The main goal for most organizations selling complex services or products is to win the business faster and more cost efficiently. But there are many steps to take before reaching this goal. After over two decades in the field and serving organizations in over 60 countries, Beacon has developed a unique and highly productive framework for evaluating our clients’ wins and losses.
Understanding why a deal was won or lost is critical if an organization wants to achieve the ultimate goal of improved sales performance consistently and efficiently. Our in-depth experience with win-loss analysis in the complex services sector and in complex sales cycles allows us to provide better insights both on why a particular strategy worked and what can be changed in the future for deals that fall through.
Please contact us online to speak with a Beacon professional about our win-loss analysis services.
A Complex, Nuanced Framework
Inevitably, a win-loss analysis performed internally by a client is likely to conclude that a deal was won or lost because of price. But from our research in the field, price is a driving factor in only about 15% of deals on average. What that means is a huge number of key insights are being left on the table when most organizations perform their own win-loss analysis.
We do things differently. We don’t come right out and ask why a deal was won or lost. Instead, our approach starts with how the needs of the prospect emerged and eventually turned into an opportunity for the client. With sound win-loss analysis our clients will have the opportunity to gain insight on:
- When the prospect’s needs emerged
- Who may have helped them refine those needs
- How the prospect defined success
- What competitors may have done to improve or hurt their ability to win
- What the client may have done to improve or hurt their ability to win
- Whether there was a real or perceived differentiator established by the competitor
- Whether the deal was in fact winnable at all
An Effective Strategy
Our win-loss analysis strategy is to break down each win and loss into individual actions and decisions. This allows our clients to understand exactly what was done right or wrong. We find this understanding creates the basis for a formula that allows best practices to be clearly observed and made repeatable, while eliminating or adjusting other behaviors that are not beneficial.
To understand the actions and decision-making steps involved, we typically follow a sequence similar to this:
- Development of key questions based on Beacon’s formula and information pertinent to the project
- An interview with deal pursuit leader within Beacon’s client
- An interview with several people from the support team
- An interview with the decision makers and key stakeholders at the client
- A presentation of insights
In addition, this deep analysis can uncover adjustments that need to be made to enhance relationships. We often find that when an opportunity is lost, it may be because a single stakeholder or small group of stakeholders in the prospective client firm voiced significant objections. In these cases, we often find a more wide-ranging approach to relationship management may have been able to achieve the necessary buy-in or at the very least brought awareness to objections or concerns in the prospect.
The core concept of performing win-loss analysis may be straightforward, but Beacon’s value derives from our experience in the field. We can perform a more complete analysis because our seasoned sales experts understand the common points where an opportunity will move ahead or collapse. In many cases, the real reason for a deal’s success or loss will only be revealed through carefully gathered experiential information on a prospect’s inner workings and decision-making practices.
Even one-off win-loss reviews can be extremely helpful to our clients. However, if our client has only a few primary competitors, conducting multiple win-loss analyses can be enlightening. In many situations we have the ability to identify competitors’ patterns, where they are trying to differentiate, how they are going about it and the impact of their approach on the client’s thinking. This allows us to make suggestions to our clients on how they can combat these attempts and better differentiate themselves in future deals.