Here at Primary Intelligence, our most requested eBooks cover “why win loss analysis?” This question resonates whether it is for internal company buy-in or self-education. People are constantly trying to understand what win loss analysis is and how it can help them.

When Primary Intelligence first started in 2000, win loss analysis was in its infancy. It was a buzzword that people used to indicate there had to be a way to better understand their market and why buyers bought from whom they bought.

In fact, the company was founded by Ken Allred, a sales manager for an enterprise software company, who saw too often that he lost deals he thought he was sure to win and conversely won deals on which he didn’t think he had a chance. That confusion led him to pursue for himself what exactly win loss analysis was and how he could use it.
Let’s cover three important subjects with this blog post: WHAT is win loss analysis, WHY should you use it, and HOW can you incorporate it into your business practices.

What is win loss analysis?

Win loss analysis is the process of analyzing past sales deals from the perspective of both the buyer and seller. Doing this helps you determine the root causes for decision making and the perceptions that occur during the buying process.

Generating insights from both the buyer and the seller, you can generate a 360-degree view of a deal and discover what was communicated, what was received, what preconceptions were in place that could have reduced the possibility of a sale, and how to use that information going forward.

Why win loss analysis?

In truth, salespeople tend to believe two reasons for outcomes. If they won the deal, it was because of their sales abilities. If they lost, it was because of price.
However, we have seen in over 20 years of managing win loss analysis programs that price is rarely the reason for a loss. Our data shows that in lost deals, 36 percent could have been won if the salesperson had performed differently.

Time and time again, we see clients surprised at the reasons deals came to their outcomes and not just in losses. It is not uncommon for companies to discover that they won deals for reasons for which they were not aware.

Getting the true reason for wins and losses can only improve the ability to focus on the real reasons buyers look to them for a solution.

How do you do win loss analysis?

In theory, this sounds all sounds simple, but the methodologies can be tricky. And if not done with the proper direction, it can be frustrating and defeating.

The difficulty most people have with win loss analysis is the outreach to the proper contacts. CRMs are notoriously inaccurate, salespeople are hesitant to participate, and department heads may not see the urgency for the need of the program.

Education is a big component in getting company buy-in. Put in the proper context, people can grasp the way that win loss analysis promotes a culture of constant self-improvement and learning.

Executive sponsorship

We have found that getting executive sponsorship is one of the quickest ways to help a program succeed. Ask you executive team what burning questions they want answered. Explain to them that if they participate in a win loss program, they can get these answers. By incorporating their burning questions into the interview instrument, you can help them solve their needs directly from the buyers themselves.


Sales can be a lynchpin in making the whole program work. After all, you need people to contact. Without this sample, you really cannot make your program run. If a sales leader or sales professional is hesitant to participate.

One effective method for breaking through the reluctance with sales is to focus on wins. Ask for the ability to analyze how the top salespeople win their deals. As they expect to get nothing but positive feedback, they are generally open to this approach. When they see the insights that a win loss interview can have even on a won deal, eventually they ask about their losses.

The key is to help them see the type of feedback they get. When they realize it isn’t a disciplinary approach to their job, they become invested in getting buyer feedback and willingly allow contact with their buyers.

Getting started

We have seen higher win rates for every organization that puts the effort into running a win loss analysis program. If you start with educating the right people—helping them understand how they can benefit from win loss analysis—you can get the buy-in you need to begin.

Schedule a consultation with us to find out more about how win loss analysis can help you.