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Sales Tips: What is Win Loss Analysis?

Courtesy of Primary Intelligence, a CustomerCentric Selling® Partner

At the most basic level, win loss analysis helps sales, marketing, and product leaders understand the reasons for their organizational wins and losses so that they can increase their win rates and capture more business in the future.

Win loss programs are important at all levels of the organization because it helps explain why buyers choose specific solutions and why they do not choose others.

At a higher level, win loss programs help transform organizations as they make fundamental changes to what are often systemic problems. When managers see patterns in buyer feedback that consistently show outstanding—or sub-par—performance, they can replicate best practices throughout their organizations and avoid root cause behaviors that hinder long-term success. In this way, win loss analysis is sometimes compared to Kaizen, the Japanese practice of continuous improvement.

win loss

Win Loss in Practice

Different Levels of Program Maturity

Win loss research can be thought of as a continuum. Programs at one end of the spectrum focus on collecting basic buyer information, often from ad hoc groups as their schedules allow, and simply reporting the findings to select members within the organization, offering little analysis, coordinated findings, or actionable insights.

At the other end of the spectrum are organizations conducting rigorous analysis of most or all opportunities—whether won or lost. These companies typically have a core team tasked with analyzing the findings, comparing buyer feedback to internal company information and secondary research, and reporting consolidated findings to engaged Sales, Marketing, Strategy, Legal, Pricing, and Support executives. In optimal scenarios, the analyzed feedback is then used to make systemic changes that propel organizations forward, allowing the capture of even more opportunities.

Different Organizational Approaches

“Win loss analysis” can mean different things to different people. Programs may include data that is captured from sales representatives and/or sales managers during feedback sessions with customers and prospects. Often, information captured in such ways is siloed and may or may not be shared with key individuals or aggregated with related information to understand trends or commonalities in buyer feedback among different teams.

In other instances, win loss analysis involves a more formal approach, in which a dedicated internal team—such as a Market Research or Competitive Intelligence group—is responsible for capturing buyer feedback. These teams often analyze buyer remarks, aggregate them with other data, and report the findings to senior management.

In Primary Intelligence’s State of Win Loss research, here are the some of the benefits from that win loss programs.

  • Improve sales process and measurement techniques
  • Understand competitive forces
  • Receive specific feedback on opportunities lost that assist to increase future win rates
  • Enable best practices and learn what customer’s value

Next Steps

If your company has no win loss program in place, start today. We have seen higher win rates for organizations that have win loss programs in place. Companies that conduct win loss programs experience improved company performance metrics, especially, compared to organizations that don’t, meaning higher revenue, more wins, and better sales rep and marketing effectiveness.

Win loss programs also help you better understand buyer behavior and learn more about competitors. For example, many organizations discover new competitors they didn’t know they were up against or discounted companies because they thought they weren’t major players when, in fact, they were.