there is very little competition.
Long Term Benefits of Win/Loss Interviews and Analysis
Longer term, after you conduct several months or quarters of Win/Loss interviews and run the analyses, you will uncover more strategic opportunities from studying trends. Examples include revealing new alliance partners, new products, industry specific products, or marketing shortcomings.
Customers Might Be Uncomfortable with Win/Loss Interviews
The most immediate threat is customer relationships. Some customers don’t like to be interviewed. You may upset their relationship between your company and Sales. Be sensitive, and don’t pursue them.
The Wrong Person May be Conducting Interviews
Sometimes companies outsource Win/Loss interviews when an internal company interviewer would have better connected with their customers. In other cases, it’s just the opposite: an internal company interviewer makes customers nervous, so they withhold information. They would be more comfortable with a third-party interviewer.
The Interviewer Lacks Professionalism
Another threat can be the interviewer. If the interviewer is not professional–whether in-house or a third party–this can damage your company’s relationship with customers and prospects. Sometimes the interviewer is professional, but their chemistry is bad with your internal employees, customers and prospects. Sometimes the interviewer interferes with a sale in progress due to miscommunication about timing the interview.
Win/Loss May Threaten Sales People
The Internet and social media have boosted buyer’s knowledge tremendously in the last ten years. This has reduced Sales’ power in the buying decision as the prospect’s major knowledge source. This knowledge shift has threatened many in sales departments who want to hold on to the traditional way of selling, rather than adapting to a more cooperative, consultative relationship with prospects and clients. Win/Loss is another change, and they may not be open to it.
Win/Loss May Push Sales People to Leave
While this may be extreme: If your Sales Force is transactional and inflexible they might feel so threatened by the Win/Loss process that you’ll lose some good people.
Will Purchasing Dehumanization Extend to Win/Loss Interviews?
In a similar vein, the Win/Loss interview process itself may be threatened. According to the Gartner Group, by 2020, 85 percent of customers will manage all of their interactions with the enterprise without human-to-human contact. With the dehumanization of the purchase process, will this also extend to customers agreeing to take the time for Win/Loss interviews?
- What is your company’s SWOT analysis for a Win/Loss program?
- Is it a “go” or “no go” for your company? Why?
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