Win/Loss analysis is my favorite tactical technique: It offers the best ROI.
You gain intelligence through customer interviews shortly after the sales event to find out why they chose to do business with you or why they decided on a competitor. The data gathered combines knowledge from sales, customers, competitors and your marketplace. Over time, win/loss analysis uncovers some powerful trends and insight, especially if these interviews are conducted quarterly, and the win/loss interviews and analysis are conducted for at least a year or two.
I have been doing Win/Loss analysis since 1989, and every time clients take actions on my recommendations for Win/Loss analysis, they observe a measurable increase in revenue.
Interview Both Wins and Losses in Win/Loss Analysis
Many companies ask me to develop their Win/Loss analysis process, and just want to focus on their losses. This is a shame as you get an unbalanced view of your Win/Loss track record by only interviewing lost business. Let’s face it: loss customers are gone until the next buying cycle, unless they buy other products or services from your company. or if your company is lucky enough to be considered the next time.
In all cases those who continue to be your customers often care for your well being, and usually give deeper answers that you can use to improve product development and so much more. Think about the psychology of wins: they like to think they made a great decision by choosing your company’s product or service. They want to see you do well too, and will often be quite chatty in Win/Loss interviews. You also find out about your company’s implementation, customer service and follow-up, which is absent in loss interviews.
Many clients start a conversation with, “We know why we win, but we don’t know why we lose.” Actually I have learned that why you think you win, isn’t always the truth.
Of course you will still want to investigate your losses. At the very least you want to learn if and how you could have won the business. You want to learn what actions might help you for the next sales opportunity.
Do yourself a favor and investigate both Won and Lost business.
Check out our book, Win/Loss Analysis: How to Clinch and Keep the Business You Want.
- 4 Steps to Plan for Successful Win/Loss Interviews
- 6 Things You Can Learn from Conducting Win/Loss Interviews
- 20 Reasons to Do Win/Loss Analysis
- Win/Loss Analysis Benefits for Sales
Testimonial: Susan Tull, Vice President, Marketing
I wholeheartedly recommend Ellen Naylor for her competitive intelligence skills and win/loss analysis expertise. Again and again, Ellen has found ways to successfully engage our customers and prospects in candid dialog about their experience with our technology—and in the fast-paced world of digital marketing, connecting with decision makers is no small feat! Ellen drives projects from conception through to completion and provides actionable information that we’ve used to affect measurable sales improvements.