|   +44 020 3303 0415   |   +44 020 3303 0415

Win rate optimisation: The sales game changer


If your win rate is below 70%, there’s a good chance your sales team isn’t working at its full potential. That’s what our in-house data shows.

Think what increasing your win rate to 70% or above might mean for your company. Doubled revenues? Tripled?

At The Win Academy, we’ve achieved exactly that result for hundreds of clients through Win Rate Optimisation.

In this article, you’ll learn how to implement a win rate optimisation strategy that consistently drives measurable results. We’ll explain the benefits, show you how to overcome common challenges, and provide a blueprint for tailoring and applying our proven model to your company.

What does “win rate” mean?

In simple terms, your win rate is the percentage of won deals out of all closed opportunities. It is calculated by dividing the number of closed won deals by the number of closed won and closed lost deals.

It differs from your overall sales conversion rate (or close rate) because that is typically a measure of your total sales out of all opportunities, closed and open. Improving your win rate will increase your sales conversion rate but not necessarily vice versa.

It is an essential metric because it tracks the success of your late-stage deal-making processes.

What is win rate optimisation?

The term “win rate optimisation” refers to the infrastructure and processes you put in place to continually and consistently improve your win rate. 

At The Win Academy, we believe that successful win rate optimisation rests on four key principles:

  1. The difference between winning and losing a deal often comes down to the finest of margins. 
  2. Win rate optimisation is less about chasing numbers (though metrics are important) and more about enabling the growth and confidence of sales teams. 
  3. Win rate optimisation should be at the core of modern companies’ sales strategies, given its direct relevance to revenue and market share. 
  4. Ongoing, incremental improvement of sales processes is a must. Win rate optimisation should not be a one-time event. 

We also know that win rate optimisation can transform entire departments. As one example, we worked with a major professional services organisation that faced challenges getting subject matter experts to develop and win business. Within 18 months, the division had gone from being one of the worst performing to one of the best performing divisions, in terms of both opportunities closed and revenue generated.

How does win rate optimisation differ from traditional sales optimisation??

Traditional sales optimisation often becomes a game of chasing numbers, with preference given to short-term strategies and superficial results. 

Win rate optimisation, as executed by The Win Academy, is all about identifying the areas within an existing sales process and methodology, where implementing the right changes can make a quick and significant difference to sales win rates.

We root our specific strategies in the context of our proven E³volve system™ (see below), which we believe can be replicated in any company: 

  1. Enlighten: Assess and diagnose your company’s sales process, pinpointing areas for improvement. This is a targeted approach that identifies where you can develop your existing processes, rather than adopting new ones. 
  2. Empower: Implement a comprehensive development programme that enhances and monitors sales professionals’ mindset skills and strategies across the identified areas of the sales process. Ensure that you have access to a blend of live and digital resources, delivering learning at the place and pace of need, for ongoing training and ensure that effective delivery mechanisms are in place. 
  3. Embed: Foster long-term adoption of these new sales behaviours and techniques, creating a positive, accountable environment for learning and tracking performance. We fundamentally believe that change is about encouraging the right mindsets and establishing an environment supporting constant and neverending improvement.

Key concepts in win rate optimisation

Here is an overview of the main concepts in win rate optimisation:

  • Win Rate: The percentage of won deals out of all closed deals (won and lost).
  • Sales Conversion Rate: The percentage of sales measured against all leads. 
  • A/B Testing: A technique for comparing two different sales approaches to identify the more effective one.
  • Sales Funnel: The process that outlines a customer’s journey from initial awareness to final purchase.
  • Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU): The final stage in the sales funnel where leads are closest to making a purchase decision.
  • Buyer Persona: A detailed description of an ideal customer based on market research and both quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Closed Won Deal: A sales opportunity that has been successfully converted into a sale.
  • Closed Lost Deal: A sales opportunity that was not converted into a sale and is no longer being pursued.
  • Pain Point: Specific problems that prospective customers of your business are experiencing.
  • Qualified Lead: A prospect who has been evaluated and deemed likely to become a customer.

Benefits of win rate optimisation

Here is an overview of the main five benefits of adopting a long-term approach to win rate optimisation:

  • Increased revenue and market share: Optimising your win rate leads to a measurable increase in revenue and market share. With the right approach, this incremental trajectory should hold steady over time. 
  • Highly effective and more confident sales teams: Win rate optimisation arms your sales team with proven strategies, ongoing training, and data-driven insights, all of which bolster team confidence in complex and challenging sales scenarios.
  • Longer-lasting client relationships: Win rate optimisation strategically nurtures longer-term client relationships through tailored engagement and value delivery aimed at contract renewal. 
  • Substantial return on investment (ROI): Refined sales strategies lead to more efficient use of resources and higher profitability margins.
  • Fewer wasted resources: Win rate optimisation significantly cuts down on resource wastage by focusing on high-potential leads and streamlining the cumbersome, underperforming aspects of your sales process.

Challenges of win rate optimisation

Win rate optimisation isn’t without its challenges. Many of these can be overcome with a properly tested and refined strategy. However, the strategy should be continuously monitored and remedied where necessary.

Here is an overview of the main challenges that come with implementing a win rate optimisation strategy: 

  • Resource Intensive: Win rate optimisation can require sizeable investment, particularly in the early stages, for in-depth market research, advanced sales tools, consulting, and ongoing development programmes.
  • Requires Continual Adaptation: Win rate optimisation demands that you continuously update and modify your sales strategies to align with shifting market trends, customer preferences and expectations, and the very latest sales methodologies. 
  • Justification to Senior Management: Convincing your senior management about the long-term benefits and ROI of win rate optimisation initiatives can be challenging, particularly when they demand substantial upfront investment.
  • Sourcing Expertise: Finding professionals who are adept in the latest sales optimisation techniques and analytics tools can be a daunting task, given the specialised and ever-evolving nature of the field.
  • Complex Data Analysis: Interpreting complex sales data sets needs not just advanced analytical skills but also proficiency in utilising sophisticated CRM and data analytics platforms.

We know these challenges can deter companies from implementing win rate optimisation campaigns. However, involving experienced professionals, willing to offer guarantees, will allow you to deal with all of them quickly and with a minimum of cost and time.

At The Win Academy, we guarantee we’ll achieve at least a 30% win rate for our clients, which lifts the risks associated with common challenges.

How to implement a win rate optimisation strategy: E³volve system™

Based on our E³volve system™—enlighten, embed and empower—we recommend the following nine-stage process for executing your win rate optimisation strategy:

Phase #1: Enlighten

  1. Map your existing sales processes: Outline your later-stage sales processes comprehensively and in detail, including lead qualification, client communication, presentation, and follow-up.
  2. Attach performance metrics to different stages: Incorporate precise, quantifiable metrics at each stage, such as lead conversion rates and average deal closure time, to enable detailed performance tracking.
  3. Identify areas for improvement: Using the data gathered above, conduct a thorough analysis of your sales funnel to detect inefficiencies. Use both quantitative data and qualitative insights from sales teams.

Phase #2: Embed

  1. Implement training: Roll out targeted training initiatives that focus on identified weak areas, utilising both in-person and digital learning platforms for maximum impact.
  2. Monitor results across key metrics: Regularly assess key performance indicators (KPIs) post-training to gauge improvement on mindset, skillset, process and ROI, adjusting strategies based on real-time data.
  3. Gather feedback: Solicit and analyse feedback from sales teams to continuously refine training methodologies and address emerging challenges.

Phase #3: Empower

  1. Create an environment for ongoing learning: Cultivate a culture that values constant learning and adaptation, integrating digital tools, regular training and knowledge sharing.
  2. Implement an effective, up-to-date tech stack: Ensure sales tools, such as CRM systems and data analytics software, are kept up-to-date to enhance the delivery of your optimised sales strategies.
  3. Continue to iterate and improve: Maintain a dynamic approach to strategy development, regularly revising and updating tactics in response to evolving market trends, internal feedback, and, crucially, performance data.

10 disciplines to improve your win rate

In our experience of working with a large number of clients, we have found that sales teams that are consistently strong against these 10 disciplines, all of which can be applied in the context of the E³volve system™, are the ones that are achieving the highest win rates.


Implemented effectively, these can have a significant effect on the long-term efficacy of your optimisation strategy.

  1. Know your client: Gain a deep understanding of your target client’s business needs, buying triggers, and decision-making preferences.
  2. Build your narrative: Craft compelling messages positioning clients as the protagonists of their success stories.
  3. Develop your win themes: Identify propositions that emotionally resonate with clients while addressing their logical needs and challenges.
  4. Create persuasive messages: Expand on these win themes with additional content. The key is to elaborate on the core messages that have emotional potency. 
  5. Structure your story: Blend narratives, win themes, and messages into coherent, emotionally and logically appealing stories.
  6. Collate your material: Assemble all relevant content, data, and support materials prior to your late-stage sales meetings and presentations, to create a comprehensive, multi-faceted experience for your prospects. 
  7. Test the content: Evaluate the effectiveness of your presentations in a feedback-rich setting.
  8. Rehearse and practice Q&A: Perfect your presentations, with an emphasis on preparing for challenging client questions and objections. 
  9. Deliver your proposition in an authentic way: Deliver propositions that address the client’s specific business and personal needs, and don’t be afraid of connecting on a human, emotional level. 
  10. Regularly review your opportunities and your follow-up processes: Analyse your proposition’s performance for ongoing improvements in your sales approach. 

Analysis of win rate optimisation success: Metrics to track

With dozens of metrics to pick from, it can be difficult to know which to track to gauge the effectiveness of your optimisation strategy. 

A less-is-more approach is preferable when it comes to measuring success. Focusing on the “big” metrics—win rate and sales revenue—allows you to ascertain the overall effectiveness of your strategy. Smaller metrics enable you to pinpoint specific stages of your process that can still be improved. 

  • Win Rate: Monitor the ratio of closed won to closed lost deals. Your win rate is a direct indicator of your optimisation strategy’s effectiveness. What is a good win rate? Of course, it varies industry by industry, but we typically say that 70% and above is what you should be aiming for. We recently worked with a major outsourcing provider and within 12 months of our engagement, their win rates went from 27% to 73%.
  • Sales Revenue: Measure the total income generated from sales, which reflects the broader financial impact of your optimisation efforts and any value-increasing initiatives implemented. Market share, which indicates the growth effects of your optimisation campaign, can also be a useful metric to track.
  • Client Retention: Monitor the rate at which existing clients continue to do business with you, indicating the impact of your strategy on contract renewal.
  • Brand Reputation: Assess changes in market perception and brand value, which can be indirectly influenced by customer satisfaction and sales success.
  • Average Sale Price: Calculate the average revenue per sale, which can reveal positive shifts in your market positioning and product value perception.

Resources and further reading

You can find in-depth practical information about specific areas of win rate optimisation in the following articles and resources published by The Win Academy:




Win rate optimisation can be transformative. It represents one of the most powerful ways to increase a whole host of core metrics, from revenue to customer loyalty. 

With a thorough, tested strategy—one that recognises the vital importance of margins—there is no reason why you can’t have a win rate well above the industry average of 45%. In fact, our clients regularly see win rates of 70% and above. 

To round off with one final example, we recently worked with a high level recruiter who was winning 1 out of 10 major opportunities. Since our engagement, they are 3 out of 3.

Just consider how much revenue a similar outcome might mean for you.


Leave a Reply