A client of mine sells a SaaS package to large health systems. When they close a new deal, they can easily get caught up in the excitement and rush to implementation. Conversely, when they lose a deal, it’s no surprise when they just want to turn the page and move on. Yet moving to the next stage so quickly can mean they miss out on critical information – and that’s where win/loss interviews come in. Win/loss interviews can give you insights you can’t get anywhere else.
1) Find Out Why You Lost
The most obvious reason people do win/loss interviews is to find out why a deal fell through. For instance, this SaaS group usually connects with a health system through Anesthesiology or Radiology. They have an excellent sales team with years of experience and they know their competitors well. Nevertheless, they don’t always win every deal – even when the prospect was a perfect fit. Even when the prospect was actively looking for the solution they offer. And even when the price was right.
It’s a frustrating situation and the temptation to move on is very high. But that would be a mistake – because you don’t know what went wrong. Was it a personality clash with the sales director? Was it a feature that the competition had? Was it a pricing model? There’s a lot to learn – and win/loss interviews are one of the best ways to find out what happened.
2) Find Out Why You Won
It’s funny how often sales teams skip over a win/loss interview on deals they’ve won. These are prospects they have worked with for months. They’ve answered dozens of questions and met with everyone from future users to the C-suite. Yet none of that guarantees they know what turned the deal their way.
Maybe they think it doesn’t matter because a win is a win. But if something worked, it helps to be sure what it was so you can do it again. And win/loss interviews are a brilliant way to get those details.
3) Continue the Relationship
In many cases, a lost deal is not final. Those prospects you worked so long and hard with may well be back if they are unhappy with the choice they made. In fact, I have some clients that can predict how quickly a prospect will start having problems with a given competitor – which makes it a perfect time to check back in with them.
In these cases, a win/loss interview after the deal falls through can be used to set the stage for future interactions. Prospects may be embarrassed that they didn’t choose you – and this gives you an opportunity to let them know there are no hard feelings. You will always be there if they have questions or if there is anyway you can be of help in the future.
Always a Good Reason to Do Win/Loss Interviews
You invest too much money in your sales teams to overlook the treasure trove of information that comes from win/loss interviews. Whether the deal is won or lost, you should always strive to learn what happened and apply that knowledge to future deals.
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