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5 Steps of a Win Loss Analysis

Businesses need strategies and offerings that align with customers’ needs and expectations to increase sales, expand their market share, and support long-term growth.   

Performing a win loss analysis allows companies to examine their current products and strategies to identify the factors that lead to a successful sale and those that turn customers away. By understanding what strategies and product features resonate with customers and what elements are falling short, businesses uncover a clear roadmap to improvement.  

What Is a Win Loss Analysis? 

Most companies calculate and monitor their win-loss rate, which measures the percentage of closed and lost deals over time. This allows them to benchmark their performance and quickly identify any sharp declines.  

A win-loss analysis goes beyond the calculated rate to evaluate the factors contributing to won and lost business. Companies gather these insights by collecting targeted customer feedback, allowing them to identify customer pain points, needs, and brand perceptions. This data also allows companies to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their sales positioning, product features, and service offerings.  

By identifying what’s working and what’s not, companies can enhance their strategies to win and retain customers.  

When to Conduct a Win Loss Analysis  

While companies can gather these insights at any time, there are a few situations where win loss data can inform and enhance your strategies, for example:  

  • When sales are down to identify gaps and weaknesses in the sales funnel.  
  • When customers leave for competitors to identify unmet customer needs and evaluate competitive positioning.  
  • When building new offerings to identify missing and desirable products and features. 
  • When developing new marketing materials to identify what messaging resonates with prospects.  
  • When allocating resources to identify where to invest to generate the highest return.  

Steps to Get Win Loss Analysis Right 

Gather the insights you need to elevate your strategies with these five steps.  

1. Identify The Focus of Your Analysis

There are numerous things you can learn from a win loss analysis. Establishing the challenges you want to solve for, and your goals will help you craft your questions and determine the feedback you need to collect.  

Some examples of what a win loss analysis can answer are:  

  • What are customers’ core needs?  
  • What are the unmet needs of current and former customers? 
  • What factors influence customers to opt for or against a brand? 
  • What are the most influential factors in the purchase decision? 
  • Who is involved in the purchase decision?  
  • What makes a specific product or service competitive?  
  • How are we evaluated against our competitors?

2. Assemble Your Audience

To get a full picture of your strengths and weaknesses, you need feedback from three different groups: Lost prospects, new clients, and former clients. Each of these groups offers a unique perspective of your company.  

  • Missed prospects who chose not to buy from you can provide insight into gaps in your sales strategies and the elements of your product and service positioning that fell short.  
  • New clients can tell you what aspects convinced them to purchase and the initial benefits your offering provides.  
  • Former clients can tell you about the gaps in your products and services that were insufficient to address their challenges as well as the value offered by competitors that convinced them to jump ship.

3. Collect Your Data

There are two methods to collect customer feedback: surveys and quantitative interviews. Companies can perform one or both methods to collect the level of data they need.  

Surveys
Surveys ask a set of questions to a large audience to identify customers’ opinions, perceptions, preferences, and the reasons behind their decisions. With surveys, companies get an aggregate but statistically significant picture that they can leverage to make decisions. They also allow companies to segment customers to analyze the responses of individual groups.   

Qualitative Interviews
Qualitative interviews involve one-on-one conversations between interviewers and those from the target audience. The interview follows a pre-determined set of questions or guide to reveal sentiment, decision-making processes, and unmet needs. This method also allows interviewers to ask follow-up questions to further clarify the responses given by those interviewed.  Respondents can also answer in their own words rather than being bound by the structured responses in a survey.

4. Analyze The Results

After collecting and compiling the responses of your win loss survey and/ or interviews, it’s time to draw actionable insights to inform your strategies going forward.  

Keeping your initial goals in mind, review the responses you collected to identify the following: 

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? Identify what elements of your strategies contribute to your success, and which are counterproductive. Are your marketing and sales tactics resonating with prospects or are you not highlighting your best features? Do your products seamlessly solve customers’ needs or are they challenging to implement or ineffective? Compared to your competitors, what elements do customers rate you higher and lower on? Find the aspects you should highlight, which you need to bolster, and the ones you need to completely revise. 
  • What gaps exist? Beyond weaknesses, what’s missing in your strategies and offerings? Are there features that customers want that you are not providing? Are you missing key steps in your sales process that could close a deal? Find out what gaps you need to fill to improve the customer experience throughout the customer journey.  

Use the answers to these questions to identify what changes you need to make to your sales strategies, product offerings, and customer experience to effectively engage prospects and customers. Depending on the results, you may need to adjust your plans to address the hidden threats or untapped opportunities you have uncovered.  

Identify strengths and weaknesses

Learn why your company is winning or losing customers by evaluating your sales strategies, products and services, and customer retention
win loss analysis interview

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