Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you. It’s just the way the ball bounces. The way the cookie crumbles. If you want to write off a loss to chance or bad luck, your solution is only a cliché away. But when it comes to marketing, luck usually has nothing to do with it.
I’ve found that a better way to understand why you won or lost is to do a win/loss analysis. This usually begins with a profile of your sales process. You’ll want to clearly identify the key components of your sales process, as well as the variables within those components.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask:
- Where did your sales leads come from? Were they referrals? Did they come to you through your website? Did you meet them at an event?
- Do your leads fit a particular profile? Are they similar in size, business type, or current accounting practices?
- How did you follow up with your leads? By email? By phone? With an in-person meeting?
- What sales and marketing tools did you provide to your leads? A brochure? A whitepaper? Did you invite them to a webinar?
- What type of proposal did you make? What services did you offer? What were the pricing and billing details?
- How long did the entire process take from start to finish?
These are just examples – you may have other key stages in your sales process. Just map them out and create a checklist or spreadsheet detailing all the steps and options.
Next, identify five to ten wins; efforts that were successful in bringing in new clients. Chart each one on your spreadsheet or checklist.
You should also identify a similar number of losses; efforts that weren’t so successful. Chart each one against the same spreadsheet or checklist you used for the wins.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Compare the charts of your wins against the charts of your losses. What actions show up more in your wins and less in your losses? Are there actions that show up more in your losses? Are there any missed steps?
Obviously, this is a very basic win/loss analysis. There are whole companies dedicated to performing them in great detail. But I’ve found that even a basic win/loss analysis can be very helpful. Give it a try, and next time you might find that the cookie crumbles in exactly the way you choose.