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How to Use a Win/Loss Analysis to Uncover New Sales Potential

MarketLauncher Team
MarketLauncher Team
November 13, 2019 | Win/Loss Analysis | 11 minute read

Win Loss Graphic_November_1600x1020

 

Whether you win or lose a deal, there are many factors on both sides of the table that go into that final decision. On your end, it could be your initial conversation, proposal process, pricing strategy, and overall engagement model. On the other side, your buyers are faced with different motivations, research methods, and selection criteria – not to mention other competitors vying for their time.  

It’s not often that you can get direct feedback from your buyers about how you stack up in the market and what you could be doing better. 

A Win/Loss Analysis is a series of interviews with buyers who you have either closed/won or lost for a variety of reasons. Speaking transparently with those who have directly experienced your sales process from top to bottom helps you uncover your sales potential and understand the customer journey – because asking the difficult questions can lead to priceless feedback for growth. 

With the right Win/Loss Analysis in place, you can:  

  • Identify strengths to build upon 
  • Pinpoint weaknesses 
  • Capture competitive intelligence 
  • Identify opportunities for new product development 
  • Solidify client relationships 
  • Improve the sales/marketing process 
  • Provide insight into effective sales/marketing collateral 
  • Improve positioning for future new business wins 
  • Influence client retention and/or satisfaction 

Nailing the Win/Loss Analysis Interview

The first step to a great interview is to make sure it’s conducted by a third party, not the initial sales rep who established the relationship. In fact, it’s best that the interviewer does not work directly with your company at all so they can be completely impartial. That's why our Win/Loss Analysis program is led by seasoned specialists who ask the hard-hitting questions and deliver results in an easily digestible format. If you can’t use a third-party, a member of your marketing team or someone who was not part of the sales process at all could be suitable. 

Whoever the interviewer may be, make sure it is a phone call or in-person meeting. While online surveys could be helpful to gauge current customer satisfaction, for a Win/Loss Analysis, you want to catch nonverbal cues, ask follow-up questions, and show your genuine interest in their opinion and feedback. 

Schedule your interviews no more than 60 days after you closed or lost the deal so it’s fresh in the prospect’s mind. Out of respect for their time, keep the interview to 30 minutes or less. Remember, you still want them to think favorably of your company, especially for lost prospects who can still become a FAN of your brand. You can even prepare them beforehand by sending them a few sample questions and an explanation of what will be discussed.  

One of the most challenging parts of a win/loss analysis is getting an even number of interviews on both sides – which is essential so as not to skew the data. Usually, the wins are more likely to participate, so reach out to a few more decision makers in the loss category with the expectation that some will fall through. You can even offer a small incentive like a gift card as a thank-you for their time 

 

Asking the Right Questions

Here are a few questions you can ask during your Win/Loss Analysis interview, keeping in mind that you can adjust these based on industry, job title, and what you already know about the relationship. But don’t change them too much, as you’ll want to compare responses across participants and recognize patterns. 

On top of having your questions prepared beforehand, we recommend writing an initial call script for both wins and losses to open the conversation and guide it in a purposeful direction. 

For the Wins:  

  1. What was the reason you initially decided to undergo a search for a provider and who in the company drove that decision? 
  2. How did you learn about [Company Name] – how did we come to be included in your search? 
  3. What factors or features contributed to your decision to work with [Company Name]? 
  4. How would you compare [Company Name]’s pricing to other firms you evaluated? 
  5. Which capabilities were most critical for you?  I.e. usability, breadth of functionality, integration, etc. 
  6. Between 1-5, how would you rate your experience with the sales representative? Was there a specific person that left an impression? 
  7. In addition to [Company Name], what other companies did you evaluate in this process? 
  8. In the selection process, what did you think [Competitor Name]’s biggest strength was?  Biggest weakness? 
  9. Between 1-5, how likely would you be to refer [Company Name] to a colleague with a similar need? 
  10. Are there any needs/wants that you have that you feel no one in the market is currently able to provide a solution for or address?   
  11. Among those in your industry, what would you say is the general impression regarding [Company Name]? 
  12. Do you recommend we talk to anyone else who was instrumental to the decision-making process? 

For the Losses:  

[Ask the applicable questions from above in addition to the following] 

  1. What contributed to your decision to not work with [Company Name]? What were your top drivers? 
  2. How far into your selection process was [Company Name] eliminated and why?   
  3. What tools/resources were critical to the evaluation of potential solutions – can you give us your top three? 
  4. In addition to [Company Name], what other companies did you evaluate in this process? 
  5. Who did you select?     
  6. What were the top three differentiators that led you to choose [Competitor Name] rather than [Company Name]? 
  7. Can you name one improvement [Company Name] could make that would have a positive effect on our image in the marketplace?  
  8. What would persuade you to make the decision to work with [Company Name] in the future? Is there anything we could have done differently? 
  9. When do you anticipate that this decision will be re-evaluated? 

Analyzing Your Feedback

Now it’s time to compile all of your interview responses into a format that allows you to spot trends and patterns. You can create graphs and charts that are broken down by decision maker, competitors mentioned, criteria that led to a decision, market perception, sales rep ratings, pricing, and more.  

The information you gather can benefit your entire company in addition to sales – the marketing team tasked with improving brand perception, your innovation team who is planning new developments, and management as they assess where to pivot in the market and improve service deliverability.  

At MarketLauncher, our proven Win/Loss Analysis methodology gives you the insights you need about your current and future customers. Our interviews are conducted by seasoned specialists. You have access to a dashboard giving you real-time insights as interviews are completed. In addition, we deliver a comprehensive report every 90 days with trends and actionable intelligence that you can leverage across your business.

If you’re interested in seeing a sample report of our Win/Loss Analyses and learn more about how it can benefit your organization, please reach out at the link below or send an email to dklein@marketlauncher.com. 

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