Win/Loss Analysis: Weaknesses – SWOT #2

Win/Loss Analysis: Weaknesses – SWOT #2

This is the second article on the SWOT of win/loss, which focuses on Win/Loss analysis Weakness of this analytic tool. Many of the weaknesses can be found in the execution of Win/Loss analysis.

win/loss analysis weakness

Timing of the Win/Loss Analysis Process

Since the Win/Loss interviewing process takes place after the buying decision has been made, some argue it is of limited value. If you have lost the business, it’s too late to reverse the customer’s decision to go with another service provider. So why bother asking them?

An interview and customer relationship management has better results to affect the sales outcome before the buying decision is made. It takes time to conduct these interviews and the analysis. Is your time better spent doing other forms of customer outreach and analysis?

Another Win/Loss analysis weakness can be the timing of interviews. If you delay the customer interviews for too long, they won’t recall the details of why and how they made their buying decision.  This is particularly true when you interview business that you’ve lost. The companies are working with another provider, and will soon forget why they didn’t select your company’s solution.

Win/Loss Analysis Weakness: Organization

Win/Loss is a very organized process, and if any of the knowledge or steps are missing, the interviews will be less effective.

What might be missing?

  • Relevant customer data from Sales which causes the interviewer to waste the customer’s time asking questions about basic account facts that the customer expects your interviewer to know beforehand.
  • Inadequate information for the interviewer on the company’s products, services, sales process, market issues and the competition.
    • If they don’t know the market well enough, they will lack the knowledge to probe beyond what’s in the Interview Guide.

Inexperienced Win/Loss Analysis Interviewers

The interviewer may be too inexperienced to have the confidence to ask questions outside those in the Win/Loss Interview Guide, thereby missing some key information that the customer might have been willing to share. Some interviewers are so analytical that they will only follow the Interview Guide since they don’t have the intuitive skills to sense when a customer knows more and is willing to share.

Disorganized Win/Loss Analysis Interviewers

Some interviewers don’t organize the data at every step of the Win/Loss process, which can compromise the final product. Be sure to:

  • Integrate the feedback on questionnaire development from the various people at your company.
  • Gather the relevant customer contact, buying event, and logistical information from Sales.
  • Keep track of who the interviewer has connected to within Sales and which accounts they market to.
  • Keep track of where interviewers are in the connection process with customers: introductory email, reminder email/text, Win/Loss interview, or follow-up.
  • Write up interview summaries interview summaries shortly after conducting the interview.

Win/Loss Interviewers Lack Analytic Skills

Some individuals are excellent interviewers, but don’t have strong analysis skills.  While each interview summary contains valuable customer information, if the analysis isn’t thorough, you won’t learn the key takeaways from the win/loss interviews.  It’s the key takeaways that your company needs to act upon.

Interviewers Lack Accountability to Make Changes from Win/Loss Analysis Findings

The interviewer who makes the recommendations to improve your ROI is not accountable to make the changes. This is a major Win/Loss analysis weakness. Accountability needs to be assigned and agreed to by managers who get things done, in the various departments.

A related weakness is when individuals or teams are not held accountable for making the changes recommended from the Win/Loss analysis. There is no change and the company keeps doing business the same way as before, even though they have the intelligence to change. If you’re going to invest in a Win/Loss program, change, since that’s what will improve your bottom line: improving win rates and customer retention, and often enough, higher spend.

What are some of the weaknesses you have noticed in your Win/Loss program? What have you done to overcome them?

Read more about the strengths of Win/Loss analysis here.

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Ellen Naylor

Ellen Naylor is one of America’s pioneers in competitive intelligence (CI) and Win/Loss analysis.For over 20 years, her research has consistently helped companies beat the competition and make smarter strategic decisions. Click here for our free Win/Loss cheat sheets: http://ellennaylor.com/subscribe/
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