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Costanoa Expert Series: Turning Win/Loss Analysis into Buyer Insights


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We were thrilled to have Alan Armstrong, CEO of Eigenworks, and Ryan Whitney, VP at Gainsight, present best practices on win/loss analyses for early stage companies.

The presentation covers:
--How buyer stories and metrics can be used to create impactful case studies that drive sales.
--How to create better visibility and transparency in buyer data and behavior, so you truly understand the “voice of the customer”.
--Best practices to self-report with the sales team, conduct in-house surveys, and leverage outsource partners to get a complete win-loss dataset.

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Costanoa Expert Series: Turning Win/Loss Analysis into Buyer Insights

  1. 1. Costanoa Expert Series: Turning Win/Loss Analysis into Buyer Insights
  2. 2. 2 Speakers RYAN WHITNEY, VP SALES GAINSIGHT • 20+ years of experience in enterprise sales • Key member of several high growth global businesses ALAN ARMSTRONG, CEO EIGENWORKS • 20+ years in B2B product management and sales • Founded Eigenworks in 2008 • On a mission to help align sales, product, and customer success with needs of the buyer
  3. 3. 3 Learning Objectives ● Learn how to get buyer insights on wins and losses that can be turned into actionable intelligence. ● Create better visibility and transparency in buyer data and behavior, so you truly understand the “voice of the customer”. ● Learn best practices to self-report, run customer surveys, and leverage third parties to get complete 360 degree view of buyer insights ● Learn how buyer stories and metrics can be used to create impactful success stories that drive sales
  4. 4. In a loss, the buyer hears: 4 When Sales Asks for Feedback ... In a win, the buyer hears: The buyer believes you are always in sales mode. Even if you’re not the salesperson. “Give me your objections so I can overcome them.” “Give me your success stories so I can sell easier to others.”
  5. 5. 5 To Get the Full Picture, You Need Insight from 3 Channels ● Most companies focus on feedback from sales and moves that competitors are making (i.e. seller and market only) ● An incomplete picture ● What’s missing is the Voice of the Buyer through detailed buyer conversations. Today, we talk about incorporating the Voice of the Buyer into your strategy. When to have the conversation, who should have the conversation, and how.
  6. 6. 6 Win/Loss Analysis - Stages Across the Product Lifecycle Nail It Scale It Defend It Stage Finding product/market fit Defining/owning your market Holding your market position Information Gathered ● Refine product/market fit ● Minimum viable product (features) ● Strong customer advocates ● Primary use case(s) ● Core value proposition ● Ideal customer profile ● Buyer personas ● Churn info (why) ● Why you win or lose (vs competition) ● Ideal sales cycle (playbook) How Product/founder discussions 1. Sales self-reporting 2. Cust success surveys 3. Third party interviews 1. Sales self-reporting 2. Cust success surveys 3. Third party interviews
  7. 7. 7 Studying Wins Is Important Too! “Knowing why you lose won’t always help you win.” Researching Wins Helps to Uncover: ● Unidentified market segments ● Misunderstood needs ● How to model your successes and win more ● Strengths and weaknesses of competitors
  8. 8. Nailing It: Finding Product/Market Fit
  9. 9. 9 Case Study: Gainsight Leverages Win/Loss Analysis In Gainsight’s early days, Nick (CEO) listened to dozens of stuck deal conversations
  10. 10. 10 Early Startups Have a “Funnel with a Fat Middle”
  11. 11. 11 “Fat Middle” Means You Haven’t Nailed It
  12. 12. 12 How Stuck Deal Facilitation Helped Gainsight Nail It In-Depth Conversations with Potential Buyers to Discover: • Use Cases • Buyer Personas • Barriers to Purchase • “What if?” analysis • Competitive intelligence The Gainsight Story
  13. 13. 13 Best Practices for Understanding the Stuck Deal How to facilitate a conversation about a stuck deal: 1. Withdraw from the sales cycle (to the point of withdrawing the proposal) 2. Set up a dialog 3. Get into learning mode 4. Re-discover the product/customer fit Gain insights from conversations for about 20 deals … or even 5. Start somewhere. Themes will start to emerge.
  14. 14. 14 Best Practices for Nailing It: Take Action in Product, Positioning, and Selling Look for themes … • Consider buyer personas and goals • Assess the reasons your product didn’t fit for them • Try to categorize insights according to trends (e.g. “four buyers said the same thing about…”) • Brainstorm ideas for experiments to improve fit (e.g. packaging, positioning) Translate themes into key messages for your product and sales teams. Prioritize and create a plan of action.
  15. 15. Scaling It: Defining and Owning Your Market
  16. 16. 16 The Gainsight Story Scaling it… Now Defining the Market
  17. 17. 17 The Gainsight Story Scale it… by neutralizing the competition using win/loss analysis
  18. 18. 18 The 360° View of Win/Loss ● Win/loss interviews ● Churn/retention interviews ● NPS surveys ● Other quantitative surveys ● Product marketing ● Sales methodology ● Porter’s 5 Forces ● Strategic planning ● Competitive understanding ● Self-report ● Reason codes ● Short description ● Champion identified ● Key questions
  19. 19. 19 Best Practices: Setting up Win/Loss Self-Reporting by Sales System of Record to Capture: ● Sales-assessed reason(s) ● Short description (‘story of why’) Other Helpful Data to Try to Collect: ● Vendor/Product Chosen ● Competitors Considered ● Lead Source ● Reason Codes (may differ by company or type of product) Suggested Reason Codes: 1. Product 2. Sales 3. Service 4. Fit 5. Price 6. Reputation 7. Other
  20. 20. 20 Best Practices: How to Use (and Not Use) Surveys Survey Rule #1: Don’t confuse surveys with studies A surveys helps validate existing insights with a large sample. A study seeks new insights based on open-ended conversations with a smaller number of people. A study goes beyond sales results, to help you identify actions for sales improvement. A survey will tell you the outcome of a sale. A survey will help you measure customer satisfaction. A study helps you explore what you can change to improve customer experience. Surveys measure ‘what happened.’ Studies explore ‘what about’, and ‘what if?’
  21. 21. 21 Best Practices: How to Use (and Not Use) Surveys Keep in mind: Although NPS surveys are important, and you should definitely do them, they are most effective when placed within, or following, a study. NPS Surveys Broad, Quantitative Surveys Survey Rule #2: Recognize that there are different types of surveys.
  22. 22. 22 Post Implementation Survey Example
  23. 23. Defending Your Market
  24. 24. 24 The Gainsight Story To defend it, study churn
  25. 25. 25 The Gainsight Story Over Time… 2013 10 Accounts Studied 2014 30 Accounts Studied 2015 71 Accounts Studied
  26. 26. 26 Defending it… Study Wins The Gainsight Story 25 success stories. In 4 weeks.
  27. 27. Where Do I Start?
  28. 28. What is the minimum viable win/loss project or study? 28 Question: 1. Identify the biggest risk and/or greatest opportunity. 2. Identify the question that needs to be answered in order to mitigate that risk and/or unlock that opportunity. 3. Use this question to select the ‘decisions’ to research. Answer: Focusing Your Win/Loss Analysis
  29. 29. 29 Upmarket: “Our core market is mid-sized. We want to move to Enterprise.” Downmarket: “Our market is Global 2k. We want to get into Global 10k.” Competitor-focused: “We keep losing to competitor x… Why?” Pricing: “We keep discounting… and we’re still not winning.” Some Examples
  30. 30. 30 ● Appoint an internal owner and start win/loss reporting and analysis immediately. ● Study deals that represent the challenge you want to address, and select deals that represent it. ● Aim to study an equal split of wins and losses. ● Talk with a minimum of 20 buyers before making conclusions. ● When feasible, include a third party to gain deeper insights. ● Incorporate Win/Loss into QBRs. Win/Loss Best Practices
  31. 31. 31 To get the full picture on your wins and losses, you need insight from all 3 channels. Sales and market revelations are not enough. Have real conversations with your buyer. If you take away one thing from this webinar, let it be this:
  32. 32. 32 With Eigenworks’ help to gain competitive insights, Gainsight now leads in the Customer Success market, and continues to collaborate with Eigenworks to fuel their growth. Contact Us: Download the case study here:
  33. 33. Thank you!