Win Loss Analysis: Your Secret Weapon for Success

secret weapon

In my years as a research consultant, I’ve never found a tool with as much bang for the buck as win/loss analysis.

For those who aren’t familiar with the concept, win/loss studies work like this:

  • Get information from your sales team or contact database to identify accounts that you ‘won’ and those that you ‘lost’ (aka didn’t WIN) in a given period (monthly or quarterly is most common)
  • Have a conversation with the key contact(s) at each account to understand the following:
    • Who they consider your competition
    • What their key criteria were for evaluating their choices
    • How you measured up against your competitors on their key criteria
    • Their perception of the sales process

These efforts don’t require a huge investment of time or money: these conversations can be brief and you don’t need to talk to a lot of people—you can pick a random sample of people who bought or didn’t buy your product/service.

The rewards for collecting this information are huge! To have a regular, ongoing perspective on these items will help you make sure that you have a finger on the pulse of your marketplace and that you anticipate issues before they become huge problems. To understand how your customers/prospects perceive you and the marketplace, is extremely valuable…and in some cases, the side benefit is that you make a great impression on a lost prospect which may turn their impression of your company around and change their mind (I’ve seen it happen!).

Think about how win/loss analysis could help you or your clients…it could be the perfect tool to get insights that you need in order to make some key business decisions with your customers’ needs/wants in mind.


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