Gathering intelligence summons up images of intrigue – handsome men and beautiful women crisscrossing the globe on dangerous missions in search of foreign secrets that may be useful to their governments.

However, gathering intelligence isn’t just for government spies. Intelligence is also useful in business. While it’s illegal to steal other company’s trade secrets, it’s fair game to ask buyers for their feedback about products, service, support, and sales effectiveness. This is the essence of Win Loss Analysis—the practice of understanding buyer perceptions of why they choose one firm over others in competitive sales opportunities.

Primary Intelligence recently published The State of Win Loss, an annual report highlighting how firms conduct Win Loss programs and which strategies are most effective in leveraging Win Loss results.

Highlights from the research include:

  • More B2B companies are conducting Win Loss Analysis in 2015 (84%) compared to 2014 (76%).
  • 62% of B2B managers felt they needed more Win Loss intelligence in 2015, an increase from 55% in 2014.
  • The biggest benefit of Win Loss programs is a better understanding of buyers, followed by a better understanding of the buying process.
  • Most B2B firms with Win Loss initiatives (76%) use them to improve sales rep effectiveness.
  • While most Win Loss programs have been in place for 3-to-5 years, companies with Win Loss efforts in place for 6-to-7 years have the best annual revenue growth and profitability improvements.
  • Most organizations spend less than $25K annually on their Win Loss initiatives. However, organizations that spend between $50K and $100K annually typically have the best revenue and profitability improvements, higher win rates, improved sales rep effectiveness, greater product competitiveness, and improved marketing effectiveness.

Strategies for Setting Up and Running Effective Win Loss Programs

Primary Intelligence offers strategies for effective setup and management of Win Loss initiatives, including:

  • Ensuring Sales and Executive leadership are fully committed to Win Loss initiatives
  • Introducing Win Loss programs as learning tools, not performance management tools
  • Clearly defining program goals
  • Sharing Win Loss feedback broadly throughout the organization
  • Utilizing debriefing and discovery sessions
  • Using Win Loss programs in conjunction with Customer Experience initiatives
  • Automating the Win Loss process
  • Tying Win Loss initiatives to ROI

So maybe you can’t be a member of The Cambridge Five or prefer not to operate like Mata Hari in the exotic spy world of international espionage. But you can engage in Win Loss Analysis to gather and utilize buyer intelligence, ensuring you’ll outsmart your competitors and win more deals.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Win Loss programs from Primary Intelligence.