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Sales Tips: Stop Measuring Customer Satisfaction

Posted by Jill Perez on Jan 10, 2018 3:35:34 PM

Sales Tips: Stop Measuring Customer Satisfaction

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

We recently worked with a company trying to fix their high customer attrition rate with annual customer satisfaction surveys. Their survey project was successful. Fixing the attrition rate was not.

Customer SatisfactionBut why?

The company measured satisfaction, and the numbers said customers were not satisfied. To raise the numbers, the company formulated and implemented action plans. Sounds like a solid plan, right? The problem:

The company was measuring how their customers felt, but not why they felt that way.

They knew perception of their services was low, but couldn’t figure out why. Measuring satisfaction provides no predictive analytics that score the likelihood of renewal. 

The account teams were earnest in their actions to attempt to solve the issues, but the actions were misguided because the surveys failed to ask the customer: What are we doing wrong or right? The team was assuming root causes based only on customer satisfaction numbers and their own best guesses about what, exactly, was causing those numbers.

Measuring Satisfaction is Not Enough

“Satisfaction” (including NPS) tells you if they like you. It gives you a thumbs up or thumbs down.

It doesn’t, in our opinion, accurately tell you what it’s like to be your customer (the customer journey). It also doesn’t necessarily help you retain customers because it leaves a host of questions unanswered. What will the customer care about when considering a renewal? What will drive their perception of value and ROI? A score can’t tell you either.

Customer experience analysis is ultimately about renewals.To really retain those renewal dollars, you need to do it differently.

Now, let’s be clear:

If you are not measuring your customer’s satisfaction, stop reading this post and do it now. It’s that important.

We are not really advocating doing away with customer satisfaction numbers. Instead we are advocating changing what is measured and how.

Start Measuring the Journey

The Buyer's Journey

Instead, start measuring and analyzing the customer’s experience. Customer experience analysis is different from customer satisfaction because it helps you walk the same path as your customer. At Primary intelligence, we’ve found a three-pronged approach works best.

  1. Feedback – Figure out what the customer thinks and why. I’d recommend conducting interviews using both quantitative (scale, ranking, binary, etc.) and qualitative (open-ended) questions. Create a formal discussion guide to create consistency and a focused discussion, but don’t be shy about going off script to probe for details. Figure out what will be driving a renewal decision and the overall perception of value.
  2. Discovery – Although the customer has filled in the gaps on what they are feeling and why, your account team needs to round out the view. Ask everyone involved with the account to review the interview feedback and then schedule a debrief session. Focus the session on what the team is doing – good or bad – to drive those perceptions and what will likely drive a renewal decision. (Get more tips on debrief sessions in this webinar.)
  3. Act – As you end the debrief and move into planning mode, identify specific actions the team can take to resolve concerns and emphasize value. Also don’t neglect identifying growth opportunities and how you’ll act on those. Ultimately determine what you want the customer to say during the next feedback session.

The When Matters Too

And while you’re at it, adjust when you measure. Reaching out to all customers at the same time each year doesn’t do your account teams any favors. They need feedback throughout the customer’s journey, so map the feedback timeline to that journey. No time is more important than 3 to 6 months prior to a renewal event. Give the team enough time to shore up weaknesses and plant seeds for growth opportunities.

Remember: Your customers are future buyers. Stop just asking if they’re satisfied. Instead use customer experience analysis to predict the likelihood of renewal.

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Sales Tips: How Staying on Top of the News Can Help You Close Sales

Posted by Jill Perez on Dec 28, 2017 12:37:32 PM

Sales Tips: How Staying on Top of the News Can Help You Close Sales

By Drew Steigerwald, Co-Founder of 1440 daily news digest

Creative Commons photo: Source

“Hey, did you hear that Elon Musk built the world’s largest battery in under 100 days on a bet?”

No, it has nothing to do with what I’m selling you. But staying on top of the news not only keeps you informed of industry trends but makes you seem savvy and smart – a person you’d want to do business with.

The problem is that you – like me – probably feel deluged with constant news and information, and don’t have time to stay on top of what’s happening. That’s okay – there are solutions for that. But here’s why staying in the know across many topics, not just your own industry, can make you a better salesperson.

Staying on Top of News Helps Close More Sales1. Keeping up with the news helps breaks the ice and humanizes you

Salespeople can get caught up in the repetitive nature of their role. Aggressive sales tactics that salespeople might use to reach their quotas can give the industry a bad reputation for caring more about the sale than the customer. Staying abreast of current events and using them as ice breakers can help you soften your sales technique.

Whether you make sales in person, over the phone or via email, start the conversation by talking about something interesting you heard in the news. By not going straight into your sales pitch, your potential customers will sense that you care more about building a relationship rather than talking money. You will also come off as interesting and cultured, which will reflect well on your company and product.

In general it is best to stay away from incendiary news topics like politics.

By chatting about current events before diving into your sales pitch, you will build a rapport with your customers, which will help you close the sale.

Rather than searching a dozen online publications to catch up on all of the day’s top stories, you can get an overview of all of the day’s need-to-know news with an email newsletter like 1440 or news aggregator like Google News.

2. Staying local helps you know when to change your approach

It is very easy to get caught in a bubble during the workweek. You are focused on your week’s goals and may not be paying attention to what’s going on outside of the office. However, keeping up with the news in your customer’s region is tied to reaching your sales goals.

If you are based in New York City but your accounts are in the Midwest or China, it is professionally more important for you to follow the news in Chicago or Shanghai than New York. Staying abreast of current events in your potential customer’s region will help you anticipate and further sales decisions.

If you live in New York but pay attention to Chicago news to know what’s going on with your Midwest customers, you will learn of events that don’t become national news but that will affect your sales. If you typically conduct sales in person but see that a snowstorm will affect the Midwest, you can accommodate your potential customers by suggesting a video conference instead of an in-person meeting to avoid the back-and-forth of rescheduling due to bad weather.

If you hear that China is facing an economic depression, you may anticipate your prospect’s troubles by offering a discount or relieving them of an onboarding fee to help you close the sale.

Keeping up with your customer region’s local news will impress prospects and help you close the sale.

You can stay up on local news from your customers’ regions by searching their local newspapers’ online editions, visiting Patch.com for hyperlocal reporting, or using the local edition of an industry-specific site like Curbed or Eater.

3. Industry trends help you improve your sales technique

Outside of keeping up with general news, keeping up with industry trends will help you close sales by inspiring you to always be innovating. Sales and marketing blogs like CustomerCentric Selling®'s will help keep your sales skills sharp so that you, the salesperson, can reach and surpass your sales goals.

By learning what filler words to avoid during your sales pitch or why you should plan your sales call, you will learn new skills, sharpen weaknesses and become a better salesperson.

4. Keeping up with the competition helps the product sell itself

On a more macro level, staying on top of industry news will help you keep an eye out on what your company’s competition is doing. Whether you are the Chief Sales Executive of your company or a Junior Sales Associate, you will make yourself a valuable employee by letting your employer know what competitors are doing and how your company can keep up.

By suggesting features that competitors are introducing, you will help keep your product the most innovative in the industry. When the competition isn’t competitive, the product will sell itself and you will close more sales.

To find the latest news in your industry, join your company’s industry association. To keep an eye out on the giants of your industry, follow these top business publications.

Author Bio: Drew Steigerwald is the Co-Founder of 1440, a daily email news digest that empowers professionals by curating, explaining and serving the day’s top news stories and more on a silver platter.

1440’s social media accounts:


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Sales Tips: 6 Strategies to Get Buyers to Talk to You

Posted by Jill Perez on Dec 27, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Sales Tips: 6 Strategies to Get Buyers to Talk to You

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

Are you having a hard time getting buyers to talk to you?

How many times have you tried to find out how your most recent sales opportunity went and got no response? Or attempted to talk to a customer to see how it is going only to hear crickets? Frustrating, isn’t it?

After completing well over 20,000 interviews with busy buyers, we’ve learned a thing or two on how to get them to talk to us. We also know:

Getting feedback from buyers is the best way to improve your win rates.

And talking to your current customers to see what benefits they’re receiving from your solution is a highly effective plan to retain them. By going straight to the source, you discover what is and isn’t working for you and most importantly, why.

Here’s an infographic sharing our top 6 strategies to get the conversation started.

Top-6-Strategies-to-Get-Buyers-to-Talk-to-You

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Sales Tips: 4 Foolproof Ways to Increase Sales Productivity

Posted by Jill Perez on Dec 19, 2017 10:33:25 AM

Sales Tips: 4 Foolproof Ways to Increase Sales Productivity

By Sam Holzman, Content Marketing Specialist at ZoomInfo

Stressed SalespersonWith quotas and long term goals constantly at the forefront of our minds, sales professionals are under constant pressure to perform. With this in mind, it’s no wonder 65% of B2B companies say sales productivity is the biggest challenge they face on a daily basis.

Many organizations increase sales hiring as the only means to reach the goals they have set for themselves. Yet, many hesitate to make changes to their actual sales strategies. To truly boost sales productivity for the long haul, managers must examine every part of their sales process.

If you struggle to increase sales productivity, keep reading. We’ve compiled the top four ways you can increase your sales productivity today.

1. Provide ongoing sales training.

Sales training is an expensive process, both financially and in terms of the time it takes. However, an extensive sales training program is integral to your sales productivity in the long run.

Studies show that 84% of all sales training content is forgotten after 90 days. To remedy this problem, place an added focus on sales coaching and ongoing training:

Sales Training WorkshopsBy investing a small amount of each month on ongoing sales coaching, managers can ensure that their sales reps are always learning and absorbing best practices – and that will have a lasting impact on productivity.

To learn more about the many merits of sales training, check out these articles:

2. Invest in technology to automate non-selling tasks.

Did you know the average sales rep spends only one-third of their day talking to prospects? It’s true: the majority of a salesperson’s day is spent on administrative tasks like reading and writing emails, attending meetings, scheduling calls and conducting research. With so many tasks to juggle, it’s no wonder so many companies struggle with sales productivity.

Not only do administrative tasks cut down on selling time, but they actually damage your overall performance. Multitasking is often considered a desirable trait in sales reps, but research shows that juggling tasks can actually hurt the quality of your work.

The solution – automate these tedious tasks. By crafting the perfect sales technology stack, businesses can cut down on the busywork and ensure that more time is spent selling.

3. Prioritize sales and marketing alignment.

One of the biggest inhibitors of sales productivity is a lack of alignment between sales and marketing departments. And unfortunately, studies show that only 8% of companies have tight sales and marketing alignment.

Sales and Marketing Working TogetherSales reps waste valuable time when they aren’t on the same page as their marketing counterparts. To start, both departments should establish an agreed upon definition of a qualified lead.  This is because, 61% of marketers send their leads directly to the sales department, but only 27% of those leads are qualified. Not only does this waste time, but it strains the relationship between the two departments and leads to further roadblocks.

Your sales and marketing departments must operate using the same goals and data. By doing so, you will see massive improvements to both your sales productivity and overall business performance:

For a deeper look at sales and marketing alignment, check out the following articles:

4. Don’t be afraid to take a break.

That’s right – one of the most overlooked ways to increase productivity is to step away from your desk once in a while.

76% of all people report the top two causes of stress in the US are job pressure and money. Because sales is often commission-based and money-driven, stress and pressure run rampant in this profession.

While taking a break may seem counterintuitive, psychological studies say that taking breaks throughout the day dramatically improves your mental performance. Rather than thinking of a break as a waste of time, think of it as a necessary step to keep yourself at peak performance.

Final Thoughts

Given the high-pressure nature of the industry, productivity will always be a top concern for sales professionals. Looking for a single, quick solution will rarely make a long-term impact on your team’s productivity. Instead, take a step back and look at every aspect of your sales process, from big picture strategies to day-to-day practices.

Sales productivity must be top of mind at all times and, therefore, integrated into your daily sales processes. Consider talking with your team members to determine their biggest inhibitors and motivators. Then, test new strategies and tactics.

Contact CustomerCentric Selling® today, to learn more about sales productivity.

Contributed by Sam Holzman, Content Marketing Specialist at ZoomInfo. ZoomInfo offers the most accurate and actionable B2B sales intelligence to help organizations accelerate growth and profitability. The continuously updated database enables sales and marketing teams to execute more effective marketing campaigns and improve lead generation efforts. Visit zoominfo.com for more information. 

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Sales Tips: Collecting Customer Feedback through Phone Interviews

Posted by Jill Perez on Dec 10, 2017 12:06:43 PM

Sales Tips: A Better Way to Gather CX Feedback

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

CX Phone InterviewWhen collecting feedback from our customers, we know we need to get the sincerest input from them if we want to provide customers with the most valuable experience.

While NPS surveys, on-site visits, one-on-one interviews are effective ways to collect feedback, they don’t fully capture the golden nuggets we’re looking for.

Companies often neglect the most cost-effective and beneficial way to understanding customers and their specific needs.

Customer Phone Interviews

After interviewing customers on their experience with our clients for almost 16 years, we’re confident we know how valuable a phone discussion can be. If you want the most honest assessment from your customers, your best bet is to talk with them, get to know them, and understand how well—or not so well—things are going.

With customer phone interviews, you’ll find helpful answers to your most pressing questions. You’ll also get the opportunity to learn about issues that you didn’t even know exist. These issues could potentially prevent your customers from renewing or purchasing additional solutions. (Read Why Phone Interviews Are My Favorite Method for Collecting Customer Insights for a more in-depth discussion.)

Why Phone Interviews Are Better

Having a phone conversation with your customers is the best method for the following reasons:

  1. It’s low effort for the customer. Most conversations are under 30 minutes.
  2. It’s low cost. You don’t have to worry about travel expenses or loss time from work.
  3. You get detailed insights. Pair the phone interview with an online survey and you’ll gather a scorecard of your performance along with the reasoning for the scores.

For tips on a highly successful customer phone interview and the best way to get customer experience feedback, click or tap on the following infographic.

A Better Way to Gather Customer Experience Feedback

PI-Phone-Interviews-1.png

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Sales Tips: How B2B Companies Are Increasing Revenue

Posted by Jill Perez on Nov 29, 2017 11:27:00 AM

Sales Tips: How B2B Companies Are Increasing Revenue

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

Primary Intelligence conducted research on ways in which B2B sales, marketing, and product leaders are understanding their customers better and closing more deals.

We asked business professionals who analyze sales opportunities strategically to tell us their beliefs and attitudes about win loss analysis, the study of understanding why sales are won and lost. We also asked them about the types of market data they’re collecting and disseminating, and what best practices work for them.

And the results are in! 

B2B Companies Increasing RevenueHow B2B Companies Are Increasing Revenue

Studying past sales wins and losses has become a keystone to staying competitive in the marketplace.

The 2017 State of Win Loss report details how companies approach win loss analysis, how it has impacted company performance, and what you can learn for your own programs.

This report covers:

  • The top win loss questions business leaders want answered. We reveal the big questions sales, marketing, and product professionals want answered about win loss analysis.
  • The resource allotment. We examine the level of resources that business leaders invest in their win loss efforts. This analysis will be helpful for those who are just getting started or those seeking support staff.
  • The benefits of win loss analysis: This section of our study reveals all the major advantages achieved with win loss programs. We also look at how resources invested and years of experience affect the results.
  • Most-used win loss platforms: Discover which platforms are being used and how their usage will change this year.

Six Research Findings from the State of Win Loss Report

To give you a snippet of report findings, here are six insights the report revealed:

  1. Most companies have some type of win loss program in place and usage of win loss programs remains strong
  2. B2B organizations are employing external third-parties to uncover sales intelligence so they can meet buyer needs
  3. Business leaders have a strong belief that win loss programs help win more sales opportunities
  4. The top benefits are an enhanced sales process, a deep understanding of the buying process, and identification of sales strengths and weaknesses
  5. A high percentage of companies are spending $100K–$500K annually on win loss programs
  6. Companies prefer to collect both open-ended and close-ended feedback to fully understand their customers

2017 State of Win Loss Industry Report

2017 State of Win Loss Industry Report

How companies are using win loss analysis to increase revenue
Competition increases each year for B2B businesses. Many companies are realizing the importance of win loss analysis, the study of past sales deals. As responsible sales, marketing, and product leaders, you must use data-driven analytics to produce actionable intelligence and develop strategies to create a competitive advantage. You know what matters most are the initiatives you’ll take to lead your teams to success.

Get Report

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Sales Tips: Your Buyers Know If You're Winging It

Posted by Jill Perez on Nov 20, 2017 3:25:49 PM

Sales Tips: "Winging It" Yields Poor Results

By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®

The recent CCS® Index showed that 53% of sellers are guilty of “winging” sales calls. Most everyone had been guilty of not doing their due diligence before going to make a sales call.

nervous-winging-it.pngActivities that should be done as part of pre-call planning would be: 

  • Visit to the prospect’s website to get a sense for what type of company it is.
  • If calling on an executive, check his or her bio on the website to understand their background and areas of responsibility.
  • Check social media channels to learn more about the buyer.

When calling on a prospect for the first time, I believe a seller can set themselves apart by having done some research as I believe the person appreciates that effort being made.

What I’ve described above is almost expected of a salesperson and doesn’t require a great deal of time or effort. 

A more experienced salesperson would be looking for triggering events on a prospect’s website so they could make some intelligent decisions about business challenges buyers may fact that the seller’s offering can address.

For example, if you were selling a CRM offering and saw that a prospect had just acquired one of their competitors, you may want to leads with a Success Story about having to merge milestones and seller pipelines to be able to forecast more accurately post-acquisition.

As you would expect, triggering events are likely to have different implications to various Key Players within an organization. 

A seller’s ability to personalize the potential issues to specific titles they call on can go a long way toward:

  • Establishing credibility early on
  • Having buyers conclude you are competent
  • Having a buyer share a goal, problem or need that your offering can help them achieve of address

Anyone that has been selling for awhile has had occasions where they have “winged it.” I hope you agree:

Key Players you’re calling on can tell when sellers are winging it and that will reduce the chances of good outcomes of sales calls.

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Sales Tips: 3 Tips for Communicating with B2B Customers

Posted by Jill Perez on Nov 15, 2017 11:27:00 AM

Sales Tips: 3 Tips for Communicating with B2B Customers

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

Communication is a key theme in customer experience, also known as CX.

Yet some organizations still believe it’s scary to communicate with their customers.

Confirming problems and issues means you actually have to do something about them, you have to fix them, to let customers know you heard them and are addressing their problems.

talking-listening-meeting.pngBut communicating with customers drives trust and helps to ensure they realize your organization is serious about accepting and acting upon customer feedback.

For example, one financial services company sends out surveys to all new customers and existing customers with new service offerings requesting their immediate feedback. This helps to ensure that customers who are dissatisfied or who had a poor experience are identified in real time, with “red flags” mitigated quickly. An action plan is formulated by the account team for immediate follow up.

Here are three tips for communicating with B2B customers:

1. Find the Right Lingo

Communicating is about using the right language or “lingo” when speaking with customers.

This is especially important in highly specialized industries. A common set of terms helps to demonstrate to customers that your organization and teams understand their issues at a deep level. This, in turn, builds trust for long-term commitments.

For example, a B2B CX executive in the technology industry described his company’s goal of being a “trusted and valued partner” to its customers through ongoing collaboration, innovation, and execution, including usage of terminology that’s familiar to customers throughout the process. Failure to do so would deny “privileged access” of this company to key customers and exclude the organization from ongoing collaboration to develop solutions that will solve next generation problems.

sales-team-with-manager-2.png2. Share Results with Employees

Along with that, communicating customer experience analysis results to employees frequently and on an ongoing basis ensures B2B CX program success and allows internal stakeholders to see how initiatives are playing out in different parts of the organization, thus building momentum for continued success. It’s important to celebrate organizational successes by publicly recognizing organizational and departmental progress, especially when reporting updates to internal employees. This helps to ensure that employees are receptive and excited about continuing the customer experience journey.

As one customer experience executive in the technology industry explained, “We focus on having different mediums. One time it might be an infographic with the latest net promoter score results. The next time it might be a video talking about one of the projects that’s kicking off.” This executive has also successfully used grass roots champions throughout the organization as catalysts for change, allowing individuals to share “what’s going on in their part of the work or their part of the business” that may spark interest and encouragement from others.

3. Conveying B2B CX Data Through Stories

Conveying customer data using stories is also a powerful tactic that successful organizations have used to spread success about their programs. One customer experience leader recommends, “Going out and spending the time to develop [customer] stories, and let your customers tell them for you. [Using this approach], I was able to engage my entire executive team in a day-and-a-half session.” Incidentally, this executive refused to put everyone to sleep with PowerPoint slides, much to the shock of her staff. Instead, she led with stories, which are inherently superior to most other communication mediums.

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Sales Tips: 5 Tips for Handing Negotiations

Posted by Jill Perez on Nov 6, 2017 3:12:20 PM

Sales Tips: 5 Tips for Handling Negotiations (and Saying NO)

By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®

Years ago I met someone that personified everything that was wrong with salespeople. Bill was aggressive, manipulative and a high pressure closer as you’d expect. One day he provided his definition of selling: “Saying yes to buyers until you have to say no.”

I suppose there are remnants of the sentiment that the customer is always right, but I feel: 

Sellers that constantly say yes to buyers compromise their position of power as they become subordinates. 

giveaway.pngI was working with a company that offered month-to-month leases of furnished condos for people that had extended stays in various cities. They offered an attractive alternative to checking in and out of the same hotel week after week. The CEO and CFO were working on a major opportunity with a large consulting company. I was aware that negotiations had been ongoing for some time. 

I was teaching a workshop for them and at a break stopped by to visit the CEO who was in a heated conversation with the CFO. As it turns out the prospect had been grinding them down on the original rates they had quoted.

Most buyers realize the longer negotiations go on, the more attractive the rates become.

The purpose of the meeting between the CEO and the CFO was to determine whether or not the transaction was going to be profitable! At that point coming in from the outside I told both executives that they had to say NO to any further price concessions. They put up some token resistance but finally got back to the prospect saying the price was firm and valid for one week.

The order closed the following day.

Chinese water torture is slowly and continuously dripping water on a person’s forehead to wear them down into providing information the torturer seeks. It seems that negotiations are often handled in a similar manner. Once sellers drop price, it becomes a slippery slope. Buyers conclude that further concessions are not only possible they become likely. 

I call discounting “the gift that keeps on giving.” In discounting, to close prospects sellers set a precedent. Smart buyers will expect that future orders will be at the lower rate.

seller talking with buyer.pngHere are five (5) tips for negotiations: 

  1. When pressured for better pricing, ask if you are the vendor of choice and whether price is the only issue. If not, suggest waiting to discuss price if and when the buyer gets to that point.
  2. When negotiating and asked for lower pricing, be prepared with 2 or 3 ways to say no.
  3. If a buyer keeps asking, first get something from them that is worth something to you (increase the transaction size, serve as a reference, etc.).
  4. Offer a concession conditionally: “If you’ll do that for me then I’d be willing to...” In order to avoid ongoing discounting, I encourage you to offer something besides a discount.
  5. Ask if the buyer can move forward. If the buyer says no, take everything off the table and suggest revisiting negotiations in a few days.

The key elements for sellers in negotiating is having buyers understand the value/payback of offerings and to offer concessions conditionally to avoid erosion over time as buyers try to grind you on price.

Remember: There is great power in using NO with buyers, so don’t be afraid to use it. (Keep the infographic below handy in case you need to refer to these tips in your next negotiation.)

INFOGRAPHIC - 5 Tips for Handling Negotiations

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Sales Tips: 4 Successful Best Practices for Win Loss Programs

Posted by Jill Perez on Nov 1, 2017 11:11:00 AM

Sales Tips: 4 Successful Tactical Recommendations for Win Loss Programs

By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence

Measuring Success and Failure for Future WinsAs competition increases for most companies, understanding why companies win and lose sales is increasingly critical.

Since the State of Win Loss study reported more competitive activity this year than previously, gathering data about buyers and the buying process presents a clear advantage.

Successfully starting and running a win loss analysis program takes skill, patience, and tenacity. Here are four tactical recommendations to help ensure your company’s win/loss efforts are effective.

4 Tactical Recommendations for Win Loss Programs

1. Implement win loss metrics.

To get the most from win loss programs, it’s important to determine what percentage of deals are being included in the win loss pool of candidates. Are all wins and losses included? Or a subset of one or both groups?

Determining the reasons why not all opportunities are included can be insightful. For example, some companies have a minimum threshold – such as $50,000 sales deals – to focus on strategic opportunities. Win loss analysis opportunities that are being strategically discarded may be acceptable. Not knowing the opportunities because of poor data and reporting systems may not.

2. Automate the win loss process.

Automate the Win Loss ProcessGetting a list of opportunities to interview, along with the correct contact information for each contact, is one of the hardest aspects of many win/loss programs. The reason it’s difficult is that many companies’ CRM and SFA databases include inaccurate or incomplete information. To the extent that the data can be cleaned and the process can be automated, your win loss analysis will directly benefit. Not only does this produce a steady stream of opportunities that can be pursued for win/loss interviews and feedback, but it removes sales as a potential dependency when following up with customers.

While sales representatives can be very helpful in securing interviews with customers, they can also sometimes be a bottleneck. Removing any potential roadblocks is essential for keeping the program moving forward.

“…we put in place an automated process where we took a batch mode of losses based off  our system so that we weren’t also heavily dependent upon the reps coming forward with their individual cases.” ~ Director, Worldwide Sales, Information Technology Industry

3. Enlist sales assistance in getting interviews.

Knowing and tracking which contracts are responding and agreeing to participate in win/loss interviews is helpful because it allows the win loss analysis team to go back to the account team and ask for their help in securing feedback. Since the buyer most closely associates the vendor with their sales rep or team, an “ask” from this individual or group can help break scheduling and participation logjams.

“…the sales folks can help us get [interviews] scheduled faster if they nudge the prospect or the buyer they worked with.” ~ Senior Manager, Workforce Management Industry

4. Use win loss feedback for sales training.

Win loss analysis can help training departments and sales leaders identify gaps in sales performance and correct areas of weaknesses or under performance. Similarly, win/loss programs can identify sales practices that are consistently superior, leveraging them for use by other sales teams.

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