The Dutch are a savvy seafaring people. They were the first to embark into the new world and imperialize colonies other than their own. In their seafaring journeys their trade provisions did not always make it safe to shore during the return trip home. This would cause the merchants to place all their eggs in one basket and hope their ship arrives to port safely. As we know “Hope” is not a successful strategy to undertake. With their ships sinking at sea the question that seemed to continually come into play was:
Could there be a better way to reduce the casualties at sea and still retain their trade provisions?
The conclusion the Dutch came up with was they could pool their profits from trade together and if one of the trade merchant’s ships were to sink along the journey, the party of the sinking ship would not lose all their profits. The rest of the trade company may not be able to maximize the profits as they initially had but would still be assured a reserve of the pooled profit. This was the first known form of risk mitigation or insurance.
The purpose of insurance is to offer certainty or a guarantee in case something goes awry, and you have substantive losses that would be difficult to recoup. The insurance that you pool together with others allows for certainties to be obtained. You mitigate the risk of a loss by placing a calculated cost for that potential loss.
How does insurance relate to a Win Loss program?
As companies journey through the seas of buyer awareness there is a need to mitigate these waters and understand the best routes to take and the most profitable trade provisions to acquire. A Win Loss program allows you to mitigate these issues with your buyers and understand why they may or may not buy from you. A Win Loss program is the equivalent of taking out an insurance policy on why customers buy.
In your Win Loss program you mitigate your shortfalls that your buyers disclose. They provide feedback on what those shortfalls may be. Does your buyer find the integration of your product easy to use? Is your solution intuitive for the buyer to use? Does your product or service meet the needs of your buyer? All these and other questions are brought up in a Win Loss interview to offer the information as whether to pursue this product line, pivot, alter it, or take it in another direction. These interviews give you the information you need to close more deals.
Mitigating risk by interviewing your buyers and finding out why they may or may not buy, can take away a barrier of uncertainty, just as the Dutch knew that not every ship would make it but built assurances so they could retain revenue from the trade provisions that did land on shore. By using this insurance to reduce the risk, they were able to become an affluent country and expand their colonial empire. Isn’t this essentially what you wish to do in sales?
Interviewing your buyers will gain assurances as to why they are buying. Then implementing change from the lessons you learn from those buyers will put you at less risk and give you more reward.