Insights, Takeaways, and Suggestions from Analyzing 10,000 Competitive Deals

August 13, 2018

Shawn Parrotte

There are five sales related questions asked by Board members at nearly every meeting:

  1. Are we on track to hit plan?
  2. Do we have enough pipeline?
  3. How are AEs performing vs. quota?
  4. How are new hires ramping?
  5. What is our competitive win rate and why do we win/lose deals?

We built specifically to improve how Sales and Sales Enablement leaders performed on #3 & 4 but were intrigued by #5.

Winning competitive deals is critical. But what do we know about our competitive win rate?

“Competitor” is typically a Salesforce dropdown field, manually entered by an account executive. The rep enters in who the competitor is and moves onto their next task, often not giving in more than a second of thought. Often the competitor field is left blank.

Sales Operations leaders run native reporting against that field and produce a report highlighting competitive wins and losses, which we then discuss as a leadership team and report to the Board. And because this field is often left blank, sales leaders are reporting on incomplete (or inaccurate) data.

When it comes to competitive deals, it’s not enough to rely on your CRM as your CRM is likely not telling you the full story. Understanding competitive wins and losses is critical because competitive deals close at a (much) higher rate than non-competitive deals.

Our analysis suggests the competitive win rate you are reporting on based on SFDC data may be far from reality. The answers, we believe, are in the conversations. Let’s dig into what we uncovered when analyzing tens of thousands of deals.

Insights, Takeaways, and Suggestions From Analyzing 10,000 Competitive Deals #

We looked at over 10,000 deals in the database. What we found was intriguing: Only 10% of all competitive deals were tagged as “competitive” in the CRM.

*mentioned = 3+ times/call

Takeaway: You are likely overestimating your competitive win rate… by a lot.

Since we know that competitors come up in the first 10 minutes of the first conversation, this data suggest a number of things:

  • Closed/Won deals are more likely to identified as “competitive” in your CRM than Closed/Lost: Account Executives — rightly so — want to take credit for a hard won battle, but may not mark every competitive loss as such.
  • Competitors may be getting to deals before you. Imagine an inbound prospect come to you after making up their minds. They’ve already chosen another vendor, your competitor. They come to learn about your differentiators so they can tell say they’ve done their due diligence. These inbounds are “disqualified” by AEs because prospects decline to advance in the sales process. So the Opportunity record is not tagged as it should be, a competitive loss. But this information would be critical for Marketing to know about and act on.
  • You know why you win, but not why you lose. Since we tend to lose 4 out of 5 opportunities, closed/lost deals are much richer sources of learning — yet we don’t spend nearly enough time looking at this data.

How to Effectively Measure True Competitive Win Rate #

Tracking competitive win rates are critical to knowing where your business stands.

There are two options to better measure your competitive win rate.

  1. The first option is to enforce data hygiene discipline across sales reps.
  2. Automatically enter the data into CRM based on your phone calls and meetings.

For the latter, you can use

  1. Record and Transcribe meetings: There’s no need to rely on taking notes and accurately completing dropdown boxes in your CRM.
  2. Track competitors: and ensure conversations are accurately transcribed: Many of today’s company names are “out of dictionary” words. Okta. Interimly. Typical natural language processing software will not be able to accurately transcribe these companies. At, we’ve invested in Custom Language Models that learn how to pronounce and identify your competitors on the fly — no more “Taco Bell” in your CRM when the prospect says “Talkable.”
  3. Use to enrich your CRM: Chorus automatically appends sales conversation data to CRM making it easy to compare how often competitors are truly discussed on deals versus those marked as competitive in your CRM.
  4. Review call moments when competition was mentioned: Isolate calls and the exact moments when a competitor’s name was discussed.

It’s time to get to the bottom of what’s really happening. It’s time to accurately measure competitive win rates.

Learn from your conversations and don’t let another one disappear into thin air.

Are You Ready to Experience Chorus?

Start driving tangible performance improvements in your Revenue Org today.