Let’s go back to the sports on the news last night, what happened when they talked about the game that was lost, what was the theme? Sloppy play, a couple of bad turnovers, but do they spend any time diagnosing from early in the game through the end of the game why the team really lost? Now, what about in the conference room of companies all around the world every Monday morning, are they diagnosing and discussing with their sales force the key losses from the week before? World Class sales organizations do.
When it comes to the sales profession, win loss forensics is an enormous tool in improving sales performance. Sales force metrics such as increased revenue per sales head, forecast accuracy, closing ratio’s and decreases in sales cycles are just some of the improvements win loss forensics can drive in a sales organization. The lost art however is that of celebrating the losses.
It can be argued that diagnosing a loss is far more important than that of a win. Often losses have common threads that if truly studied and diagnosed can start to paint a clear picture of what is wrong with your sales team. One common theme we see in corporations of all sizes in practicing the “loss analysis” of win loss forensics points to a poor Sales Process. Companies having a poorly defined Sales Process often have no idea what their customer’s buying process is and quickly it’s clear that misalignment through the sales process is everywhere. Another has been poor lead distribution to the sales organization, deep diagnosis can show there may be leads but they aren’t really qualified.
Often in doing deep dive loss forensics we will uncover that the leads are bad because the company is focused on the wrong ICP or ideal customer profile. In other words, companies have this great lead generation machine pumping out leads but they aren’t really SQL’s or sales qualified leads because they are directed towards the wrong profile of customer for the company. All of this discovery from understanding the real reason(s) behind why the sales force is actually losing deals, not just why they are winning them.
Root cause win loss forensics can lead to eye popping sales organization gaps and areas of needed improvement. Although looking at the wins that so many commonly celebrate is a great practice, the forgotten art of the process is digging in and celebrating the lost deals. What you may uncover could be far greater than just saying “we lost”.