3 Things About Win Rates and Persona Engagement




  • October 27, 2016

    Win rates are a focus of every organization. If you increase your win rate, far less of your marketing and sales investment goes to waste and you can achieve your revenue goals faster.


    Let’s illustrate this with a quick example. Let’s say that you create 100 opportunities every month that will close — either won or lost. If you have a win rate of 10%, 10 of those opportunities will become customers. If your goal is to close 15 customers per month, there are three ways to do it: 1) maintain your 10% win rate and generate 150 opportunities per month, increase your win rate to 15% and maintain the number of opportunities generated, or 3) a combination of both (e.g. 125 opportunities and 12% win rate).


    While it’s ideal to do both, increasing your win rate a few percentage points is a more powerful (and more cost effective) lever than significantly increasing the volume of your down-funnel demand.


    We looked at our win rates for opportunities that have closed this year and analyzed them across several persona-based dimensions. Three things popped out.


    1. Win Rates Increase As You Engage More Personas…To A Point


    +1 for ABM.


    One of the big advantages of ABM is that Marketing and Sales treats prospects as accounts, a cohesive group of people that work together, rather than as individuals. When one or two individuals from a target account start to engage with you, with an ABM strategy in place, you know to target other personas at the same company and have the process to execute. This is based on the idea that the more people that you can engage and get on board, the better off you’ll be.


    Our win rate analysis based on the number of contacts that are engaged at an account proves this idea.


    win-rate-by-number-contacts.png


    Accounts with fewer than three contacts engaged had win rates less than half that of our overall win rate. On the other hand, accounts that had 10-12 contacts engaged had win rates about 3x as high.


    But you will also notice that once there are more than 12 people engaged, win rates dropped to just over our overall rate. Perhaps when you get too many people involved, there are more hurdles to jump over and more indecision from accounts, leading to stalled opportunities that eventually fall through.


    2. Win Rates Are 50% Higher When An Executive Is Engaged


    Looking at how many contacts we need to engage in order to optimize for win rate, we can see that in general, more is better. Next, we wanted to find out which specific personas had the most impact on win rates.


    We’ve always had the gut feeling, or intuition or whatever you want to call it, that having an executive level employee involved — in our case, a marketing executive — would have a big impact on win rates. After all, they tend to be the decision makers.


    However, making decisions based on your gut feeling is never optimal. So we went to the data and looked at win rates based on whether the CMO or VP of Marketing was actively engaged in the account when the opportunity closed.


    The data backed up our intuition. Accounts that included a marketing executive had win rates 47% higher than accounts that didn’t. That’s a huge difference!


    win-rate-by-marketing-executive-persona.png


    Knowing this, our sales team can be more proactive about reaching out to and preparing specific collateral for marketing executives when they think opportunities are getting close to closing. As for the marketing team, we can use this data to justify putting in a little more effort and budget behind campaigns targeting executives.


    3. Win Rates Are 45% Higher When The Marketing Operations Persona Is Engaged


    Third, we discovered another persona that has a big impact on win rates: marketing operations.


    We ran the same analysis, but looked at whether a marketing operations title was engaged in accounts for opportunities that closed. Somewhat surprisingly, this persona had an impact almost as great as the marketing executive.


    Accounts with a marketing operations persona involved in the deal had win rates 44% greater than accounts that didn’t.


    win-rate-by-marketing-ops-persona.png


    While an executive-level persona is likely impactful for a wide range of organizations across many industries, the marketing operations persona may not be. So the application here isn’t that your marketing team needs to go find and engage marketing operations professionals. The application is to do this analysis for yourself across your personas (or job titles that you come across in your deals), and identify which ones are having an outsized impact on your win rates.


    We are able to do this analysis with our account-based attribution solution. Through lead-to-account mapping and multi-touch attribution, we are able to track each individual’s engagement with our marketing and sales efforts and connect it to a single account’s customer journey.


    For every opportunity, we know how many people have engaged with us, as well as each of their personas. Having this data allows us, when we do reporting, to segment closed-won opps and closed-lost opps based on personas. This opp is closed-won, did it have a CMO involved or not? This opp is closed-lost, did it have a marketing ops person or not?


    As you can see, knowing this depth of information and being able to perform this analysis is powerful and can impact both Marketing and Sales.


     

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    Author: Jordan Con


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