Today, we'll be talking about data-driven win-loss programs. These are a great way to make sure your business is getting the most out of its marketing efforts.
What is a win-loss program? It's a marketing strategy that tracks all the data from your customers and then uses it to determine what needs to be changed to continue seeing growth in your customer base.
A win-loss program can be a huge competitive advantage for any business that sets one up successfully.
A win-loss program can be a huge competitive advantage for any business that sets one up successfully. When implemented in the right way, a win-loss program gives you an invaluable window into the minds of your customers. These insights help you take a strategic approach to sales and marketing, identifying your strengths and weakness relative to competitors. You'll also discover blind spots that could be leaving money on the table or causing you to lose business unnecessarily.
Given their benefits, it's easy to see why win-loss programs are becoming much more common in today's business environment—and they're usually worth much more than they cost to implement. Still, pulling off a good one isn't always easy — especially if you don't have experience setting up similar programs. We'll cover what makes for a strong program below, giving you all the information you need to set up an effective system at your company.
The first part of creating a win-loss analysis program is defining the problem you want to solve.
The first thing you'll need to do is define the problem you want to solve with win-loss analysis. Some common issues companies work to resolve with a win-loss program are:
- Why are my sales numbers lower than expected?
- How can I increase my market share by winning more deals?
- Why aren't I hitting my target growth rate?
Once you've defined your problem and outlined your goals, it's time to start gathering data.
The second part is knowing what data you need to collect and analyze to address the problem.
Once you have a clear understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve, it’s time to take inventory of all the data that may help you address it. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every company because every organization has different goals and priorities. That said, there are some distinct categories of useful data you want to keep in mind before getting started:
- Customer conversations: capture customer insights from interactions with your team during sales calls and meetings, as well as after a deal closes
- Advertising and marketing efforts: figure out which campaigns are performing well and which ones aren’t so effective.
- Products/services: understand how customers feel about your products/services overall and if they think they meet their needs (and what those needs actually are)
- Competition: learn which competitors pose the greatest threat to your business
The third part is deciding what methods will help you collect that data most effectively.
The third part is deciding what methods will help you collect that data most effectively. This can be done by reviewing sales records, interviews with the people involved with the deal, surveys and reviews of your products or services, etc. There are many ways to do this, but here are some examples:
- Interviews: Interview people who were involved in winning or losing a deal. Consider talking to your sales team members and asking them what they believe contributed to winning or losing a deal. If you do so through an interview program, be sure to ask open-ended questions that allow them to expand upon their thoughts rather than simply answering yes or no questions—this will result in more thorough answers where the respondent can explain why they feel the way they do.
- Surveys: Sending out surveys after each sale can be a great way to get feedback from customers about what they liked and didn't like about your product or service and why they bought it from you instead of someone else (if applicable). These types of information can then be used in future marketing campaigns targeting similar consumers - for example, if one person says, "I loved how easy it was for me to set up my email campaign," then other potential buyers may have similar concerns about setup time so we would want our messaging around those features focused on ease-of-use rather than just how powerful our platform is!
- Analytics: Tracking web traffic on various pages related to your business, such as those containing specific deals offered at different times throughout the day/week/month/ etc.
The fourth part is surrounding yourself with people who know how to analyze data or becoming a specialist yourself.
The final puzzle piece is surrounding yourself with people who understand data-driven decision-making. The idea of collecting data is simple, but things can get much more complicated when it comes to analysis and action. If you don’t have anyone in your company who knows how to analyze data and use the results to make strategic decisions, you need to seek that help by hiring internally or externally. Many companies hire a full-time data analytics consultant. You can also hire freelancers on a per-project basis or utilize individuals specializing in business intelligence software that turns raw data into actionable insights.
The fifth step is using your newfound data to make changes in your business that will help you be more competitive and prosperous.
The fifth step is using your newfound data to make changes in your business that will help you be more competitive and prosperous. Based on what you've learned in the win-loss process, it could be time to re-strategize, re-prioritize, re-focus, re-allocate resources, and re-negotiate contracts with partners or vendors even rethink your entire business strategy. It can also mean making adjustments to your product or service itself or reassigning sales reps based on who's best suited for which clients.
Remember: studies show that nearly 75% of customers believe that businesses fail to deliver truly excellent customer experiences. In other words: there's a lot of room for improvement! So don't let good enough be good enough--get serious about creating an amazing experience for your customers and use the data gathered through win/loss analysis to improve how you do business!