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Win rate optimisation: A fresh take on a sound strategy


Sales win rate is one of the most crucial yet also most overlooked sales metrics. It has a ripple effect that spreads across your whole organisation, impacting client acquisition, growth and total revenue.

But there are many misconceptions about how to optimise this key metric. In particular, sales professionals often fail to grasp that deal closure is a game of margins. Optimisation is also less about skill-building and more about foundational behavioural change.

The differences between a winning pitch and one that flops are subtle and often hard to identify. Because of this, a disciplined, nuanced approach can put miles between you and your competitors.

If your win rate is below 50%, the likelihood is that you’re leaving revenue on the table. This post demystifies the foundations of win rate optimisation. It tells you why your current approach to win rate optimisation is likely not working as well as it could and shows you how to improve sales conversions.

What is win rate optimisation?

In simple terms, win rate optimisation is about increasing the percentage of won deals, when measured against all closed opportunities.

Win rate optimisation differs from generic sales strategies because it’s hyper-focused. It looks at the specific mistakes and opportunities that are latent in your existing sales process during planning, preparation and presentation. A well-organised optimisation campaign will then implement changes to boost performance at every stage.

Why should you care about your win rate?

Perhaps the most striking reason is that win rate optimisation represents a fast and comparatively low-cost opportunity to substantially increase your revenues. When done well, it has among the highest returns on investment (ROI) of any optimisation strategy.

Many businesses have transformed their sales processes by optimising their win rate. Moreover, your win rate has a demonstrable ripple effect on more general sales and revenue metrics. It will improve your close rate, growth, client retention, overall revenues, and more.

The Win Academy approach to increasing your sales conversion rate

The Win Academy has developed a unique and tested approach to win rate optimisation, one that has worked for hundreds of clients.

Our approach is called The E³volve System™ and it has three components:

  • Enlighten: This stage involves “diagnosing” a company’s current sales process, identifying both weaknesses and opportunities and building a success path.
  • Empower: During the empowerment stage, The Win Academy implements a development programme for sales professionals designed to improve outcomes at all stages of the sales process. 
  • Embed: “Embedding” ensures the long-term application of new behaviours and sales approaches. It also fosters a non-judgemental, constructive atmosphere of accountability and performance tracking.

When The Win Academy works with a pitch team on a live opportunity, we use a toolbox called the 10 Disciplines of Pitching as a key component of a successful win rate optimisation strategy.

1. Know your client: This stage involves understanding your target client at a very nuanced level. It identifies their business needs, what compels them to buy, and the individual styles and motivations of decision-makers.

2. Build your narrative: In the narrative-building phase, you identify and craft the best possible messages for clients and position them as the heroes of their stories. 

3. Develop your win themes: Win themes are propositions that resonate deeply with clients’ emotions and speak to the logical requirements of their needs and pain points. 

4. Create persuasive messages: Persuasive messages elaborate on your win themes in an engaging and compelling way. 

5. Structure your story: Storytelling gives a compelling answer to the question, “Why are we here?” It bridges the gap between logic and emotion. The structure of your story brings your narratives, win themes and messages into a cohesive, meaningful whole 

6. Collate your material: Here, you gather all necessary content, data, and supporting materials for your pitch, based on the in-depth research conducted earlier in the process. 

7. Test the content: Before delivering the final presentation, it is essential to test its efficacy in a constructive environment where professionals can provide feedback. 

8. Rehearse and practice Q&A: The Q&A phase represents one of the most critical aspects of pitch preparation. Thorough rehearsal and practice is where you close the thin margin between a “yes” and a “no” from a client. It is also a unique opportunity to develop the skills of value-based questioning and listening 

9. Pitch your presentation: With all planning and preparation completed, the stage is now set for a confident, engaging pitch that directly speaks to the client’s unique needs. 

10. Pitch review and follow-up: Post-pitch analysis allows for continuous improvement and refinement of this process within your sales department. 

These steps make up a structured and disciplined approach to pitch planning, preparation, and performance. They also form a template for highly targeted and measurable optimisation, allowing you to identify specific parts of the sales process and adjust them accordingly. 


Understanding and effectively implementing a win rate optimisation strategy will have transformative effects on your sales outcomes.

Executed correctly, win rate optimisation will positively impact a whole host of key metrics, including growth, client retention, total revenue, and more.

Keep in mind that applying the principles of win rate optimisation has, for many companies, provided some of the fastest and most measurable revenue gains of any optimisation strategy.

We encourage you to delve deeper into these strategies and see for yourself the significant results they can have on your sales outcomes.

Take our 3-minute diagnostic test to learn what’s holding your sales team back.

You’ll receive a comprehensive report with tailored action steps that you can implement immediately. 

Your unique score will also show you how you stack up against your competitors. 


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