May 142012

Sales Strategy: How to Use Influencers and Impact to Improve Win Rate

Sales Strategy: By Tony Albachiara on Fri, May 11, 2012

SBI has developed a model that utilizes your findings from the Win/Loss Analysis and Assessment Phase so as to allow you drive up your win rate percentage, and to improve your overall sales strategy.

This model focuses on 3 Categories Essential to a Sale:

  1. Company (e.g. brand strength, reputation etc.)
  2. Solution  (i.e. product and/or service)
  3. Channel (i.e. direct sales, indirect, etc.)

Each of these Categories has their own Influencers that are known to directly affect your Win Rate. Some of these influencers are portrayed below in the chart:

Measuring Influencer Impact

Impact illustrates which Influencers will most greatly affect your win ratio. This measurement is expressed as a percentage, and thus each increase of 1 point should increase your win ratio by the percentage represented in that Impact Score. For example:

  • Assume the Impact of the “Ease of Use” Influencer is 6.5%
  • Assume that your average rating for “Ease of Use” is 7.0
  • Assume you improve this Influencer over the next 6 months
  • Assume you then perform a new Win/Loss Assessment and you discover that the new round of respondents gives you an average rating of 8.0 for “Ease of Use (improvement of 1.0)
  • You can expect that your win ratio will have increased by 6.5% for those new deals

Make sense?

NOTE: Influencers with the greatest performance gaps do not indicate Impact. Similarly, Influencers are not based on competitive performance (most firms guess wrong in this instance).

How do you Determine Influencer Impact?

Depending on how each of your Influencers scores during the interviews you conducted during Phase 1 of the Win/Loss Assessment, SBI can utilize their technology tool to properly and accurately calculate your Impact scores.

Each Driver (Category) is assessed by asking respondents to rate performance across a series of Influencers. These respondents are guided through these Drivers so that they can rate individual Influencers for each Driver.

Once you have this knowledge documented and you understand how each of these Influencers is going to affect your Win Rate, you can pull those levers accordingly in order to adjust Win Rate to the point that your sales strategy becomes its most successful.

Apply Findings to Sales Strategy

The next step is to put all your hard work into action in the hopes that it will improve your Win Rate, and allow you to meet your sales strategy goals. The first stage of this process, after applying all of your new data, is to:

1)    Map Buying Behavior to Sales Process

In this stage you need to:

  • Employ a customized sales process
  • Map the changed buyer behaviors
  • Use buyer-driven exit criteria

2)    Competitive Summary

Measure your performance against Competitors that you often run up against in your market. If you often face off against a particular Competitor in your market, sometimes the best solution to improve Win Rate is to see where you outrank that Competitor. For instance, do you:

  • Show superior understanding of the customers’ needs
  • Demonstrate stronger solution value
  • Have product configurability and flexibility
  • Provide multiple solution options
  • Exploit the Competitors pricing structure
  • Message around the value proposition

3)    Tactical Performance

This stage will measure and improve upon any areas of particular weakness that your organization has when compared to specific Competitors. You will need to:

  • Identify these areas of weakness
  • Identify which Driver is responsible for these weaknesses (Company, Channel, Solution)
  • Employ strategy to limit or eliminate these weaknesses. (ie: Reduce the negative impact of the Cost Influencer by examining messaging and value, creating multiple solution options, or researching the pricing structure of direct competitors)

Win/Loss Wrap-Up

So the big question after all of this instruction and these recommendations is…

How do you make sure that an investment in Win/Loss Analysis pays off:

  • Ensure that sales, marketing, product development, and executives understand the predictive modeling.
  • Provide your 3rd party partner with a random sample of sales opportunities. The results of the research will only be as representative as the opportunities provided.
  • Move from traditional “looking in the rear-view mirror” thinking to predictive win loss analytics that focus on future performance.
  • Trust that these predictive analytics will correctly identify Influencers of greatest Impact.
  • Continue populating the predictive analytics model with additional data to achieve more resolution within data subsets.

The Win/Loss Assessment is not necessarily a project that can be completed overnight. It is a sales strategy tactic that will be implemented and refined over time. However, it is a process that can change the entire direction of your company when properly implemented, as you will see great strides in Win Rate and end of year revenue numbers. If you think a Win/Loss Assessment could help your organization, don’t hesitate. Look into it today.  CLICK HERE FOR THE WIN/LOSS INTERVIEW TEMPLATE TO GET STARTED.

This post was the 4th in a series around the Win/Loss/No Decision framework. 

  • What are you doing in your Win/Loss No Decision you can share with our audience?
  • How have you leveraged Win/Loss/No Decision within your organization?
  • What “best practices” have you implemented?
  • How are you using technology to make the Win/Loss/No Decision more effective and efficient?


To Discuss how these Solutions will add value for you, your organization and/or your clients, Affinity/Resale Opportunities, and/or Collaborative Efforts, Please Contact:

Tom McDonald,; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752

sales strategy, McDonald Sales and Marketing, LLC