Primary Intelligence published key findings from our annual State of Win Loss report, including Win Loss program benefits, Win Loss data collection tools, annual spending on Win Loss initiatives, and comparisons with 2014 Win Loss findings.

The report also includes strategic and tactical recommendations for leveraging Win Loss initiatives to the fullest extent possible.

The following infographic highlights some of the most compelling findings from our 2015 State of Win Loss research.


Additional Insights

Below are additional insights about Win Loss Analysis from Primary Intelligence’s 2015 State of Win Loss report.

Win Loss Analysis Usage

84% of B2B firms were engaged in Win Loss initiatives in 2015, an increase from 76% in 2014.

In 2015, just 12% of B2B managers said they have no Win Loss Analysis program in place, while 3% said they were unsure if their organizations were engaged in Win Loss initiatives.

Win Loss Growth Driven by More Competition

A greater percentage of B2B firms are seeing more competitors in 2015 compared to 2014: 47% versus 45%, respectively.

Additionally, the percentage of B2B managers who are seeing “about the same” in terms of the number of competitors dropped, from 47% in 2014 to 37% in 2015.

Primary Intelligence believes this increase in competitive pressure is fueling growth for Win Loss programs, as B2B executives seek to better understand their customers and stave off competitors.

Win Loss Frequency

One-third (33%) of B2B organizations conduct Win Loss Analysis on only large and/or strategic opportunities, while 11% engage in Win Loss initiatives for all opportunities.

Compared to firms that conduct Win Loss randomly, infrequently, or never, organizations that perform Win Loss Analysis on all sales opportunities or on large and/or strategic opportunities demonstrate:

  • significantly higher win rates
  • greater sales rep effectiveness
  • a deeper understanding of why they win and lose in competitive sales opportunities
  • a deeper understanding of buyers
  • a greater ability to provide actionable competitive intelligence

Win Loss Analysis Demand

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of B2B managers say they need more Win Loss data when asked if they have enough Win Loss data to be effective in their roles. This is an increase from 2014, when 55% of B2B managers indicated they needed more Win Loss information.

No respondents said that they didn’t need access to Win Loss intelligence.

There has been a notable drop—from 10% in 2014 to 4% in 2015—among B2B managers who say they lack access to any Win Loss information, an indication that Win Loss information is being shared with additional groups throughout the enterprise.

At Primary Intelligence, we believe broad sharing of Win Loss findings is a best practice, allowing a larger number of stakeholders to leverage best practices and correct root cause issues, ultimately improving the business’s win rate and overall success.

Win Loss Analysis Benefits

65% of respondents engaged in Win Loss efforts said the most important benefit of their Win Loss programs is a “better understanding of buyers.” This also earned the top spot in 2014.

A “Better understanding of the buying process” was named as the second most important Win Loss benefit , displacing 2014’s second place category, “Better understanding of competitors’ sales strategies and tactics,” which fell to fifth place in 2015.

Additional 2015 Win Loss benefits include:

  • a better understanding of competitors’ products
  • improved competitive positioning
  • a better understanding of competitors’ sales strategies and tactics

Win Loss Data Usage

Most organizations are using Win Loss data to assist their sales reps; 76% of firms are using Win Loss feedback to identify sales strengths and weaknesses. Identification of sales strengths and weaknesses. Identification was also the top usage of Win Loss data in 2014.

Other uses of Win Loss intelligence include enhancing firms’ understanding of the buying process and enhancing the sales process.

Win Loss Data Collection

43% of organizations engaged an external third party to collect Win Loss information in 2015, an increase from 34% in 2014.

Sales operations/support and sales reps were also enlisted as collection agents for Win Loss program data in 30% of organizations during 2015, similar to 2014.

Just 12% of B2B organizations are using a dedicated Win Loss Analysis resource, team, or department to collect Win Loss intelligence.

Types of Win Loss Data Collection

72% of B2B organizations collect both open- and closed-ended feedback from their Win Loss programs. This combination approach is recognized as a best practice within Primary Intelligence because it provides both quantitative and qualitative feedback, presenting not only buyer ratings that can be tracked and compared over time, but the “why” and “how” behind those ratings, allowing managers to prioritize areas of focus.

Phone calls remain the dominant method of collecting open-ended Win Loss feedback. Usage of phone calls increased from 64% in 2014 to 81% in 2015.

Electronic surveys also grew in popularity, from 36% in 2014 to 52% in 2015.

On-site feedback declined from 24% in 2014 to 14% in 2015.

Win Loss Program Longevity

The highest percentage of Win Loss programs (30%) have been in place for 3-5 years.

The percentage of organizations with Win Loss programs in place less than 1 year grew from 17% in 2014 to 22% in 2015, highlighting the increased interest in Win Loss initiatives.

Companies with Win Loss efforts in place for 6-7 years have the best outcomes in terms of success rates , including:

  • seeing the best year-over-year revenue growth and profitability improvements
  • being most adept at knowing what their buyers want
  • exceling in understanding the buying process
  • knowing why they win and lose in competitive opportunities
  • providing actionable competitive intelligence

Annual Win Loss Investment

The highest percentage of organizations spend less than $25,000 annually  #on Win Loss initiatives , which is similar to 2014 findings.

Organizations that spend between $50,000 and $100,000 typically have the best outcomes in terms of:

  • revenue growth
  • profitability
  • win rates
  • sales rep effectiveness
  • product competitiveness
  • marketing effectiveness

Access to Win Loss Data

Similar to 2014, sales management in 2015 enjoys the greatest access to Win Loss information , with 85% of sales leaders accessing individual deal reports, summary reports, and other Win Loss data.

Other groups with significant access include C-level executives (66%), marketing (65%), and sales reps (62%).

The “Other” category of groups accessing Win Loss intelligence increased from 8% in 2014 to 12% in 2015, indicating greater non-traditional access to Win Loss information. “Other” departments include competitive intelligence teams, strategy, pricing, and service/support.

Primary Intelligence believes broad access to Win Loss findings is a best practice because it allows employees from different business units to understand how their actions are impacting the organization’s long-term mission and strategy.

When utilizing a broad access policy, however, it’s important that all employees understand the goals of the Win Loss program. Messaging must be repeatedly communicated from senior executives that Win Loss programs are intended to improve the organization’s overall performance and that it is not a “witch hunt” or the basis of a sales representative’s individual performance evaluation. Successful programs treat buyer feedback as learning opportunities, not as the basis for punitive disciplinary action.