A win-loss analysis provides invaluable insights for your sales, marketing, and operational decisions. It can lead to streamlined sales tactics, lower costs, and more significant revenue.
The most effective win-loss programs tap into three sources of insight: CRM data (quantitative), sales team feedback, and buyer feedback through interviews. For best practices on how to capture these insights, download the free guide here.
Understand Your Goals
While the primary objectives of win-loss analysis may vary amongst companies, best-in-class programs share several core features:
The first step is permanently establishing clear goals; this is how to do a win-loss analysis.
It includes setting the number of interviews you plan to conduct, defining the segments you want to target, and ensuring that executives are involved in driving positive change across the organization.
Once the high-level objectives are established, it’s time to move on to the actual research. When analyzing qualitative prospect feedback, carefully reviewing and gleaning insights from the data is critical. Whether your data is obtained from interviewing prospects and buyers or through the CRM, slicing and dicing your data is essential for concluding.
Record and transcribe all interviews, then tag critical themes. Aggregate and analyze quotes that support those themes, and look for common themes that may require a business response (e.g., product capabilities, ease of use, company reputation, sales processes, pricing). It can expose issues that are worthy of an org-wide shift. It can also highlight individual teams’ impact on each opportunity’s success.
Develop a Methodology
The win-loss analysis is an excellent way to collect qualitative data and insights from customers to help understand why specific deals succeeded or failed. However, conducting these interviews can be overwhelming for many teams.
The best way to ensure quality data and insights is by creating a transparent methodology that all teams can follow when interviewing customers. It will also help ensure consistency when analyzing results. We recommend combining multiple-choice and open-ended questions to get a balanced view of what influences sales outcomes and customer decision-making processes.
Ultimately, win-loss analysis is a great way to provide sales, marketing, and product teams with the insights they need to make more informed strategic decisions about their programs. Those who adopt a formal, rigorous approach have seen significant customer acquisition and retention benefits. In addition, those that use it regularly have greater empathy for the wants and needs of their prospects and can, therefore, effectively defend requests from other departments (e.g., content, pricing, new features).
Conduct Your Research
Whether you’re a sales team leader or product marketer, conducting a win-loss analysis requires some legwork. The process can be lengthy and tedious, from conducting customer interviews to performing market research. However, the insights you gain from this type of research are worth the effort. Win-loss analyses have increased quota attainment, annual revenue growth, and customer retention rates when companies conduct them regularly.
To get the most out of this type of research, it’s essential to take a holistic approach. It means going beyond the quantitative data and focusing on the “why.” For example, instead of just looking at the number of wins and losses, you should find patterns or trends in the data that are more impactful. It can be done by analyzing the data, looking for words or phrases that are repeated frequently, and determining if these are relevant to your primary goals for this type of research. Doing so can create a more comprehensive and compelling research report to help your company grow.
Analyze Your Data
Once you have gathered and processed the data, it’s time to analyze it. It is a critical step in the win-loss analysis process because it’s how you get value from the data.
Depending on your methodology, you may have quantitative data ready for analysis (like CRM or sales metrics) or qualitative data that requires more work to organize and analyze. If you have qualitative data, try a no-code text analysis tool like MonkeyLearn Studio to organize and extract insights from your unstructured data automatically.
You can then use data visualization tools to create stunning reports that communicate your findings and help you spot trends and opportunities for improvement. These tools will also make explaining complex concepts in your report easier.
Rigorous win-loss analysis enables you to understand why customers and prospects buy from you or not. It’s a meaningful way to stay ahead of your competition, improve your product, sharpen marketing messaging, align with sales leadership, and more. Over time, a well-executed program will directly impact your sales win rates and revenue generation.
Create Insightful Reports
The win-loss analysis is crucial to any competitive intelligence and enablement program. It can unearth a treasure trove of strategic and tactical competitive insights. But to be successful, the process needs to be understood and executed correctly.
The first step is to secure executive and functional buy-in for your win-loss analysis. A win-loss analysis program backed by the C-suite is more likely to receive funding, drive change across departments and achieve an ROI for your business.
Next, define your goals for win-loss analysis. Ultimately, the goal of a win-loss analysis should be to analyze why you are winning or losing sales opportunities. This analysis will help you improve your sales processes, marketing messaging, and product pipeline.
It is essential to schedule regular interviews with your customers and lost prospects to obtain quality data for your win-loss analysis. Be sure to ask questions that allow for a mix of multiple choice and scales, open-ended and closed-ended answers. It will give you a comprehensive view of the decision drivers and insights driving your wins and losses.