July 30th, 2012

A Drama Free Approach to Selecting Deals for Your Win-Loss Reviews

Win - Loss Review Process

In most organizations, reviewing every won or lost opportunity is impossible. While there is so much information about each sales opportunity in your funnel readily available, there is a point of diminishing returns. As the process owner or executive sponsor, you need to determine what’s most important and how much is “too much.”

Which sales opportunities should you review? Every organization is a bit different. We recommend setting objective criteria, such as a deal-size threshold, to help you determine which ones to review. This will help remove some of the emotion from the process. Sometimes, you want to win a project for the size or scope, to break into an industry, or to be able to work with certain high-profile companies. If your targets include winning “logo opportunities” — companies whose logos will look good on your client roster — they should certainly be an area of focus in your win-loss reviews.

But regardless of the threshold, you should include:

  • New logo opportunity wins over a certain threshold value (e.g., $100K)
  • New logo opportunity losses (outsold) over a threshold value (e.g., $100K) from any sales stage
  • New logo opportunity losses (disqualified) over a threshold value (e.g., $100K) that have entered the late stages of your sales funnel
  • Existing client opportunity losses (outsold or disqualified) over a threshold value (e.g., $75K) regardless of stage

Notice the distinction between new logo opportunities and existing customers. If you lose a deal with an existing account, then that should raise a major red flag and automatically trigger a review regardless of the stage that the deal was lost.

It is also important to distinguish between “outsold” and “disqualified” losses. Outsold implies that you’ve been beaten by a traditional competitor. Disqualified implies that you’ve been beaten by the status quo and that the prospect is not going forward with the purchase at this time or that they’ve elected to bring the work in house. Disqualification at a late stage could imply that your rep did a poor job of qualifying the opportunity. As we mentioned, in our white paper, losing slowly is deadly. You need to review this lost opportunity to understand what’s really going on.

You can always adjust criteria to refine the process over time. However, remain dedicated and disciplined to conducting these win-loss reviews. It conveys to your clients and potential clients that you care very much about your impact on their business, and it sends a message to your sales force and the broader business that the company values good performance and is willing to invest in this process to achieve and leverage it throughout the organization.

About Richardson

Every day, Richardson works with sales leaders to help them execute strategic account management initiatives in their organization. We evaluate sales talent, create capability and consistency through world-class sales training, and drive change through your ranks. We know what works and what doesn’t. If you are a sales leader planning to implement a new strategic initiative, please call us at 215-940-9255, and we will be pleased to share these insights with you. To learn more about Richardson’s sales training and strategy execution solutions, please visit us on the web at www.richardson.com.

New Whitepaper: Win Loss Reviews: Six simple Steps for Better Sales Strategy refinement and Execution.Every sales opportunity, whether won or lost, has useful nuggets of information that can be harvested and used to improve performance. Download Richardson’s newest white paper where you will learn how to leverage critical pieces of information to enhance your organization’s competitive position. Click here to download.

About The Author: Dario Priolo

As Chief Strategy Officer, Dario Priolo is responsible for driving Richardson’s market, product, and corporate strategy and planning — sharing critical insights with clients to help them win in today’s changing market place. Dario gathers intelligence and market and customer knowledge to: drive Richardson’s innovation; ensure that Richardson offers the best and most relevant solutions for clients that exceed client satisfaction; and raise awareness of Richardson’s extensive capabilities with sales and business leaders.

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