Product Marketing and the Benefits of Win Loss Analysis

Win Loss ImageConsider this: In a survey conducted by BrightTALK, 42% of B2B marketing professionals state that a lack of quality data is their biggest barrier to lead generation. At the same time, 70% of marketing professionals indicate that their biggest marketing goal is converting leads to customers. Anyone see the problem?

Marketers are charged with creating and converting qualified leads but are lacking the quality data in which to do so.

To solve this problem, we need to take a step back. Any successful organization will tell you that product marketing and sales working together is critical. It is, in fact, essential to sourcing prospects, converting those prospects to clients, and retaining existing clients. One cannot have success without the other. It just doesn’t work.

Gathering and using competitive / market intelligence data is one way product marketing and sales can align. Why did one piece of potential business close and another is lost to a competitor? Speaking of competition, what are they doing and saying that perhaps your marketing and sales team don’t know about? What gaps exist in the marketplace that your organization can fill? It is not important enough these days to keep up with the competition; a winning strategy means you stay ahead of them.

Sun Tzu, the author of the famed Art of War, knew this truth even in 500 B.C. in saying, “Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.”

Win / loss research helps you with both. Knowing yourself and knowing your competition.

Win / loss reviews are an exercise whereby organizations gather feedback on their sales process and sales team efforts, typically by interviewing new clients and/or prospects after the buying decision has been made, regardless of whether the deal was won or lost. The primary purpose of a win / loss review is to serve as a learning tool – one that is focused on driving continuous improvement.

That learning can come in multiple forms. An individual transcript can help a product marketer or salesperson understand why he or she won or lost a specific opportunity, and aggregate reporting can help organizations better understand overall trends driving decisions and why they are winning or losing across all opportunities. This reporting allows product marketers to know the competition more accurately, make better decisions, and ultimately increase win rates.

Some key elements that help product marketers in win / loss reporting are:

  • Analysis of your company’s key strengths and areas for improvements (as perceived through the eyes of its prospects)
  • Key drivers for closing new business in your marketplace, including competitive intelligence and insights
  • Identification of areas for improvement within your company’s sales and marketing process
  • Identification of unmet client needs and new product development opportunities
  • Tracking of key trends over designated time periods and other demographic variables

Product marketing begins the customer’s buying process and sales completes it. Win / loss is one way to bring success to that continuum and keep those two teams aligned toward their common goals.