It’s common that when a sales person wins a deal, it is because he/she built strong relationships, understood the current challenges and conveyed how their product or solution would solve those challenges.
When a deal is lost, it was because “The price is too high” or “We don’t have XYZ”.
Are you relying on the information that the sales rep enters in CRM? If so, the real reason a customer did or didn't buy from your company is hiding under the rug.
Whether you have a short or long sales cycle, whether you won or lost the deal, once the opportunity is closed, you have a golden learning opportunity to drive strategic and tactical growth for your company.
Even if you have technology to track leads, monitor traffic, measure clicks and conversions (all of which are important), how a prospect heard about your company, what specifically they heard and from who, is critical to know to capitalize on the information to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing and brand awareness activities.
To compound your sales results, you need to discover the entire buying experience with your organization from the eyes of your prospects and customers.
1. 99% of the time, the reason the deal is won or lost is not really known or shared.
First, a person most often doesn’t want to share negative information with the sales rep. It is easier for them to just stop responding, or provide a generic reason for not wanting to move forward.
Second, a response can be misleading depending upon who is hearing it. For example, the key decision maker tells the sales person “Your competitor came in at a lower price”. What gets logged in CRM?
I bet it is “Lost reason: price”. But shouldn’t it be, “Lost reason: I was outsold because I didn’t create enough value”? Sales team members without personal accountability could be masking a different problem. Refer to Mike Jacoutot’s blog “I was outsold”.
2. It is a common challenge to get lost customers to invest time in an interview.
For losses, how strong of a relationship was built with the contact if they won’t respond to an email or phone call asking to understand their buying experience with your organization?
That is the first sign something is amiss. Having responsibility for executing Win/Loss analysis at multiple companies, I had this same struggle for a few reasons. One, there was no standard process in place. The sales rep(s) wanted to do it on their own. Then a stakeholder wanted to reach out to try to change the decision. In neither case was the real truth uncovered.
The next problem was once an opportunity is closed (won or lost) in the system, it was too long after the decision was made.
3. Client retention begins before they sign the contract.
Everyone gets excited that another customer was just acquired! The contract is signed and now implementation or service is about to begin.
If you’re holding an Expectation Meeting, you have a higher chance of success to satisfy and retain that customer. But even before the Expectation Meeting, you should know what gaps were perceived in your solution.
By completing a Win Interview, you will uncover hidden needs (and potentially needs that they had uncovered but were not communicated by the sales team) before you turn this new customer into a lost customer.
If your company is not performing an unbiased Win/Loss analysis today or needs help getting the information or the volume of responses to effectively make decisions regarding your sales and marketing effectiveness, Butler Street can help with a Voice of the Customer program. The team at Butler Street will review your current process and share best practices make the most out of your sales and marketing investment, directly from the eyes of your customers.