The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Win Loss Reviews


High-performing sales organizations don’t just know why deals are won and lost. These teams have a systematic way to leverage those insights to impact and improve future sales opportunities. In this episode, Force Management Facilitator and Senior Partner Tim Caito shares how to pull insight on lost deals into future sales activities to create more wins and less late-stage losses. He covers the common mistakes sales organizations make when compiling and sharing win loss data and a three-step approach you can use to better take advantage of those insights. 

Key Questions to ask on every deal:

  1. What are the business issues driving a compelling event related to this target opportunity?
  2. Who do these business issues impact the most?
  3. How will the customer make a decision?
  4. How does our solution align with the decision criteria?
  5. Who are we competing against?
  6. What are our strengths? Where are our gaps?
  7. What is our strategy moving forward?
  8. What are our most critical next steps?

Here are some additional resources on win-loss reviews

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You got to deal with the gaps early when there are a gap, and that later when there are a risk. You're listening to the audible ready podcast, the show that helps you and your team's sell more faster. will feature sales leader sharing their best insights on how to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presented by the team afforce management, a leader in BTB sales effectiveness. Let's get started. Knowing why you won or lost a deal is one thing, but actually using data to drive systematic change in sales team performance is often a missed opportunity. Welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller, joined today by Tim Kato. High Tim. Hello, Rachel. How you doing today? I'm good. It's a great day to talk when loss reviews and what to do about it. Tim, well, it's always a good day to talk about that. Yeah, and as we know, and all of you listening out their note that high performing sales organizations know how to take those win loss reviews, that insight that you gain on why you lost, and pull it into future sales performance. So, Tim, I'd like to start with your perspective on maybe just some common mistakes with these win loss reviews that companies make and some key components they can do to make sure they're successful. Yeah, Rachel, let me just back up one SEC and and start by saying I am a big fan of conducting win loss reviews and being able to take advantage of the insights that they produce. So that's number one. But to really understand those mistakes you had got to understand some common traits of them. You know, win loss reviews get done in a variety of ways, some as simple as self reported fields and the opportunity record of a crm tool. You know, why did we win? WHY DO WE LOSE? And that the other end of the spectrum are far more sophisticated, forensic driven conducted by third party firms. It kind...

...of approaches and everything in between. Now, so, Rachel, the common desired outcome for all of those approaches, right, is that they're all intended to be a reverse engineering process, looking backwards for insights. But I think many of those approaches also share a gap, and to me that gap is generating leverageable insights, and I want to put the emphasis on that word. Leverageable insights that are incorporated systematically and methodically into forwardlooking product development, forward looking marketing, solution engineering, support and, yes, especially selling. So to me it's seeking leverageable insights. Is what moves US away from simply documenting reasons why we lost, sometimes very emotional reasons, you know. You you've seen these a lot of times revisionist history, you know, to justify the outcome. It was our pricing, it was our technical limitations, it was my crazy competitors. That's why we lost. Or, you know, it was my brilliant selling in the heroics of our team that one the day and causes to win. You know, taught us if you want to use the data in insights to drive maximum sales impact from your win loss reviews, it's got to generate leverageable insights. Insights that can do be, you know, deployed into forward looking pursuits. In other words, Rachel, Here's the thing, right, what does the insight or the data get plugged into that operationalizes those insights at the point of sales execution? Let me give you a one real quick example. All right, let's say our win loss review generated an insight...

...that our customers did not see the value of our solution. By the way, Rachel, that is always in the top ten reasons why we lose. I don't care who does value and it are what you know. My customers just didn't see the value in our solutions. Well, if we just passed that information onto our sales team as a data point, it's very likely they could easily interpret that as suggesting they should do or demos. They should focus more on showing our special or unique functionality, focus more on their product and don't buy the way, Rachel, nobody fails to focus on their product, nobody fails to mention their unique capabilities and, as a result, the likely keep getting the exact same results they had before. But to me, a leverageible insight would be number one. We fail to influence the customers view of their requirements. To did we help them define the value of each requirement relative to how it helps achieve their outcomes? And three, only then demonstrate how our solution aligns to those requirements. To me, Rachael, three clear, actionable steps that plug directly into our sales approach at the point of sales execution. Now, I know that sounds simple, and at one level it really is simple, but to operationalize those simple ideas across the entire customer facing team, where requires a bit of sophistication. To us. I think you need to have three things in place right here. We got three, but can number one, I'm consistent, structured selling approach. Yeah, number two, a structured evaluation or assessment of approach and three, a deal review process that aows you to look at the components of what you're doing in a systematic way,... step back and see what's going on. Are we on the right trajectory or we're steering towards some of those things that might cause us to lose? So the insights from a win loss review need to be US looking forward, not backwards. That was a big all speech from me, but but you know, that kind of summarizes what we see going on and maybe a little what we need to do right right. It was a good, good speech to valuable information and you made a lot of great points about getting the emotion out of it, steering clear revisionist history, but also making sure that that the actions that come from these win loss reviews are actually benefiting your sales organization, like the demo point that you made. So when you're conducting these win loss reviews. It's really important that, as a leader, you're asking the right question. So what questions am I asking as I look at the deals? That helps me get the information to do the things that you're talking about. Yeah, I think those questions, Rachel, Fall in three big buckets, right. The first bucket customer interest. Did we understand the real problem the customers was looking to solve, both the technical and the business problems? Second Bucket, what was our position to compete? Did we understand the solution fit our position relative to the customers business, political competitive landscapes, and did we understand our position to compete relative to their decision criteria? And the third big bucket is our sales approach. Did we influence the customers view of their desired outcomes and the decision criteria that will help them achieve those outcomes? How do we align our solution with the customers needs and those confirmed decision criteria? Yeah, so that just to reiterate those three areas for those of you...

...listening with a pencil or a pen customer interests, looking at the problems and your related value, your position to compete, and sales approach of influencing decision criteria related to this customer interests. So, whether it's those questions are however you're doing your win loss reviews, the point is really bucketing the answers into areas where that you can look at the trends, which one of those areas is bleeding the worst, certain speak, and then, right, you need to map the answers to those questions to an area where you can actually improve the selling effectiveness upstream. Yeah, they exactly. You know, if you have these things in place, that mentality in place, those areas of exploration. Frankly, Rachel, a windlass review shouldn't produce many surprises and even if something new surfaces, you can immediately provide guidance to your customer facing team on how to address it within that structured sales approach, right at the point of sales execution. But, by the way, Rachel, these questions we ask and we lost reviews. They are the exact same questions. To your point, we should be asking upstream in our opportunity reviews, you know, expose those potential problems by asking the right questions early on. You know, ultimately what this says is reverse engineer the answers to those questions back into your process, which is very different than just distributing a list of observations. Yeah, they're also this sort of deal review questions, as are the things you need to be asking early and Tim we've come up with some key questions that we need to be asking on every every deal. So let's go ahead and and run through them here. I will also make sure, before Tim runs through them, that they're in the show notes so will be easy for you all to copy and these them. Yeah, and Rachel, these are questions when...

I get engaged, you know, with a sales team that's asking us for some you know, some guides and helping them look at that how they're pursuing that opportunity. These are the exact questions that we ask, and they're in a bit of a cascading warder, starting out with the customers, big business issues. WHO Matter, who they matter to? What they aligned with? HOW WE STACK UP AGAINST OUR COMPANY? So question number one. What are the business issues driving the compelling event related to this target opportunity? All Right, why do these business issues matter and who do they impact the most? How will the customer make their decision? Does our solution aligned with those decision criteria. Who are we competing against? What are our strengths? What are our gaps compared to them? What's our strategy for moving forward and what are our most critical next steps? Now you get drilled each one of those of way more depth, but you can see how each question the answers kind of set up the next questions and if we have gaps in any of those, that highlights an area for immediate ex sales execution. Yeah, key questions to ask on every every deal before you before you win or lose. Right, this is the extreme process. Yeah, so, Tim for the sales leaders out there listening, who are really here and you speak, speak the truth today. What are my remedies to get these questions upstream in the sales process? Yeah, you know, it kind of comes back that you know a word. I'm not even sure if it's a word major or or a word Rachel. But as our idea here, the idea here is operationalized. You know, these questions need to be a part of every opportunity coaching activity. You just make them a normal part of how you manage in execute your sales...

...process every single day. Not just the managers, not just deal desk, but the entire customer facing team right at the point of daily sales execution. And when I say that, Rachel, I mean all of the customer facing team that's focused on a specific opportunity, not just the sellers, maybe the solution engineers, maybe the account managers, maybe professional services, maybe consulting services, maybe, Rachel, senior management, but everyone focused on those questions. And and why? Because they should surface potential gaps. And we think you got to deal with the gaps early when there are a gap and not later when there are a risk. You know, here's a bias that the best customers we work with. Half all gaps eventually turn into risk when we don't see the gap early and as a tendency to become a risk that materializes right in front of our eyes at unfortunately, at the most critical moments late in the customers buying cycle. So you know, to us, Rachel, the focus of a sales leader is, as you say, to start asking these questions early and, you know, approach the deals proactively when there's time for course correction, as opposed to reactively at the end when things start going bad or worse, these insights get revealed after a loss. So you know, that that that's one big thing operationalized proactively ask these questions up front. But I give you another insight here for us always to remember, Rachel. They call them win lost reviews for a reason. It's not just understand why we lost the target opportunity. We get some pretty good forward looking insight from from those reviews, but we can get even more valuable insight from understanding why we...

...want right and it's the same questions that we could use in both situations. But weaving these questions into our normal management operating rhythm, we get those insights and analyze them for trends. And that's where the real rep leverage to US lies, Rachel, is just spot those trends across the you know all of your opportunities across your customer facing team and and identify those high leverage acks activities that you can execute consistently, doing more of those things that lead to success and avoid those detrimental things that lead to a loss. I mean, well said, Tim I'm thinking about my own gaps right now. I got to get ahead of yeah, I want to become risks right exactly. I did a Webinar on qualification with Brian Walsh a little bit ago and he was saying if whatever your challenge is happens on one deal, you've got a deal problem, but when that starts to repeat itselfs you've got a systemic issue that you have to correct and the effects can really be devastating for your quarter, for your year, if you don't get ahead of it. Well, I'll tell you, Rachel, I've reported to a lot of great CEOS right and when I tell them I've identified why we lost, they'll give me a little pad on the back and say good for you, but they always have a followed question. What are we doing to change that? And that's what we're talking about right here. Absolutely minimize the losses and repeat the successes. Thank you so much to Tim for joining me for the conversation. My pleasure. All right, and thank you to all of you for listening to the audible ready sales podcasts. At force management, we're focused on transforming sales organizations into elite teams. Are Proven methodologies deliver programs that build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the ability to execute the growth strategy at the point...

...of sale. Our strength is our experience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US at force MANAGEMENTCOM. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To not miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Until next time,.

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