My last post on win loss analysis generated some conversation in the comments and on Twitter. I really like the conversation and thought a follow-up to a few of the questions made sense. If you have other questions, feel free to contact me.
Objection: Sales provides win loss analysis
Colleen comments on the article that sales enters this information into SalesForce. Thus sales management, marketing and the product teams know why they won or lost.
You can’t trust sales for input
I have heard this before. Sales always provide feedback on why deals are won or lost. Sales is talking to the customer on a regular basis and is getting feedback on what is transpiring, win or lose. Unfortunately, this reasoning has several problems. First off, you actually don’t know if the customer is telling sales anything. They may not have a great relationship with the sales rep, or not feel comfortable giving that sort of feedback. They might provide generic or incorrect feedback.
Furthermore, sales might not even be talking to the right buyer. In my example in the previous post, this was the key issue. Our sales team were talking to the wrong buyer. So even if the buyer is being honest with you, does it matter if they aren’t the decision maker? Or know what the decision maker is thinking.
The final reason you can’t trust sales for this type of feedback is what if it is them. What if they are the problem? Whether a personality issue, or maybe they don’t know the product, or they position it poorly. Do you think that someone would tell a sales rep this? Or if they did, do you think the sales rep would be intellectually honest enough to hear it. And then tell you? Sales is not a good team to complete this feedback for all of these reasons.
Objection: Our marketing team does win loss analysis
On Twitter, Doris replies that her marketing team does this. And I am not surprised they try to do it. Win loss analysis is something that most teams know they should complete.
Why you need an objective third party to complete win loss analysis
With marketing budgets stretched, the first line of defense is to ask someone internally to do it. The thought process is if we just ask customers nicely they will tell us. But this as a few problems with it. First and foremost, is the internal party qualified to conduct the analysis? Next, will they do so in an objective manner? Or will they tilt the scales in their favor, on purpose or accidentally.
Another key reason to use an outside firm is to get customers to respond. After customers make a decision they are unlikely to want to reopen the sales process. A request from your organization appears just as that. But a third party looks like a neutral party that is just trying to understand what is going on. A neutral third party also has more experience completing this, so they can provide a higher level of insight. Third parties can also offer small incentives to encourage a response, a gift card or a donation to charity can be quite compelling for many.
Objection: This is too expensive to complete
Another response I got on twitter was this is too expensive to complete.
You would be surprised at the cost
Win loss analysis isn’t as expensive as you might think. I have reasonable rates and can put together starter packages if you just want to see what type of insight you will receive. Reach out to me @ 303-956-3185, use the contact page or email me at michael @ michael-seymour.com to get a free consultation on completing win loss analysis.