Marketwatch Coverage of Win Loss Book

Win / Loss analysis article


New Book Shows 401(k) and Investment Management Salespeople How to Close More Deals

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ — According to a new book by the president of Anova Consulting Group, Richard Schroder, 401(k) and investment management salespeople (including financial advisors) will greatly improve their sales effectiveness by learning why they win business and why they lose it.

Schroder, whose firm has been performing institutional Win / Loss analysis and market research for leading financial services and human capital management firms since 2005, details in his book, From a Good Sales Call to a Great Sales Call (McGraw-Hill, October, 2010), how learning from post-sale debriefing helps close more sales.

“In a majority of new business situations, salespeople do not have a complete and accurate understanding of why they lost, causing them to miss a critical opportunity to improve their sales performance, better understand their competitive landscape, enhance their company’s products and services, and ultimately increase sales,” writes Schroder.

“Only 18 percent of companies currently have a formal Win / Loss program in place for their sales teams, with an independent third party conducting in-depth interviews with prospects on behalf of a sales team,” Schroder said. “This means there are over 20 million salespeople who have no access to an independent post-decision review on their behalf.  This book was written to fill that gap.  It shows individual salespeople how to better conduct post-decision debriefs on their own so they can improve their sales effectiveness and win more business.”

The sales process can be particularly vexing for 401(k) providers or investment managers selling through financial advisors or other intermediaries, Schroder says. “The intermediary may not allow you to have a close relationship with the end prospect, and thus the debriefing process becomes increasingly challenging.”

Salespeople have an accurate, full realization of why they lost only 40 percent of the time, Schroder writes in the book.  “Therefore, in 60 percent of new business situations, salespeople do not have a complete and accurate understanding of why they lost.  And when salespeople don’t understand why they lose sales, it can be very difficult for them to improve their ratio of wins to losses in future sales,” Schroder writes.

Schroder’s research through Anova Consulting Group took place over five years and involved interviews with thousands of companies in Win / Loss situations.  Anova also performed research on over 500 salespeople around best practices for debriefing with prospects post-sale.

Schroder’s new work is a step-by-step guide for salespeople and sales managers, walking them through the benefits of post-decision debriefing, understanding how prospects and salespeople can inhibit the feedback process, providing debrief guides and tested interviewing techniques / best practices for improving the debrief process, and benchmarking the sales feedback individual salespeople receive.