Learn how to drive adoption of your competitive sales battle cards throughout your sales organization. 7-min read
11 Ways to Improve Win Rates
Add just one or two of these methods to improve your win/loss ratio, empower your sales team, and close more deals with qualified leads.
In the world of sales, what’s more exciting than boosting business and improving your team’s performance across the board? Not much, am I right?
To help you reach these goals, we're sharing 11 effective strategies for overcoming deal-closing challenges, focusing on actionable tactics that sales leaders can enact to boost win rates team wide.
What Is a Win Rate in Sales?
Simply put, a win rate is a measurement of how many deals you’ve won, expressed as a percentage.
Win/loss ratio is the percentage of deals won vs. deals lost. This measures how many deals your team was able to close compared with all the opportunities that were open.
On the other hand, competitive win/loss (another important performance metric), is the percentage of deals won vs. lost to a competitor. The distinction is that you may not know you lost the deal in a competitive win/loss scenario. Even if your salespeople record it, some of your prospects might not mention which competitor they went with.
In either case, you can track both of these sales metrics by using Excel or with Google Sheets (get our free template here). Be sure that your team has an official procedure for inputting the data and keeping up-to-date.
For a less manual approach, you can also use the win/loss analysis report in Kompyte, which has a 2-way integration with Salesforce. If you use any other CRM software, simply upload your information as a .csv file. This gives you a consolidated view to track your progress against your competitors.
It’s important to look at not just your overall win/loss rate, but also your rate against competitors as a whole and against individual competitors. This will help you further evaluate your strengths and weaknesses against your rivals. You might also want to look at each individual rep’s win/loss rate to see who might benefit from additional support.
Based on the win/loss rate, you can make a number of leadership decisions to strengthen your position in the market, which we’ll get into in a moment.
How Do You Calculate Win Rate?
To calculate your sales win rate, simply divide the number of won deals by the number of total sales opportunities over a specific time period. Then multiply that number by 100 to get the percentage.
Win Rate = Won Deals / Total Sales Opportunities x 100
For example, a company won 191 out of 587 potential deals during the month of May:
191 (Won Deals) / 587 (Potential Deals) x 100 = 32.5%
It’s important to note that only qualified potential deals should be factored into this equation, rather than every lead in your sales pipeline. This will help you narrow down your positioning to specifically target your most qualified prospects. And will help you improve your chances of closing deals once you’ve reached the proposal stage.
Competitive win rate is calculated as above, but only includes deals where you lost out to known competitors.
A win/loss Battlecard can clarify where there's room for improvement.
If you’re ready to effectively track your wins and losses, you can download Kompyte’s free Win/Loss Battlecard template here.
What’s a “Good” Sales Win Rate?
Plenty of articles out there talk about benchmarking a “good” sales win rate. Though, at the end of the day, a good win rate is ultimately a better number than what you achieved last month.
Context is key. Every product has a unique selling proposition and different competitive landscape. So that’s what you should focus on when enacting changes in your sales process to make the quickest improvements.
For instance, updating your sales Battlecards with unique selling points and objection handling can make a tremendous difference in a very short timeframe.
And while calculating a win rate is good, understanding WHY you lose competitive deals is incredibly important. Make sure your team is just as diligent as sharing those reasons as they are about sharing their win reasons.
11 Tactics to Improve Sales Win Rates
Now let’s turn to actionable strategies that can help improve your team’s sales win rate.
We’ll focus on three areas. How to:
- Approach your best sales opportunities (the most qualified leads in your pipeline)
- Align your team with your sales processes and improve adherence
- Ensure consistency of your messaging across the board
How to Improve Win Rates with Qualified Prospects
To make gains in your win/loss ratio, here are four ways to make the most of leads you already have:
1. Make Qualified Leads Your Focal Point
The temptation to cast a wide net is often present, but it’s better to be more attentive to prospects that have a higher probability of becoming your customer.
It’s far more cost-effective to invest your time building a relationship with a warm lead rather than spending time on less personalized advertising or outreach to customers who aren’t likely to purchase.
2. Have Empathy for Your Customers
Customer empathy is like a closing superpower. Ask open-ended questions to understand their pain points, their process for decision-making, and their roadblocks. Listen actively. Put yourself in their shoes. Rather than selling a product or service, think of your communication as a way of providing a unique solution for their unique needs.
3. Use Battlecards to Overcome Objections
Being aware of common objections along the sales funnel is the first step in creating an effective response to conquer them.
Ask your salespeople to write down the most frequently asked questions, objections, and any other topics that create friction during the sales process. Next, create official verbiage to counter those objections, and notify your entire team.
A best practice is to have your salespeople armed with objections and counter-objections documented on their sales Battlecards.
This will empower your team by having the official prompts and quick solutions to your prospects’ most common questions, concerns, and objections so they can close more deals. Get our free objection-handling template.
4. Differentiate Yourself
Your entire company (not just your sales team) should understand the core tenets of what makes your product or service unique in the market. This is the heart of your company and what distinguishes you from the rest.
Just like documenting common objections on your sales Battlecards, include your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, key competitive themes, and target buyer personas—everything you need to differentiate yourself and position yourself as the better choice.
Coupled with customer empathy, this can help you craft very specific messages that address your prospect’s pain points.
Additionally, this can be an opportunity to clarify your value proposition. If you find that a specific message or value statement resonates with your target market, update your Battlecards and inform the rest of your sales team.
5. Ask Them Why
One of the most effective ways to understand why you won or lost a deal is simple: just ask the question!
Whether they made their decision based on pricing, features, or something related to your messaging or value proposition, your customers are an excellent source of intel.
And while not every customer or lost prospect will participate, getting their feedback as to why they chose you over a competitor (or went in another direction) can help you better understand your position in the market, as well as your customers’ purchasing decisions.
How to Improve Consistency in the Sales Process
One of the greatest benefits of sales enablement is helping build and uphold documented sales processes and agreed-upon messaging within your organization.
One of the biggest challenges, on the other hand, is enforcing compliance with your team and keeping track of how messaging impacts performance and win rates.
To ensure your sales reps are following your company’s best practices, consider these strategies for maximizing your chances of closing more deals:
6. Train, Communicate, and Support
As a sales leader, your team looks up to you to provide the necessary training, skills, and tools to be successful in their role.
Be clear and concise with your sales methodology and messaging, and explain each step of the process to your team.
Even if your reps are working as individuals—be a supportive reminder that you’re all part of a team. Best practices are in place for a reason and sales adherence is important for everyone’s success.
If you find that some reps are deviating from the process, don’t jump to conclusions. They may need more training or support - or they may have found something that works even better.
7. Set the Standard
If you communicate expectations and processes—but bypass them yourself—it’s difficult for anyone to trust the process.
Always practice what you preach. Set the standard and lead by example. When results speak for themselves, it‘ll underline the effectiveness of the sales process and encourage your whole team to follow suit.
8. Celebrate and Acknowledge Wins
Michael Jordan is famous for saying that “talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.”
One of the best ways to encourage your team is by rewarding sales reps who follow the process, use official messaging, and contribute to the collective success of your organization. Adherence could even be a criterion for promotion or another meaningful way to highlight and celebrate wins.
9. Be Open to Feedback
Processes change. Consumer behaviors change. Competitors run advertising and sales promotions. Even the messaging that has been working for months or years may need to change.
The point is to be flexible and open to feedback from your salespeople. Let them have a voice and listen with intention. Consider having collaborative sessions to discuss where improvements or adjustments could be made. This can also help keep everyone excited and engaged if they’re an active part of the strategy.
How to Improve Win Rate with Consistent Messaging
If your sales process doesn’t include consistent messaging, you’re at a big disadvantage.
Think of it this way. If a salesperson improvises with their own messaging, there’s no way to reliably test it. What if they only use that verbiage once and never again? It could also be misleading to a prospect if your salesperson is citing outdated or incorrect information.
On the other hand, with consistent messaging, you’ll be able to more easily track the impact on your win rate.
You’ll need to take a hands-on approach with this, either through automation with a call system, or by reviewing sales calls with your reps.
Here are a couple of ways to keep your messaging on track and to keep consistency a rule.
10. Make Messaging a Part of Your Company Culture
The most successful brands have official, defined value statements that are recognized by all departments, not just sales and marketing.
Place yours at every opportunity both within the office as well as in digital formats. Office signage, presentation materials, emails, and on your company’s website. This will help align everyone in your organization and encourage adherence to the official messaging.
An additional bonus is that it reinforces your brand identity to customers. When they both hear and read the same language at every interaction they have with you, it can instill trust through repetition and consistency.
11. Set Expectations and Highlight Success
Setting clear expectations about adherence is crucial for improving your sales win rate.
Be clear about how and when your team should use official messaging in their calls, and underline the importance of consistency.
You’re using the language for a reason—it gets sales results! Share your win/loss analysis report with your company to demonstrate the effectiveness of consistency and how compliance is a team effort. And it’s well worth it.
Keep On Measuring, Monitoring, and Improving
Getting excited about improving your sales process? Win/loss reports are key to understanding how well you’re doing and where you have a competitive advantage.
For sales leaders, improving your team’s win/loss ratio is completely in your control. Adherence, consistency, and keeping an open ear to feedback (both from customers and sales teams) are all part of the equation for success.
To learn more about Kompyte’s sales enablement and competitive intelligence automation tools, schedule a demo with our team.