One of the most common questions I am asked in the Win/Loss analysis process is, “How do we create a value proposition to get our customers or non-customers to participate in a Win/loss conversation?” Interviewers seems to want to have a one size fits all value proposition. That’s not how it works: this is an individual you want to connect with.
Sales may initially exhibit fear and resistance to Win/Loss analysis since individual sales people’s performance will be critiqued by customers in ways it hasn’t been, outside of sales management. Read on to learn the strategic and tactical benefits Sales gains from Win/Loss analysis.
I have had the pleasure of interviewing two impressive Directors of Win Loss programs. Both work for large companies that have done win loss analysis for a long while. Both emphasized the importance of company culture in how they set up their win loss programs; how they conduct win loss interviews—both internally and with customers—and how they write up the win loss analysis.
Win Loss is a Cooperative Relationship Business: You need to treat people the way they like to be treated throughout the process. It starts with soliciting feedback for the win loss questions from multiple people in relevant departments such as sales, marketing, product management, PR and executives. The next touch point is the internal interviews you conduct before reaching out to customers. With the customer, you want to engage early and frequently throughout the sales process. Remember that the recommendations you make at the conclusion of your win loss report can impact people’s jobs. Be sensitive to company politics and face saving in your loss reports.
While many people ask me to share the templates I have prepared over the years, when I conduct win loss interviews, actually it’s the upfront planning that matters more. If you don’t have all the salient facts around the sales situation or a good value proposition as to why the customer or prospect will want to talk to you, you’ll never get that communication off the ground!