Losses and wins are all part of the sales game. Sure, no one likes to come back to the table empty-handed after losing out to a competitor. The post-loss analysis may not be pretty, but you can always learn from it. To make the most of your analysis, here are a few tips you can follow:
1. CREATE A FORMAT
Create a simple template for a feedback form, questionnaire or scorecard, which allows customers and prospects to rate your performance in key areas, such as the product, the sales team, pricing, communication and so on. You should also ask your clients/prospects to rate the competition on the same lines.
2. MAKE IT QUICK!
You should only carry out a win-loss analysis once the client has signed the dotted line with a competitor, not when you think you are losing the sale. It is best to do this within 2-4 weeks of the deal closing so that your prospect remembers your proposal. Keep it for later, and they may not bother to answer your questions.
3. MAKE IT ABOUT WHY THEY WON
A price-to-value comaprison helps, but dig deeper and find out what made your prospect choose the competition over you. What set them apart? Does their product have some special features that yours doesn’t? Did their sales executive communicate in a different (more effective) way? Many times, you will see that pricing is not the sole reason for a loss.
4. BROADEN YOUR SCOPE AND LISTEN
Once you are done with your questionnaire or feedback form, it is time to sit down with your prospect and ask them what went wrong. Do not let the sales executive do this – another manager or a neutral party should conduct this interview. Use this opportunity to really listen to what the prospect has to say- from breakdowns during the sales cycle to communication gaps and pricing.
5. REFLECT AND MOVE FORWARD
Once you have analyzed your win-loss situation, you need to turn that loss to your advantage and plug leaks and change processes in your sales pipeline. Identify patterns that work, and get rid of those that do not. Sales is about grabbing every opportunity in front of you. Make the most of your loss, interact and learn, and gear up for the next sale!