Beware of the Confidence of High Win Rates

The other day I was meeting with the founder of a really cool SaaS start-up.  Great logo customers, great early traction, plenty of capital, fun space.   This founder pretty much had me until he told me the classic line, “And we win almost every deal.”

>> If there’s any sign you aren’t pushing hard enough, or marketing enough, or just plain not getting out there enough, it’s a perceived 90%+ win rate.  Everyone has competition.

A high win rate until you’re huge means:

  • You need to get off your arse and go get to the customers that never are even considering you.
  • You need to go penetrate some more markets or more niches/segments of your market.
  • You need to go find more spaces where — you don’t close quite so well.  And/or
  • You need to further seed the market and grow it.

When you first start, it will seem like you win almost every deal — because you aren’t in very many.  Then as you scale, you actually want your overall win rate to go down (while maintaining your lead in your core segments of first traction).  And then go back up once you’re much, much bigger and win the bigger prize.

Published on October 26, 2012

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