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

Episode · 2 months 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 gapsearly 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 yourteam's sell more faster. will feature sales leader sharing their best insights onhow to create a sales engine that helps you fuel repeatable revenue growth, presentedby the team afforce management, a leader in BTB sales effectiveness. Let's getstarted. Knowing why you won or lost a deal is one thing, butactually using data to drive systematic change in sales team performance is often a missedopportunity. Welcome to the audible ready sales podcast. I'm Rachel Clap Miller,joined today by Tim Kato. High Tim. Hello, Rachel. How you doingtoday? I'm good. It's a great day to talk when loss reviewsand what to do about it. Tim, well, it's always a good dayto talk about that. Yeah, and as we know, and allof you listening out their note that high performing sales organizations know how to takethose win loss reviews, that insight that you gain on why you lost,and pull it into future sales performance. So, Tim, I'd like tostart with your perspective on maybe just some common mistakes with these win loss reviewsthat 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 startby saying I am a big fan of conducting win loss reviews and being ableto 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 ofthem. 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 crmtool. You know, why did we win? WHY DO WE LOSE?And that the other end of the spectrum are far more sophisticated, forensic drivenconducted 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 agap, and to me that gap is generating leverageable insights, and I wantto put the emphasis on that word. Leverageable insights that are incorporated systematically andmethodically into forwardlooking product development, forward looking marketing, solution engineering, support and, yes, especially selling. So to me it's seeking leverageable insights. Iswhat moves US away from simply documenting reasons why we lost, sometimes very emotionalreasons, you know. You you've seen these a lot of times revisionist history, you know, to justify the outcome. It was our pricing, it wasour technical limitations, it was my crazy competitors. That's why we lost. Or, you know, it was my brilliant selling in the heroics ofour team that one the day and causes to win. You know, taughtus if you want to use the data in insights to drive maximum sales impactfrom your win loss reviews, it's got to generate leverageable insights. Insights thatcan do be, you know, deployed into forward looking pursuits. In otherwords, Rachel, Here's the thing, right, what does the insight orthe 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'ssay our win loss review generated an insight...

...that our customers did not see thevalue of our solution. By the way, Rachel, that is always in thetop ten reasons why we lose. I don't care who does value andit are what you know. My customers just didn't see the value in oursolutions. Well, if we just passed that information onto our sales team asa data point, it's very likely they could easily interpret that as suggesting theyshould do or demos. They should focus more on showing our special or uniquefunctionality, 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 capabilitiesand, as a result, the likely keep getting the exact same results theyhad before. But to me, a leverageible insight would be number one.We fail to influence the customers view of their requirements. To did we helpthem 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 oursales approach at the point of sales execution. Now, I know that sounds simple, and at one level it really is simple, but to operationalize thosesimple 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 righthere. We got three, but can number one, I'm consistent, structuredselling approach. Yeah, number two, a structured evaluation or assessment of approachand three, a deal review process that aows you to look at the componentsof what you're doing in a systematic way,... step back and see what's goingon. Are we on the right trajectory or we're steering towards some ofthose things that might cause us to lose? So the insights from a win lossreview need to be US looking forward, not backwards. That was a bigall speech from me, but but you know, that kind of summarizeswhat we see going on and maybe a little what we need to do rightright. It was a good, good speech to valuable information and you madea lot of great points about getting the emotion out of it, steering clearrevisionist history, but also making sure that that the actions that come from thesewin loss reviews are actually benefiting your sales organization, like the demo point thatyou made. So when you're conducting these win loss reviews. It's really importantthat, as a leader, you're asking the right question. So what questionsam I asking as I look at the deals? That helps me get theinformation to do the things that you're talking about. Yeah, I think thosequestions, Rachel, Fall in three big buckets, right. The first bucketcustomer 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 positionto compete? Did we understand the solution fit our position relative to thecustomers business, political competitive landscapes, and did we understand our position to competerelative 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 criteriathat will help them achieve those outcomes? How do we align our solution withthe customers needs and those confirmed decision criteria? Yeah, so that just to reiteratethose three areas for those of you...

...listening with a pencil or a pencustomer interests, looking at the problems and your related value, your position tocompete, 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 atthe trends, which one of those areas is bleeding the worst, certain speak, and then, right, you need to map the answers to those questionsto an area where you can actually improve the selling effectiveness upstream. Yeah,they exactly. You know, if you have these things in place, thatmentality in place, those areas of exploration. Frankly, Rachel, a windlass reviewshouldn't produce many surprises and even if something new surfaces, you can immediatelyprovide guidance to your customer facing team on how to address it within that structuredsales approach, right at the point of sales execution. But, by theway, Rachel, these questions we ask and we lost reviews. They arethe exact same questions. To your point, we should be asking upstream in ouropportunity reviews, you know, expose those potential problems by asking the rightquestions early on. You know, ultimately what this says is reverse engineer theanswers to those questions back into your process, which is very different than just distributinga list of observations. Yeah, they're also this sort of deal reviewquestions, as are the things you need to be asking early and Tim we'vecome up with some key questions that we need to be asking on every everydeal. So let's go ahead and and run through them here. I willalso make sure, before Tim runs through them, that they're in the shownotes 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 andhelping them look at that how they're pursuing that opportunity. These are the exactquestions that we ask, and they're in a bit of a cascading warder,starting out with the customers, big business issues. WHO Matter, who theymatter to? What they aligned with? HOW WE STACK UP AGAINST OUR COMPANY? So question number one. What are the business issues driving the compelling eventrelated to this target opportunity? All Right, why do these business issues matter andwho 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'sour strategy for moving forward and what are our most critical next steps? Nowyou get drilled each one of those of way more depth, but you cansee how each question the answers kind of set up the next questions and ifwe have gaps in any of those, that highlights an area for immediate exsales execution. Yeah, key questions to ask on every every deal before youbefore you win or lose. Right, this is the extreme process. Yeah, so, Tim for the sales leaders out there listening, who are reallyhere and you speak, speak the truth today. What are my remedies toget these questions upstream in the sales process? Yeah, you know, it kindof comes back that you know a word. I'm not even sure ifit'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 bea part of every opportunity coaching activity. You just make them a normal partof how you manage in execute your sales...

...process every single day. Not justthe managers, not just deal desk, but the entire customer facing team rightat 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 shouldsurface potential gaps. And we think you got to deal with the gaps earlywhen there are a gap and not later when there are a risk. Youknow, here's a bias that the best customers we work with. Half allgaps eventually turn into risk when we don't see the gap early and as atendency 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 youknow, 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 reactivelyat the end when things start going bad or worse, these insights get revealedafter a loss. So you know, that that that's one big thing operationalizedproactively ask these questions up front. But I give you another insight here forus always to remember, Rachel. They call them win lost reviews for areason. It's not just understand why we lost the target opportunity. We getsome pretty good forward looking insight from from those reviews, but we can geteven more valuable insight from understanding why we...

...want right and it's the same questionsthat we could use in both situations. But weaving these questions into our normalmanagement operating rhythm, we get those insights and analyze them for trends. Andthat's where the real rep leverage to US lies, Rachel, is just spotthose trends across the you know all of your opportunities across your customer facing teamand and identify those high leverage acks activities that you can execute consistently, doingmore of those things that lead to success and avoid those detrimental things that leadto a loss. I mean, well said, Tim I'm thinking about myown gaps right now. I got to get ahead of yeah, I wantto become risks right exactly. I did a Webinar on qualification with Brian Walsha little bit ago and he was saying if whatever your challenge is happens onone deal, you've got a deal problem, but when that starts to repeat itselfsyou've got a systemic issue that you have to correct and the effects canreally be devastating for your quarter, for your year, if you don't getahead of it. Well, I'll tell you, Rachel, I've reported toa lot of great CEOS right and when I tell them I've identified why welost, they'll give me a little pad on the back and say good foryou, but they always have a followed question. What are we doing tochange that? And that's what we're talking about right here. Absolutely minimize thelosses and repeat the successes. Thank you so much to Tim for joining mefor the conversation. My pleasure. All right, and thank you to allof 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 programsthat build company alignment and fuel repeatable revenue growth. Give your teams the abilityto execute the growth strategy at the point...

...of sale. Our strength is ourexperience. The proof is in our results. Let's get started. Visit US atforce MANAGEMENTCOM. You've been listening to the audible ready podcast. To notmiss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Untilnext time,.

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