This final step in the win-loss review process is the equivalent of the all-important follow through: whether you’re swinging a baseball bat or golf club, you don’t stop the motion once you’ve made contact with the ball. To get the best results, you continue the motion to fulfill the arc to completion.
An organization that doesn’t review and analyze their sales wins and losses is taking an awful risk. It’s not enough to have a better product or service; if your clients don’t perceive it, or have issues with your sales or delivery process, you’ll never know.
Those who possess the courage and discipline to conduct win-loss reviews and see them through will not only improve their likelihood of success, but will also send a broader message throughout their organization that performance matters and that constant improvement is valued. This isn’t just about sales, but a cultural mindset.
Learnings from win-loss reviews can take many forms and impact many different aspects of the business:
- Opportunity “fit”
- Qualifications and preferences
- Products and solutions
- Price, terms, and your value proposition
- Sales rep performance and the rapport and relationship they established (or failed to establish)
Communicating these insights to those affected, as well as to the broader organization, needs to be done in a way that helps drive the behavior change necessary for continued or improved success. This may require:
- Changes to sales, marketing, or product strategy
- Improved scoping and crafting of solutions
- Sales process improvement
- Enhancement of rep and manager sales skills or abilities through formal and informal training
- Establishment of key performance indicators, goals, and metrics
- Coaching from sales managers and leaders to support behavioral change
The knowledge and insights gained from the win-loss review process could be of no surprise or a total shock. It could validate what you’ve long assumed or contradict a direction in which you were confidently heading. More than likely, it will be somewhere in between.
If the news is good, then what better platform to stand on and reaffirm to your people that not only are you performing well, but your clients think so, too. Who doesn’t like good news? This would be a message welcomed by your sales reps and the entire organization.
If the news is negative, then make the necessary adjustments. Don’t make changes based on two interviews, but when you see a pattern, don’t ignore it. When the time comes to make changes, you can declare to the organization that you’re making the best decisions based on real information received directly from those who matter most: your clients.
At the end of the day, conducting win-loss reviews is about holding your organization accountable for their performance and creating a feedback process that will give you and your company a competitive edge.
Richardson: Sales Training and Strategy Execution – helping leaders prepare their organization to execute sales strategies and achieve business objectives.