Have you ever strategically analyzed why you really win or lose deals, or are you still relying on your legacy ‘win/loss analysis’ report?
Ever wonder what happened to:
- The prospect that visited your office and then never called back?
- Or the firm that said they were going to make a decision on either your solution or another vendor’s, but come to find out they ended up doing nothing?
- And the firm that repeatedly visits your website, downloads your whitepapers and won’t return your calls???
You are not alone!
To answer these questions and more, Topline has developed a propriety methodology which we call Sales Chain Analysis. It is a more comprehensive approach to Win Loss Analysis. Our methodology seeks to gain a deep understanding of the market, the competitive dynamics in play, and most importantly, Why decisions are made. Traditional methods do not get to Why for a number of reasons including:
- Timing – Usually you are querying the account shortly after the decision is made and the account might not have had enough time yet to really know if they made the right decision.
- Ad-hoc – Decisions come in when they come in, and you never really gain a critical mass of information to process in a defined time period. You learn a tactical bit and then you move on.
- Selective – There is no guarantee of speaking with a diverse cross-section of prospects in this time period.
- Vendor bias – Because you are directly related to the sales event, you enter the questioning with biases. In some cases you might not clearly hear what the contact is saying, or, you might not want to hear certain items and hence not even ask what you should be asking. Further, in the case of a loss, the contact might ‘sugar coat’ what they tell you, in order to not hurt your feelings and to just get off the phone with you.
Topline’s Sales Chain Analysis Methodology
At Topline we approach the Win Loss Analysis and Pipeline Analysis differently. Our methodology is based on the following principles:
- Interview contacts as an unbiased, third party – We find that contacts are much more open to a third party asking them questions about why they did, what they did, than if it was someone they have been involved with during the sales process.
- Leverage Senior Consultancy model – Our belief is that the quality of the results is directly related to the experience of the consultants performing the work. To that end, our principals are deeply engaged in all aspects of the program, including both the interviews and the analysis of the data.
- Conduct immersive interviews – We have found the best way to gain true insights is to perform the interviews in an immersive fashion. Twenty to thirty interviews in a four to six week period. This enables us to pick up on nuances in an interview that might have been missed in one-off conversations.
- Contact different account types – To gain the most comprehensive view of the competitive situation we conduct interviews with a wide variety of accounts across different stages of the Sales Chain (See below). In our experience, each stage of the Sales Chain provides unique insights about the market.
- Perform secondary research – We also complete a quantitative analysis of the company’s sales experience and conduct secondary research into the market and competition as required to support the interview findings.
- Repeat periodically – We have found running the program at six month intervals allows for additional insights to bubble to the surface as well as incorporates any strategic changes in the market.
Sales Chain Stages
Topline Results, Actionable Recommendations
At the conclusion of the program, the insights that come from this process will generate actionable recommendations for how to accelerate revenue.
The recommendations may impact all the major functional areas in your firm including Product, Services, Messaging, Targeting, Channels, Sales Processes, Pricing, and more.
It is not just Sales that will learn from our methodology, but your firm as a whole.
To learn more about how our Win Loss Analysis or Sales Chain Analysis methodology can help you accelerate growth contact us.