Ask salespeople why they win and they say "relationship" and why they lose, they say "price." Our win/loss practice leader Hugh MacDonald has executed over 20 billion dollars in win/loss reviews over 12 years and points to a different reason; "Salespeople win when they show customers how they meet their needs at higher confidence and lower risk than alternatives." In fact, we believe this is the very definition of business value; how you meet customer need incrementally better than an alternative.
Recently we executed research at 55 companies and included both cross-functional leaders and front line salespeople. We learned many things but two stand out:
- Most executives and salespeople define value as how you meet customer needs but leave out the competing alternatives
- Over 80% of the same organizations report that they are not highly effective at mapping how they meet customer needs better than alternatives
This challenge is made even more difficult by the fact that customer needs, your competencies and those of competing alternatives are shifting rapidly. Is your organization giving salespeople what they need to win?