DoubleCheck Win-Loss Research Director Robyn Welfare and Klue’s Competitive Enablement Manager Brandon Bedford joined the CE Show to talk about what it takes to effectively present win-loss findings to an executive audience.
Your win-loss program will fail without clear learning objectives
“Get crystal clear on what your stakeholders want to know, and use that as your guide to build your research materials to steer your program.”
This is Robyn’s number one piece of advice for anyone looking to build a win-loss analysis program that generates insights your executive team wants to hear.
All too often the ultra important step of defining what success looks like gets rushed or goes overlooked completely.
Three ways you can start to set your goals and desired outcomes:
Align your outcomes with your company’s corporate strategy/initiatives
Talk to members of your leadership team and ask what they would like to see from a win-loss program
Survey and engage with department heads to see what they want to know
“When you fine-tune what you’re looking for, that’s when you’re able to really provide meaningful results. So when you end up getting to your exec summary stage, it’s going to really hit home because you’re you’re hitting on exactly what they want to know.”
The insights and results from a win-loss program — when done correctly — are extremely powerful. It’s these kinds of insights that help you prove the value of the work you do as a compete professional.
But you’ll never get to that point if you don’t first understand what factors of the business you want insights about.
CRM data is a radar system to help scan the landscape — but precision insights come from interview data
“Some black or white questions can be answered with CRM data. But it’s the ‘why’ or ‘how come’ type questions where I think the interview is just unparalleled to what a sales rep is going to put in your CRM data.”
Win-loss interview data will inevitably be a much smaller sample set than what you can get from CRM data. So we won’t come down too hard on quant-loving, win-loss skeptics when they point to the relatively small sample size of interview data.
But it’s only through win-loss interviews that you can unearth the kinds of nuanced information you need to deliver powerful buyer-intelligence insights to your executives.
More specifically, it’s about extracting common themes from the interview data and drawing insights from those.
Brandon and Robyn also stress the difference between a small sample of poorly chosen interview subjects and a more thoughtful group.
“Even if you only have a sample size of ten, that could be really valuable if they’re all enterprise clients and they’re all in North America and they’re certain buyer persona. But if you have ten and one’s an enterprise company, one’s a mom and pop shop, one’s a software company, one’s a pharma company, that’s going to be less valuable.“
Watch DoubleCheck Research Founder and Klue Vice President of Win-Loss explain what it takes to nail win-loss interviews
It’s not to say that quantitative data isn’t an important part of the story that doesn’t ever surface valuable insights.
Some questions like:
Which competitors come up most frequently in deals?
Which competitors do we lose to the most?
What’s the most common CRM selected reason for losses to those competitors?
Can be better served with a larger dataset pulled from a CRM.
But understanding why those competitors come up in deals and why you’re losing to them is a job for win-loss interviews.
And the insights you gain from them are the ones you should be presenting to your executive team.
Don’t prep your executives before a win-loss summary presentation; tell the story of your win-loss findings and take them on a journey
“People ask me: how do I prep execs beforehand? Honestly my answer is, I don’t. I might give them a bit of a teaser. I’ll provide them enough of an agenda so that they know what we’re talking about but i’m not spoiling the surprise.”
The insights in your win-loss presentation are grounded in and driven by data. But the way you should be sharing those insights with your executive team is by telling the story of what those insights mean.
Especially when you’re sharing information that might come as a surprise or seem counterintuitive to some members of the leadership team, telling the story before presenting the findings can be especially effective.
“There are going to be times when you might have stakeholders that have a really strong bias and they’re confident about a particular topic. So when the win-loss analysis findings show something different, sometimes it’s better to take them on the journey to help to bring the learnings home. “
Sharing win-loss findings with execs comes down to two key factors:
The effectiveness of your storytelling
And the depth of research that backs the story up
Partnering with a third-party win-loss vendor is one way you can ensure quality, data-driven research.
When it comes to storytelling, knowing your audience, and presenting with clarity are your keys to success.
We built this win-loss analysis template to help you with the storytelling bit