How to Quickly Gain Internal Win/Loss Program Buy-In From Key Stakeholders
(This article is written for those organizations that wish to move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 of the Win/Loss Program Maturity Model. See "Win/Loss Program Maturity Model: How to Map the Maturity of Your Win/Loss Program and Drive Actionable Results"). Check out the video version of this article here:
A strong win/loss analysis program can transform your win rate, but without careful planning, it will likely fail. What you need for success is a strategic structure, and the best way to begin is by gaining buy-in from key stakeholders in four key areas of the business. This puts those with authority and influence at the helm, leverages their knowledge, and drives program adoption throughout the organization, allowing the four business areas to feel like they are program owners and not involuntary participants.
Truth is, you want your win/loss analysis research to be clear and impartial, so don’t bias your findings by relying on the sales team alone for data and information. Instead, take these key steps to build the backbone of a successful win/loss program.
Create a Committee of Key Functional Leaders
To kick-off your win/loss program’s planning process, appoint a program manager to assemble a committee of key functional leaders within your organization who have a vested interest in the insights you plan to collect. Be sure to include stakeholders from these four core groups:
- Product Marketing: Leverages buyer insights to strengthen product go-to-market strategies and support ongoing product success.
- Product Management: Supports product roadmap development and prioritization by tracking ever-changing market needs.
- Sales Enablement: Identifies and implements strategies, tools, and processes to strengthen your sales ecosystem.
- Competitive Intelligence: Leverages real-time competitive insights to develop the approach necessary to consistently win market share.
Since these departments affect every win and loss, you will need an influential member of staff from each to buy into the program. Otherwise, your research will be imbalanced and may be hard to leverage.
Once this committee is established, the program manager should work with these stakeholders to create the questions they’d like included in win/loss interviews. (We’ll talk more about this in “Starting a Win/Loss Program, Tip 2: Build the Interview Guide.”) The program manager should ask these important strategic planning questions as well:
- How will the committee want to use the data?
- What is important for them to uncover?
- Where would they especially like to focus, and why?
Ensure Program Adoption From the Top Down
This committee’s formation is crucial for program adoption. Each department, since it is represented by a stakeholder, becomes a win/loss program owner because buy-in is now from the top down, with management built in, and with the program tailored to meet each department’s needs. The committee’s structure honors the specialisms and autonomy of every department, rather than, for example, just the sales team, a single member of staff, or an external program organizer.
On top of that, the key stakeholders should eagerly promote the program, since their knowledge—and even their hopes and dreams—has been crucial to the design and implementation of your win/loss program. The results will be balanced, and relevancy will be high. By including influencers from product marketing, product management, sales enablement, and competitive intelligence, program adoption should be a no-brainer.
By following this win/loss program strategy, you put intelligence at the helm, with clarity, relevance, and balance built into your plan. You now have a powerful basis for your organization’s win/loss program. In the next article, we’ll outline the second step: putting together your interview guide. In the meantime, check out the following articles:
- Win/Loss Program Maturity Model: How to Map the Maturity of Your Win/Loss Program and Drive Actionable Results
- These Four Steps Distinguish Good Win/Loss Programs From Great Ones
Ready to get started? Let us light the way on your journey to becoming a win/loss program star! Contact us today at www.doublecheckresearch.com/contact-us for a complimentary consultation.