The Benefits of Debriefing with Bids Won Customers

Win Loss ImageIt is natural to want to learn from failures or lost sales situations. Companies spend a lot of time and effort training, preparing, and selling their products and services in competitive environments. When a deal is lost, it makes great sense to want to learn why. In fact, we see this all the time in new sales conversations with our own prospects at Anova. Nine out of ten times when we ask companies interested in win / loss what they are trying to get out of a research program, at least one of the organization’s objectives is to learn from their losses.

But what about the wins? Are there valuable teachings beyond knowing why you won?

Absolutely. In fact, recent Anova research revealed that 36% of win situations experience a post-sale issue. Put another way, even though the decision was a win, just over one-third of new clients have an experience that jeopardizes the long-term relationship.

These relationships begin on fragile terms and need help sooner rather than later. Do any of these common post-sales issues sound familiar?

  • Dissatisfaction with the lack of a smooth handoff from sales team to service team
  • Realization of unmet expectations set during the sales process
  • Unresponsiveness following the closed sale
  • Elongated conversion / implementation timeline
  • Ugly, lengthy, and even dishonest contract negotiations

Think of client relationships that may have encountered any of the above problems. It becomes incredibly difficult for organizations to then turn the customer into a satisfied, loyal, referenceable client after a post-sale issue. When the cost of obtaining a new customer is estimated to be 7x as high as retaining an existing one, and after the sales team has just recently undergone the effort to win the deal, it pays to make sure the relationship starts off on the right foot.

Instead, as Anova’s research shows, sales teams are often guilty of closing the deal, tallying the win, and moving on. However, that transition between prospect and client is paramount and all too often can make or break the overall success of that client engagement.

The ability to uncover which clients may be starting off a relationship on rocky grounds, and what issues may be plaguing them, are why collecting win data is so important for successful organizations. Learning from winning sales situations provides organizations with valuable insights into new client relationships and can play a critical part of the new client’s onboarding process, providing information such as:

  • What attributes were most important to the client during the sales process in terms of products and services?
  • What expectations were set during the sales process in terms of the product and service delivery?
  • Is the specific client organization at risk of re-evaluating other competitors?

Just because a deal is won does not mean it will be a win forever. Organizations need to have a tool available to them to ensure the transition from prospect to client is handled with the care any long-term relationship deserves.

Think of a win transcript as a point-in-time client satisfaction measure. Is the client starting off on the right foot with the organization or are there already issues and missed expectations that need attention? We can’t forget that in most wins, there was a runner-up that is one email or call away.