Better Stories with Win/Loss

Summary / TL;DR: In the end, even in a B2B context, this is about humans talking to humans. Customers buy from the vendor’s whole offer, not just a line item on a features list. So, through win-loss, look to understand the customer’s assessment to our brand, our product, our sales engagement, and, of course, our offer – and through that understand how we can tell better stories around the whole offer.

Hank Bonds, Tech Go-To-Market analyst at Gartner found that, in the B2B context, 73% of sales people focus too much on the product and only 37% effectively communicate business value. 

Does this sound familiar? 

Often, sales teams focus on product, features, and functions when going toe to toe with their competitors on a feature list, and when the end of the quarter comes, make the conversation all about price.

As you might have read in the great book, Challenger Sales, the most successful sales teams use business storytelling in their conversations, presentations, and interactions with the prospect. And, as the Gartner analyst says, using these stories as a tool to understand the motivations and decision making criteria of the customers leads to a discussion about business value and not a discussion about feature function or speeds and feeds. 

In the end, even in a B2B context, this is about humans talking to humans. Customers buy from the vendor’s whole offer, not just a line item on a features list. But, when we speak to Won customers and Loss prospects, we often don’t look for their assessment on the story that we based our whole offer on. 

Quite naturally, we want to crystallize the cause of an outcome, whether it is a Win or a Loss, to a single word. We lost because of price. We won because of feature X, but another area lets us down. 

We can do better. 

We can spend time speaking to the customer to understand their assessment and reaction to our brand, our product, our sales engagement, and, of course, our offer. By doing this through a Win / Loss program, we can get much more actionable insight into how to improve the whole offer – and the stories we tell around it.

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Copyright, 2020