We all want to now know why we lost an important deal and we need to learn and improve for the next opportunity. Loss reviews help us compete more effectively and if you spend your life swimming in 'red ocean' then that's important. But they don't help us build pipeline. The smartest businesses create blue ocean strategies where they have clear water and they do it through win reviews with their best customers.
How do you get upsteam to engage earlier with the right prospects earlier in their sales cycle? Win reviews are a surprising technique to ensure that this is done masterfully and it's achieved by working with your best customers to identify the triggers that caused them to invest in a solution. There is a very important distinction here – it is NOT about discovering why they bought from you over the competition; it's instead about identifying trigger events that caused them to decide they had a serious problem or opportunity in the first place. The best sellers seek alignment with the ideal prospective customer rather than attempting to raise the dead through extreme evangelism.
The other reasons that win reviews are so powerful are they validate the benefits promised to customers and create case studies. If there are project services involved in implementing your solution, call the win review a ‘Post Implementation Review’ where you assess benefits realization to present back to the customer concerning whether the business case is on track to be delivered with benefits realization. Out of this process you can create a case study, whether the client is willing to allow it to be published or not. This is how to enable sales people to create a powerful narrative about the business benefits they deliver their customers. Sales people should be part of the process… it’s the best training they can receive because it equips them to tell powerful true stories to the prospective new customers.
This is a practical way for sales people to begin the journey of becoming micro-marketers by creating content they can publish in LinkedIn Publisher within their profile. It is incredibly powerful for people in sales, professional services, project management or other customer facing roles because it shows the value they bring clients and the values by which they operate. It provides social proof and credibility and it can be done without mentioning the name of the customer but it shows the value the person brings and it evidences their credibility.
Social publishing is critically important because, according to IDC research, 75% of buyers research the seller before meeting or agreeing to engage in conversation. What do they see when they click on the sales person’s profile? Quota crushing, Porsche driving, uber-sales dominator; or do they see a person of insight with a consultative approach and a track record of delivering transformative results for their customers?
The illustration below speaks a thousand words and shows what strategic selling looks likes. It's my model for complex enterprise solution selling and it can be turbo powered by leveraging social platforms and tools masterfully, and the concept of trigger events combined with insight [Challenger style] techniques to earn conversations at senior levels to set the agenda around tangible business value.
Embrace win reviews as a catalyst for sales people creating their value narrative and improving the LinkedIn profiles as they write case studies (even without stating the name of the customer). Management and the marketing team can help them.
If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website: www.TonyHughes.com.au.
Main image photo by Flickr: Kevin T. Houle Success