It’s the Holy Grail of selling. Figuring out what your buyers want so you can win more deals. But how?
In 2014, Primary Intelligence collected research on ways in which companies are understanding their buyers better and winning more business.
At a high level, we wanted to know more about the “State of Win Loss”—what organizations are doing today to gather buyer feedback and win more deals.
We asked nearly 200 market research and competitive intelligence professionals—people in the trenches of analyzing wins and losses every day—to tell us their beliefs and attitudes about Win Loss Analysis, the practice of understanding why deals are won and lost. We also asked them about the frequency and types of Win Loss data they’re collecting and disseminating.
The Results Are In!
Some organizations are just getting started on their Win Loss journeys, while others have been conducting Win Loss Analysis for years.
Organizations may have formal programs, or they may evaluate win and loss opportunities in a more ad hoc manner.
Some respondents use an external Win Loss provider for their Win Loss programs, while others conduct Win Loss programs internally.
Still others had performed Win Loss Analysis in the past but, due to budget constraints or other priorities, have paused or discontinued their Win Loss programs.
State of Win Loss Research Highlights
We sliced and diced the data, analyzed the results, and published the findings.
Here are some of the most compelling conclusions from our research.
Only one-third of organizations in our survey routinely analyze all large and/or strategic wins and losses on a consistent basis.
Key Take Away – Consistent analysis creates better program outcomes, improved Win Loss acuity, and higher company performance metrics compared with uneven attention when trying to determine why you’re winning and losing.
Organizations that conduct Win Loss programs experience improved company performance metrics compared to organizations that don’t, meaning higher revenue, more wins, and better sales rep and marketing effectiveness.
Key Take Away – If you’re performing Win Loss Analysis, keep it up! If not, consider implementing a Win Loss program, even if it’s small to start.
Win Loss programs enhance understanding of buyers and buyer needs, allowing organizations doing Win Loss Analysis to really “get” their buyers and sell them more products/services.
Key Take Away – Who wouldn’t want to know more about their buyers? Information is power. Organizations collecting buyer feedback have a strategic advantage over those who do not.
Win Loss Analysis helps companies learn more about competitor strengths and weaknesses, resulting in better positioning and higher win rates.
Key Take Away – Buyers will often share reasons they went with your arch nemesis, or why they chose a small start-up you’ve never heard of. Want to know more? Ask.
Win Loss programs in place for at least three years have the greatest degree of success.
Key Take Away – Win Loss programs in place at least three years are successful because leaders understand the importance of incorporating buyer feedback into their Sales, Marketing, and Product cycles. Win Loss programs in place for 1 to 2 years struggle the most, as organizations realize the hard work ahead of them in making systemic changes to the way they’re doing business.
Organizations that collect a combination of quantitative and qualitative feedback have better program outcomes and improved company performance metrics compared with organizations capturing just qualitative or quantitative Win Loss feedback independently.
Key Take Away – Look for ways to incorporate hard numbers and soft remarks, the “What?” and “Why?” of Win Loss Analysis.
Most organizations spend less than $25K annually on Win Loss research.
Key Take Away – While Win Loss budgets don’t have to break the bank, our research shows that investments between $50K and $100K generally yield better program results, particularly in understanding buyers and providing actionable competitive intelligence.
Only one-third of organizations mandate participation in Win Loss programs.
Key Take Away – Mandatory participation results in higher program success rates and increased Win Loss acumen compared with voluntary programs.
Some organizations still collect feedback only from Sales reps, when collecting feedback from buyers and reps is the most effective way to boost sales win rates.
Key Take Away – Look for opportunities to collect feedback from both buyers and sales reps to get the best, most holistic picture of what happened in each opportunity.
Want to learn more about the State of Win Loss?
If you’d like to learn more about Primary Intelligence’s State of Win Loss research:
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