At their core, win/loss reviews give us insight into the customer problem and help us provide our sales team with the messaging and tools they need to speak about how our solution uniquely solves that problem. Executing a win/loss review with an actual decision maker creates a rare opportunity for a direct conversation with the customer.
Use a win/loss review to get insight into the following:
Messaging and positioning: Marketing is responsible for creating the messaging that customers should hear. During a win/loss review, we can find out if that messaging made sense to the prospect during their evaluation. In a loss situation, we will likely hear one of two things: 1) either the customer never heard the messaging, or 2) it didn’t resonate with them.
Customer References: When the time comes to identify customers to act as references, we’ll want to ensure they are the best advocates of our product. A win review is a great chance to evaluate whether a new champion would make a good reference or not.
Industry Analyst References: We're investing in analyst relations, so win/loss reviews can help us keep a pulse on what the analysts are saying about our company and product.
Building a smarter sales strategy: Win/loss reviews can effectively reveal what tactics our competitors employ to claim market share. Product marketing teams influence the tools and collateral used to help salespeople get an edge over the competition, so we need to ensure that our competitive understandings are accurate. The best way to validate our competitive differentiators is to ask customers about them.
Discover smart selling tactics: Win/loss interviewing can create an ongoing advantage for your sales team by serving as an intelligence repository. As your library of interviews builds, sales reps can revisit previous deals and find similarities that apply to their current pursuits. They can pinpoint a specific deal that matches their current prospects in terms of size, industry, culture, or product and use the past insights to avoid known pitfalls or create new advantages.
Identify and pursue win-back opportunities: Win/loss interviews often uncover win-back opportunities, which give sales teams a second chance at a lost opportunity. Win-backs are deals typically lost by a thin margin and are ideal targets for follow-up calls and future business pursuits. These narrow losses reveal one of the most actionable pieces of intelligence: What was the buyer’s tipping point, and what could we as the vendor have done differently to move the deal in our favor? After interviewing lost accounts like this, sales reps can see exactly how to reconnect with the account at renewal.
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