How to Win at Win-Loss Analysis Guide
As a B2B organization, it’s important to understand why you win and lose opportunities. Whether acquiring new business, renewing current customers, or growing current account revenue, Win-Loss Analysis gives insight into the decision drivers behind deal outcomes according to your buyers. These insights can then be applied to marketing, sales, and product strategies to optimize your buyer’s journey and increase win rates.
“We strongly recommend working with a third party to create and execute a WLA program.
This is based on the complex set of requirements and resulting activities documented
above, as well as the imperative to eliminate any bias (or challenges) from either side of
the equation (i.e., internal inquisitors/subjects and buyer/nonbuyer interviewees).”
-Gartner, Inc. (2022, Feb 14). How to Win at Win/Loss
If you have a Gartner account, you can see the full publication here.
Key Findings on Win-Loss from Gartner®
Gartner, Inc (2022, Feb 14). How to Win at Win/Loss
Key Finding 1
“Sales teams (and other functions) benefit by understanding why they lose and win deals, but they are typically poor at in-depth retrospections.”
Key Finding 2
“Product marketers, who are often charged with creating win/loss analysis (WLA), can struggle to obtain accurate feedback and are often unclear as to the internal dissemination when it exists.”
Key Finding 3
“Third parties are able to provide assistance for WLA, but their tactics and related efficacy can vary.”
Traditional Win-Loss Analysis doesnt work.
Traditionally, win-loss has been conducted in-house or by a third party through manual data collection and analysis. This prevents high volumes of quality buyer feedback from being analyzed, so you don’t get a holistic view into why you win and lose. When you can only analyze a handful of opportunities, your win-loss program only tells part of the story. When you only take partial data to your customer-centric teams, they are less likely to internalize and act upon insights.
Buyers are hesitant to give feedback directly to the vendor.
Difficult to Share Results
Insights must be manually analyzed and compiled before communicated with customer-centric teams.
Win-loss is deprioritized or incomplete due to other responsibilities of marketers.
Time spent conducting, analyzing, and reporting on win-loss analysis becomes difficult and expensive to scale.
Data Not Relevant to Sales
Inability to collect feedback from all opportunities allows reps to say “not my data, not my problem.”
Creating an Effective Win-Loss Analysis Program
Win-Loss Analysis Guide
Involve a Third Party
In order to eliminate bias from your win-loss program and to save time and resources, it’s best to involve an impartial third party win-loss vendor.
Using a third party can also increase conversion rates for feedback collection as buyers may be more comfortable giving unbiased feedback to someone outside your organization.
Your buyers will also appreciate the investment in win-loss that shows you care about their experience – whether or not they choose your solution.
Select Relevant Contacts
When an opportunity is closed – won or lost – identify the appropriate contacts you’d like to collect feedback from. These contacts should have been involved in the purchase decision. Their buyer roles can range from influencer to stakeholder to decision maker. Each will have a unique perspective on why they did (or did not) choose your company. Selecting the right contacts is the first step to gathering relevant feedback for your win-loss program.
Automate from Start to Finish
Automation is key to gathering high volumes of quality buyer feedback for your win-loss program. Your Win-Loss Analysis should be executed through automated technology that handles the collection, analysis, and insight reporting of your buyer feedback.
There are 3 key areas your Win-Loss Analysis should be automated:
1. Acquisition of Buyer Feedback
Your sales and marketing team don’t have time to manually request feedback for every deal closed. Look for a win-loss provider that can automatically trigger feedback requests and follow up on those requests for you.
Through a CRM integration, Primary Intelligence automates the request for buyer feedback when a deal is closed – without interrupting the rep’s selling activities. Automatic reminders are then sent to optimize conversion rates.
With Primary Intelligence, the automated surveys show dynamic questions based on buyer role, deal type, etc so that you get the most relevant feedback.
2. Compilation and Analysis of Feedback
Rather than spending hours aggregating, segmenting, and analyzing your buyer feedback, look for a win-loss provider that automates your win-loss analysis so that you can see insights in real-time. Spend more time discovering the decision drivers behind opportunity outcomes, competitive strengths and weaknesses, and win-loss reasons for each individual rep, so that you can know exactly how to win future deals.
Your win-loss data should automatically be compiled into digestible, shareable reports so that you – and other stakeholders – can easily decipher your buyer feedback. Your automated reports should tell you:
- Top reasons for wins and losses – overall, by rep, and other segments
- How your price position compares to your industry and how it affects your deal outcomes
- Your buyer’s perception of your business vs. your competitors
- Which deals were winnable and how they could have been won
- And much more!
Ask the Right Questions (in the right way!)
The impact of data within your Win-Loss Analysis program is dependent on knowing what questions to ask and how those questions translate into actionable insights. Look for a provider who has the expertise to know which questions are relevant, unbiased, and invaluable to your win-loss program. By asking a set of standard questions to each buyer regarding your product, the sales experience, competitors, and pricing, you’ll be able to make your win-loss program scalable and see how your buyer’s perception changes over time as you implement new business strategies to increase win rates. Additional questions should be added and tailored to answer remaining “burning questions” you have about your buyers.
Primary Intelligence has over 20 years of experience in Win-Loss Analysis, and our time-tested, dynamic surveys are optimized to help you gather more unbiased buyer feedback than any other provider.
Use Qualitative and Quantitative Insights
Win-Loss Analysis allows you to see both qualitative and quantitative insights through surveys and phone interviews. When responses are analyzed into seamless reports and dashboards, you can view analytics around buyer trends, strengths and weaknesses, and competitors to help you know how you can win more.
However, Win-Loss Analysis becomes even more valuable when you’re able to see the survey responses and phone interview transcripts to get qualitative context from your buyer feedback. Take your qualitative data even further by listening to call recordings to dive into the intention and context of your responses.
Share and Apply Results
Ready to win more? Schedule a call with a member of our team today!
What should Win-Loss Analysis tell me?
The short answer? How you can win more opportunities.
But Win-Loss Analysis can uncover insights that impact all customer-centric departments.
Get insights around:
- Top reasons for wins and losses – overall and by rep
- How you compare to competitors in the eyes of your buyers and what you can do to stay ahead.
- Where there are opportunities for sales coaching
- Which deals were winnable and how they could’ve been won
- Price position in your market
- Product feature impact
- Sales experience and relationship
How Plex Systems Increased Win Rates by 72% with Win-Loss Analysis
Primary Intelligence helped Plex Systems and its Director of Product Marketing, Dave Morfas, to focus on achieving outcomes with their win-loss strategy. After analyzing customer feedback and attending several discovery sessions (post-sales debriefs), Dave uncovered key factors that presented opportunities for sales and product improvements. Utilizing data-driven insights, he re-evaluated communication channels, bridged a significant gap between teams, and executed a strategic plan to improve results . These actions contributed to a 72 percent improvement in win rates within two years.