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Your Guide to Effective Sales Win / Loss Analysis

Your Guide to Effective Sales Win / Loss Analysis

Continued success in the sales world involves more than repeatedly doing the same thing. The market is ever-evolving, and a once-successful strategy can quickly become outdated and irrelevant. Furthermore, focusing on the wins doesn't address the losses. To reach your full potential in sales, you must equip your team with the information they need to address shortcomings and improve their sales tactics. Even reps with years of experience have to stay sharp on their toes.

A win-loss analysis is a valuable piece of insight into your own company and sales strategies. Typically done by product marketers, it can help your sales department reach new heights of success while closing gaps that prevent your company size from growing. It's a critical piece of information that can make all the difference!

There are many ways to conduct win-loss research. There's no universal approach, and every organization's needs are different. However, many best practices exist to guide you in the right direction. If you're unsure where to begin or how to perform a win-loss analysis, Flockjay is here to help!

What Is a Win / Loss Analysis?

First things first: What is a win-loss analysis anyways?

To put it simply: It's a way to analyze what your sales department is doing right and what they're doing wrong. Think of it as the ultimate form of corporate self-reflection and a valuable tool in your sales enablement arsenal! Your product marketers will perform the appropriate level of loss research to gain insight into your sales strategies. That way, sales leaders, reps, and your management team can learn more about what they're doing and where they can improve.

It's a way to push winning strategies and fix broken ones that aren't working in your company's favor. Generally, a win/loss analysis incorporates both qualitative and quantitative data. As a result, it's more complex that crossing the Ts and dotting the Is. It involves in-depth research, customer interviews, and more.

Don't worry: The market research and loss interviews are well worth the trouble. The findings can guide your marketing strategy, help your sales team, and ultimately boost the bottom line.

Why Is This Process Important? 

If there was a way to squeeze every ounce of success out of your sales team, wouldn't you want to do it? Achieving the exact sales figure year after year is an impressive feat. But, it does nothing to push your company further into the echelons of corporate success.

The goal for any sales-focused organization is to generate year-over-year growth. You want those figures to climb and your customer base to expand. Otherwise, you'll experience nothing but stagnation. While that's better than seeing sales decline, businesses of any size must strive for growth.

A win/loss analysis helps you see where to focus your sights. You can highlight successes, see glaring failures, and work to make improvements across the board.

How to Analyze Sales Wins and Losses

Want to know how to perform a win-loss analysis for your sales team? Here are some simple steps and tips to get started.

1. Establish North Star KPIs and Goals

Before your marketing teams begin the analysis, you must lay some groundwork. The most important thing is to establish goals and figure out what you want this analysis to do. The overarching goal is obvious: Improve sales. But how you get there and watch metrics matter most can vary from company to company.

Start by establishing the key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to measure. That could be anything from overall sales, response rates, and overall revenue brought in during a sales period. Or, they can reflect how many new customers your team adds or retains. The possibilities are endless, and you need to note the metrics that matter most.

That includes the all-important North Star metric. This figure represents your company's long-term success, and it should be indicative of your goals. For example, you might want to grow your customer base. So, your North Star metric could reflect how many new accounts your sales team adds per sales cycle.

2. Gather Your Sales Data 

Next, you'll need to gather the relevant data. Most modern businesses have a slew of data points to go over. You can look at the overall sales data, personal data of individual reps, etc.

Quantitative data is critical for sales win and loss analysis programs. It represents the cold, hard facts. Numbers don't lie; they can paint a detailed picture of your company's success. Any key decision maker will want you to focus on the quantitative data to create the most accurate information about the organization. Gather data points from multiple sources and have them ready for analysis. It won't be the only thing utilized when marketers analyze your win/loss rates. But, it will play a significant role in those all-important ratios. More on that soon.

3. Perform Interviews with Prospects and Customers

Here's the exciting part of the win-loss analysis process. There's no better source of insight than your customers. They can tell you exactly why they chose to go with you to make a deal or went to a competitor instead. It provides a glimpse into why they made their final decision.

You can turn to many types of people to conduct these win-loss interviews. These include failed prospects, current customers, B2B clients, and more. Post-decision interviews are the easiest way to go. You can offer post-decision interviews digitally through your website or in person. There's also the option to ask neutral third participants what they think of your sales tactics and make recommendations. Many organizations will hire outside interviewers to ensure that the process is as unbiased as possible. But even still, you should produce a list questions you want to know more about.

Interviews provide qualitative data. Think of it as the "why" to the complex numbers. The responses you get from prospects and customers can highlight the exact reason for their decision, providing clear, concise, and to-the-point insights.

4. Begin Your Analysis

The next step is to look at the data and begin the analysis. This phase is typically holistic, and the techniques you use to make sense of the data you gather can vary from one organization to the next. However, there are a few key points you want to focus your attention on most.

Assess the Results of the Interviews

Let's start with the qualitative data. The interview questions can provide genuinely fantastic insight into what your company does right and what it can use improvement. The responses you hear can cover everything from the product offering itself to the overall sales experience.

Interviewers should take note of consensus among interviewees. Ideally, it should highlight the common reasons prospects did or didn't make a deal. They might pull exact quotes here and there, but the point of analysis is to find those blind spots in the sales process and weak points that need addressing. It can also highlight your strengths, letting you know what parts of your sales plan you should lean on in the future.

Ultimately, the goal of the interviews is to gather actionable data that goes beyond hard numbers. Your sales teams and leaders should absorb those findings and incorporate them into newly developed sales tactics for the future.

Lost Opportunities

The next part of your analysis will focus on the losses. With loss analyses, you can use both qualitative and quantitative data. However, you'll work with the losses more to determine the loss rate.

To determine how often your sales team loses sales, divide the number of losses by the total number of sales opportunities. With that information, you can dig deeper and separate losses by reason. That's where the interview responses come in. You can determine what causes your salespeople to lose out on sales. Whether from lackluster sales techniques or a better offer from the competition, every bit of insight from lost analyses matters.

Won Opportunities

After looking at your losses, set your sites on the overall win rate. To calculate the win rate, you'll divide the number of wins by the total number of opportunities.

This part of the process can seem a little unnecessary. You want to focus on growth and improvements, so why focus your analytics on the wins? Well, analyzing what your team does right goes a long way. It helps you identify winning strategies and lean into them.

It helps you spot potential sales superstars and encourages your team to share tactics. Everyone on your sales team has a common goal, and you can use insights into the wins to create a culture of improvement.

Determine Your Win/Loss Ratio

Finally, there's the overall win/loss ratio. To calculate this figure, divide the number of won opportunities by the number of lost opportunities.

Why determine this ratio? It can become a valuable North Star metric for your company moving forward. The ultimate goal is to improve this ratio by achieving more wins. It's an excellent baseline to help you push your team further as they focus on gains during the next sales cycle.

5. Derive Insights and Adapt to Improve

Your job isn't over after you complete the win/loss analysis. Use your finding to derive insight. Look beyond the numerical data and focus on the "why." This aspect isn't easy and will require your leader, product managers, and reps to reflect on their sales tactics and create an action plan for improvement.

The analysis will lay everything out for you to find, but it's up to you and your team to use it all. Adapt your sales strategies with your findings in mind. Use it to develop loss programs and create actionable insights that make a real impact.

6. Document Your Results for Future Reference

Last but not least, don't forget to document everything you do. The analytics can come in handy in the future. Documentation helps you compare and contrast your team's performance between different sales cycles. Furthermore, it can become your baseline to measure progress and determine the ROI of future coaching.

Integrate Training, Coaching and Analytics with Flockjay

There you have it! Performing a win/loss analysis isn't easy. It takes time and a ton of effort to do right. But the insight you gain can take your team to a brand-new level of success. It's the best way to foster change and see improvements.

To make use of the data you collect and start a solid win-loss program, turn to Flockjay. Flockjay is an innovative software solution that helps sales leaders bring out the best in their teams. You can analyze data, build a system of accountability, and pave the way for ongoing coaching. Every sales person will have all the enablement tools and sales content they need to improve the win/loss ratios. Meanwhile, they can share ideas, creating an environment of peer-to-peer coaching that drives success.

Check Flockjay out yourself and see how our sales management tools can help you develop an elite team of knockout sales representatives and experience continuous improvement for years to come.

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